Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Flying Pig

I did it! I ran my first half marathon. And I have to say it was a much more enjoyable experience than I had anticipated. I'm not really sure what I expected, but I don't think I expected to enjoy it as much as I did. I was smiling most of the time. Even though I had to wake up at 4:15 in the morning and it was thunderstorming at the beginning of the race and I was soaked through before I even finished my first mile. So here is how it all went down (and I have pictures and everything):

Saturday Derek and I went over to our friend JB's house and picked him up and headed up to Northern Kentucky. JB ran the full marathon. Our first stop was to pick up our friend Bryan who was running the half with me. After we picked up Bryan we headed to the expo where we picked up our race packets, and got lots of free goodies. We got a technical t-shirt, a bag and a poster, along with other goodies from vendors.

P&G was a big sponsor and they had this huge toilet as part of a charmin toilet paper display. Of course the boys couldn't resist the photo op! And below is the countdown to the beginning of the race!

After the expo we headed to Fazoli's to carbo load before the big race. It was delicious! Then we went back to Derek's parents house for a relaxing evening and to get to bed early. We had to wake up at 4:15 Sunday morning to get to the race on time!

Sunday morning we picked up Bryan and met our friend Eric, who was also running the full marathon at a gas station close by. We followed Eric into Covington where he would leave his car, and then Derek and his dad would drop all of us off at the starting line. The weather was crazy Sunday morning. It was thundering and lightning and pouring down rain. Eric parked his car under an overpass. Since it was dry we decided to warm up there and stretch out. No sense in being out in the rain longer than we needed to. Here we all are around 5:45.

So around 6-ish Derek and his dad dropped us off. I split off from the boys to use the restroom before the race started and made 2 new friends waiting in line! The race started at 6:30. It was dark and stormy but I felt ready to run.

The race itself was really good. I ran pretty slow because I didn't want to die at the end. Also, there was a pretty big hill from miles 5.5 to 8 ish and I wanted to make sure I had enough energy to make it up the hill. I was surprised to see Derek and his dad cheering us on somewhere between miles 3 and 4 I think.

The first 5 miles felt really good. The hill wasn't as bad as I had feared, but still was a pretty good hill. When I got to the top I felt pretty good and decided to pick up the pace. That lasted for maybe 5 minutes. Then my legs decided they were done. Luckily it was mostly downhill from there. I got to see Derek again at mile 10 which was fun.

At this point it wasn't too bad because at least I was running downhill, but it was pretty much all I could do to put one leg in front of the other and finish. I wasn't out of breath at all towards the end, my legs were just super tired. But I am happy to say that I finished and I ran the whole way. Not fast - it was an 11:53 pace - but I ran it. I only walked for a few steps at a time as I got water at the water stations. But I did it! I finished it in 2 hours, 35 minutes and 37 seconds. I was shooting for 2:30 so I feel pretty good about it. I tried to pick up the pace at the end but as I said, my legs just didn't have it in them. I felt like I gave it all I had so I am pretty pleased. Here I am getting ready to cross the finish line. I am behind the guy in blue.

I felt like this race was mostly just to show myself that I could do it. Now that I know that I can do it I would love to do another one and really push myself and try to improve my time. It was such a fun race to run. And I really enjoyed running in the rain. It kept me cool so I didn't sweat as much and have to worry about getting too dehydrated. I hope to keep in shape and do shorter runs - like 3-6 miles - but work on getting faster. I feel like while I was training because I kept increasing my mileage so quickly I never really had the opportunity to get faster. So since I began running at a 11-12 minute pace, I never really got faster than that. Hopefully I can run some 5 and 10ks and work on getting down into the 10 minute mile pace.

Anyways, after the race was pretty cool too. You get a medal and then go through this tunnel where they give you gatorade and water and get your timing chip back. Then there is this whole area full of free food. It was awesome. There were oranges, bananas, apples, bagels, donuts, chips/cheetos, etc., ho-hos, granola bars... It was so cool. So I loaded up on some snacks - even though I didn't really feel like eating then, I knew I would want them later, and they were free! Then I found Derek and we headed back to the car where a dry shirt awaited me.

After the race Bryan, JB, Eric and his wife Rachel all headed back to Derek's parents house for some lunch. It was so fun to have friends to run the race with, even though we all finished at different times. We all celebrated and were so happy that we had finished. Bryan ran the half in 2:04. JB finished the full in 3:46 and Eric finished it in 4:45. I am so impressed with those guys. They are so amazing. Also, my friend Shannon ran the half. We saw her at the expo but I didn't get to see her at the race unfortunately.  All in all it was a great experience and I would encourage everyone to do it at some time in their lives.


jenna said...

i am so proud of you!!! :) yay anne! i'm glad the rain was a blessing!

Trish McDaniel said...

Amazing!! Very proud of you and Bryan for getting out there. It's very intimidating. Good for you for doing it. I have that on my life's list. I definitely want to try a shorter race first and work up. If you all hear of any or sign up for one let me know.

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

congrats!!! you did so well - how impressive! i love the pictures!!!

Katie said...

anne!! you did it!!! yay!!! great job! i'm so impressed :)

Kristin said...

Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I'm sure you're feeling so proud of yourself - watch out: I hear running marathons is addictive ;-)! Great job on getting so close to your goal time too... It was fun to hear about your experience!