This morning I woke up at 4:15 to have breakfast before picking up my friend Jennifer who was also racing the half marathon and hoping for a PR. I ate a bowl of oatmeal and had a Shakeology. I also grabbed a ripe banana and a bagel, but ended up skipping the bagel (except for one bite). I drove to Jennifer's house and we headed to the USA Baseball Campus in Cary.
Traffic wasn't nearly as bad as predicted, and we arrived with no problems before 6AM. I ate my banana and we walked to the start line. Stood in line at porta-potties where I discovered A.) I had attached my bib to my pants through my shirt and B.) After using restroom, the toilet paper wasn't coming off the roll. I tore individual sheets until I had enough to do the job - which seemed to take about twenty minutes.
Checked our bags (very good and secure bag check). Met up with a few friends and said hello. Waited and chatted until it was time to head out to the start line!
As I started walking over I knew, I KNEW, I should pee one more time. I will later regret that. We finally started and after running 30 seconds I realized there was a plastic tag stuck on my sock. I ran to the side and pulled it out, then ran back to Jennifer. Lots of uphill on the way out of the park, then down-down-down. Down to find a water station at mile 1. (Grateful for it at mile 12!) Saw my friend Lindsay volunteering at mile 1.7ish aid station!
Jennifer had a strong walk-run going and I immediately knew I wasn't going to keep up. I let her pull ahead around mile two and didn't see her again until the turn-around. I also had to pee. I HAD to. Stopped for porta-potty, had to wait.
The run merged on to the American Tobacco Trail at this point. The trail felt wonderful under my feet - I love running on crushed gravel. I tried to keep my
own 3:00/1:00 run-walk, but when my watch turned to one hour, I lost the ability to monitor seconds. So, the run-walk became a bit grey. I was quite cold on the run until mile 4, my hands even felt numb.
Around mile 5 (and right after passing an aid station with porta potties), I needed to use the restroom again - but not to pee. It was a moral imperative. With a clenched jaw and clenched "cheeks," I scuffled through the turn around and made it back to the potty. Ahhh, that's better.
Unfortunately after stopping for a minute in the porta john and bending down for my nutrition belt, I felt seriously dizzy. Oof. Took me about a quarter of a mile to get back in the groove and convince myself I was not in fact dying.
Glanced at my watch (which I stopped for potty breaks so I wouldn't be thrown off for pacing), and realized - hey! I'm doing... better than I expected! Tried to kick it up for a mile. Then just felt so, so tired at mile 9. Things were starting to hurt.
Two young women were in my "pack" for a while and one of them was blasting Taylor Swift from her iPhone. The speaker. For some reason this really got on my nerves, but it encouraged me to try to stay ahead of them! Merged back on to the road at Mile 11ish (I had been passed by several full marathoners at this point) and began "the climb." Aka "the walk."
Tried to run the last half mile into finish line and walked until the very last turn. Then HAULED ass. :-D
Nutrition on the run: two packs of Honey Stinger chews, one 9-oz bottle of watered-down Nuun, sips of water and Gatorade here and there. Never bonked, but came close.
It was a great day to run. So thankful. Oh - and I finished in 2:38 - porta potty stops and all. :-). Under my goal of 2:50!
So very thankful.
Thanks to the volunteers, my family and friends for their support in training, my husband for being amazing, Andrea for encouragement, and to all the people who stepped out of their comfort zone to run with me today. <3
And a very big thanks to my five-year-old who came running down the stairs when I got home.
"Mommy!! Mommy!!! I am so proud of you for running today!!!!"
"And aren't you proud of yourself?"
A little bit, my sweet. A little bit.