I trained for 6 months for this race, and I did it! I did it faster than what I expected.
The night before the race, Jenn and I dropped off our kids at my parents. Paige was sick, and Devon started acting sick, so we were worried about them. At dinner, Jenn said she was starting to feel icky and was worried about being sick as well. We finished dinner and went to go see The Blanks (Ted's Band from the show Scrubs) and had a lot of fun, but by the end of the show, Jenn was running a fever and felt sick. We were worried she wasn't going to be able to run the next day. Also when we got to the show, I started a little jog to the front door and turned to see Jenn. She was limping and said her groin muscle was hurting. So needless to say, we were worried about her. The kids also got worse, and we figured my parents were not going to be able to be at the finish line. They were amazing for taking care of them for us!
Jenn said our family prayer that night and prayed that she would feel better. We both got a great night's sleep, and she woke up feeling 100%, so for that we were grateful. Our running club was in charge of one of the aid stations, and I helped set up before the race. We had music, a movie, signs, and flags. It was a really kick-butt water station!
We caught a ride up to the starting line, took our group photo, and I found Amy and Linda. We lined up at the starting line and got ready to kick 13.1 miles in the butt! I was so pumped when they said GO! Linda and Amy had to keep telling me to slow down and pace myself; I wanted to just run with all of them, but I am really grateful they did tell me to take it easy. Here is a video of the start. Jenn is at 43 seconds, and I am at 1:30ish.
The first few miles we just chatted; a lot of people passed us. I saw a lot of friends, and they said "hi." At about mile 3, a lot of the masses were ahead of us, and we ran with the same group of people for several more miles. We stuck to our 1 and 1 plan. Run a minute and walk a minute from our Galloway training. I was pushing us faster than what the 1 and 1 group was running. I knew we could go a faster pace; I have run with Amy and Linda before and knew what they could do. They would ask what our pace was, and I would just tell them that we were on pace!
About mile 6-7, I started getting some stomach cramps and started worrying about throwing up. I wasn't sure if it was the food I was eating or one of the water stops. I just took it easy, and it went away just as quick as it came. We ate well and drank from all the water stops.
Mile 8 and 9 were tough mentally for me. We were running into a strong headwind, and we were getting tired. Linda kept asking me for a funny story, but I couldn't think of one. That was not normal for me.
At mile 10, I hit my second wind about the time everyone else around us were hitting a wall or a mental wall. I was singing and dancing. Cheering other people on when we were passing them. I kept telling people that all we had left was a 5K! I think I might've annoyed a couple of people, but I was making Amy and Linda smile when I knew they really needed it.
The great thing about the 1 and 1, no one really passed us after mile 7, and we started passing a lot of people after mile 9. We were blowing by people. I would find someone and start picking them off one by one. There was a group of three that were sticking with us all the way to mile 11. We would pass them on a run, and they would pass us on a walk. The second to last time we passed them, one of the girls said, "I am really getting sick of this run/walk crap these guys are doing. We have ran the whole time, and they are keeping up with us." I thought it was really funny, especially when all three of us finished before them.
When I got to about mile 11, I ran out ahead. I knew Amy and Linda were going to be okay, because they both said, "I know I can do this now." I went out strong and wanted to leave it all at the finish line. Jenn was at mile 12 helping with our water station and ran me in. The last 1.5 miles of the route are all up hill, so it was not easy. I pushed and finished in 2:37. If you remember a previous post, I talked about wanting a 3:40 but was going to shoot for a 2:30. I came in right where I knew I could. I am running another half in December, and I hope to be at 2:30!
I had a ton of fun running with Linda and Amy! They each finished strong and under 2:40! They helped me a lot and kept me calm at the start and kept me going at the end! Great friends!
It was such a cool feeling crossing the finish line. Knowing my hard work paid off. I am excited for Little Rock. To be able to say I am a Marathoner! Thanks for all your support! It is just going to get better!