Monday, May 20, 2013

Only Half Crazy

So, did I mention to y'all that I was running another half marathon?  Because I did.  Yesterday morning I got up at the asscrack of dawn of run the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon, right here in Fredericksburg!  I put "run a marathon" on my 30-Before-30 list and I thought doing another half would be a great way to kick myself into gear.  And I definitely kicked myself, haha.

The Mister & I started our day at 5am.  He was a wee bit hungover because we'd had a couple of friends over for dinner and Cards Against Humanity, which meant a few more beers than the Mister is accustomed to drinking on any given night (we are both lightweights...two or three beers and we are dunzo so I only had one beer), but even bleary eyed he made me a cup of coffee and I made myself a couple of frozen waffles which I smeared with peanut butter.  That is now my Official Pre-Race Meal because that is what I ate before my first half marathon and I ate again this time.  It's good to have traditions.

The race started at 7am, but we weren't 100% sure about the parking situation, so we headed out a little before 6.  The race started & finished at the Expo Center, which is out in the main shopping area.  And because none of the businesses were actually open at 6am, it wasn't a problem to park in a random parking lot.  Parking quandary solved!  After a few visits to the port-o-johns (I have a nervous bladder), it was time to find my spot in the line-up.

To avoid too much congestion, runners are generally organized into corrals based on expected finish time.  I finished my last half in 2:22, so I found the 2:00-2:30 corral, which was pretty far back.

So many runners! 

I gave the Mister my camera and gave him strict orders to TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS.  Unfortunately, there was a snafu with the spectator shuttle and he wasn't able to make it downtown to see me at the halfway point.  I was a little disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing him.  Spectators are the BEST at races.  Seriously.  If there is ever a race in your city, go out and cheer for people.  Make silly signs.  Give out high fives.  I high-fived every little kid with an outstretched palm because it made me feel good and it makes them feel good!  Bring your dog!  I loved seeing all the doggies out on the race course.  I wish I would have taken photos of some of the fun people & signs along the way, but my phone was tucked into my armband and after it started raining, I didn't want to take it out.  Oh yeah, it was raining and people were STILL OUT THERE cheering!  Even random people, who just happened to live along the race course, were out there under umbrellas cheering us on.  Oh man, cheering spectators are the best!

So even though I didn't see the Mister, I still had lots of people cheering for me!  As I was running, I started thinking that I should have made myself a tshirt that said "Future Navy Wife" on the front and "Sweatin' for the Wedding!" on the back with our wedding date and I could have worn a little veil!  That would have been so fun and would have REALLY brought me some attention and cheers!  But I honestly didn't think about it until mile four or five.  There is seriously nothing to do while running BUT think because you want to distract yourself from any physical discomfort.  My personal method of distraction is checking out what all the other runners are wearing.  I'm a style blogger at heart!

I wore a lovely purple ensemble from Old Navy! The Mister caught me JUST as I was starting to spring for the finish!  I wish I had spotted him before he took the photo so I could have smiled, but instead I'm just looking super hardcore and intense!

Can I just say that I LOVE races where they give you a medal?  And this one is pretty sweet with a lot of heft to it.  And I was also pleased with the post race beer options, because they had some kind of Michelob Amber Boch that wasn't horrible.  My favorite summertime 5k in Minneapolis (which I signed up for again this year, this time with a friend!) serves MGD 64 which is awful and may as well be water, so hooray for decent beer and awesome medals and silly faces!  Those first few minutes after a long race essentially feel like the best high ever.  You're a little woozy, a little disoriented, kind of uncoordinated, but super happy.  I can't tell you how many people I bumped into while collecting all my post-race goodies (and there were some awesome goodies...frozen chocolate-covered banana bites, granola, orange slices, Gatorade recovery drinks, all kind of stuff!).  I was really excited because they also had a couple of tents set up with free recovery massages!  I made sure to thank my massage therapist for giving up his Sunday to rub sweaty people!

And I made sure to ESPECIALLY thank the Mister for being my #1 Supporter!  He believes in me even when I don't believe in myself and he always pushes me to be the best I can be!  I'm so excited that I get to marry him in less than two weeks!

I was pretty sure I finished at about 2:11, based on the time clock when I crossed the finish, but I checked this morning and the unofficial chip time results were posted!

2:09:48!  That is TWELVE minutes faster than my last time!  And I kept up an average pace of 9:54, which is no small feat considering there was a 150 ft gain in elevation over the last mile!  It's called Hospital Hill and it was a KILLER!  I managed to keep running up the whole thing, but my it was pretty slow going for a while there.

In other exciting news, the actor Sean Astin was there running and even though I didn't see him, I heard them announce when he crossed the finish line after me!

I'm faster than a hobbit, y'all!

We took it pretty easy the rest of the day because, well, I'd spent the morning running 13 miles!  But once I got myself showered and moving again we headed out to see the new Star Trek movie and it did not disappoint.  I love me some Benedict Cumberbatch and he makes one bad-ass villain.  I'm not as well-versed in the Star Trek universe as the Mister, but he seemed pretty pleased with the way the movie turned out as well and kept geeking out over old-school Star Trek references.

And finally, I'm bidding a sad farewell to my running shoes.  The Mister's mom sent them to me after the fire, so I've been running in them since last March.  I kept saying I needed to get new shoes because these are actually a half-size too small and at this point, there is zero tread left on the bottom.  But I hate things like going into specialty stores and asking questions.  I feel like a sham calling myself a runner, so I've been putting it off in typical Sarah-style.  But I ended up with of a couple of blisters along my insole and there are actually holes on the top by the toes, so I guess it is time.  The Mister is going to come with and we are going to go to the running store and have them measure my feet and kit me out sometime this week or the next.

Good bye, old friends!  You've served me well!  You will be missed, especially by Rory, who has  recently developed  an unhealthy obsession with you.

(if you can't see the embedded video, try clicking here )

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