A recap of my first half marathon: The Other Half, in Moab, UT, October 19, 2009.
Starting with the creation of the perfect playlist. I spent a significant portion of my Saturday finding and purchasing motivational, run inspiring music. I was just two songs away from having the perfect playlist created, and with one wrong mouse click, it was reordered alphabetically and all my work was gone! So the second time around I just quickly made a new one- which was not nearly as good as the first, but it would do.
I picked up Jan and Anne and we headed out of town about quarter to 5. We decided to take the scenic highway into town so we could get a preview of the race course and time how long it took to get to the gravel parking lot where we would catch the shuttle to the starting line. We arrived in Moab about 6:30, picked up our race bags, then headed to Pasta Jay's. There was a HUGE wait, but some of Jan's friends had a table so we just joined them. After dinner we took a short stroll down main street, followed by bed not much after 9.
We were all up before 6, dressed and headed to the race by 6:15. On the way there I got SO nervous, butterflies in my stomach and I was even shaking. It was so calm and beautiful in the dark, with the most beautiful silhouette of some of the monoliths in the canyon. The buses began taking us to the starting line at 7, and I sat by a lady from Boise who was here running her 3rd half marathon which helped to take my mind off of my nerves.
Once we were at the starting line there was at least an hour and a half before the race started and it was pretty chilly! They had quite a few fire barrels with fires going that we all clustered around till race time. Then we threw our sweats into our race bags and into the trailer that would meet us at the finish line. By now my nerves were gone and I was just ready to run.
When the gun went off, I started my music and my watch and away we went! The scenery was BEAUTIFUL. I had a good strong beginning pace and at the first mile I looked at my watch to see what my time was and it wasn't going- I must have pushed start button twice - so that bummed me out that I wouldn't have an accurate time.
At about mile 4 I noticed the first tinge of pain in my knee (this usually happens at mile 8), but I kept pushing through it. At mile 6 I was super excited because that was the same distance of the BOULDERboulder, and I was almost 1/2 way done. Mile 7 SUCKED! It was all up hill with several (3) really steep hills. This is when the pain kicked in even more, and to add to it I had a toenail that was digging into one of my other toes. So at the top of last hill of mile 7, I stopped to stretch and fix my toe nail situation. When I started running again the pain was even worse, but I just kept going, I just HAD to finish. There was another hill in mile 9 and this made my knee feel even worse, my leg actually went numb from the knee down and I thought it was going to give out on me, so I moved to the side, walked the rest of the way to the top, almost cried, stretched at the top and contemplated calling it quits. Needless to say I kept pushing, I just said to my self over and over "you are going to finish, you are going to finish!" When I hit mile 10 Eminem "loose your self" came on, and as strange as this may seem, this song was highly motivational for me, to the point that I almost lost it and started balling- so much so that I couldn't catch my breath and had to breath really deep through my nose and out through my mouth. (When I breathed out it sounded like a whimper.) But that song got me through and at the end of mile 12 you crest the last hill and in the valley of the red canyon you see the beautiful green pastures of Sorel River Ranch, I knew I was going to make it! My last mile I dedicate to my mom, she was supposed to run it with us, but got injured and couldn't run- at all! So I started the last mile and said "this is for my mom!" but that made me start to bawl again and have trouble breathing again, so I quit saying it (but it was still for her). As I turned off the highway and onto the ranch's road my calf on my hurt knee side cramped up causing my toes to curl. It wasn't like a normal painful cramp, but I just couldn't relax it and get my toes straight. Then I saw Anne, and she ran to the final chute with me encouraging me along. The final 100 meters was lined with cheers and I got one last burst of energy and sprinted to the end with the biggest smile on my face.
Normally I get really emotional after I cross the finish line, but this time I was just so happy to have finished that all I could do was smile (and limp). Plus I had already been emotional during the run!
I dedicated each mile (2 miles) to someone (or something)to help me get through. During that mile I thought of this person (or thing) and how they have influenced me positively, contributed to my success, and what makes them so important to me.
Mile 1 and 2: ME, I was just so thankful to be able to run and be in such a beautiful place, that I took these first two miles to soak it all in.
Mile 3: God, I was thankful that I had been given the ability and opportunity to run and enjoy such a beautiful place in his creation.
Mile 4: All my friends and family that had wished me luck including: Heather, Jolene, Rachel, Cecil and Amy, MGMS co workers, and my FB friends.
Mile 5: God: this was the point in the run where you come around a corner and see Fisher Towers framed by the walls of the canyon, I couldn't help but thank Him for that!
Mile 6: Maddox, my handsome, rowdy, caring son.
Mile 7: Serpents Trail. I just thought of all the summer runs on Serpents trail and knew that this hill was nothing compared to that!
Mile 8: Madison, my beautiful, compassionate, motivated daughter.
Mile 9: My running friends Anne and Jan, who I trained and ran with all summer and who are continually encouraging and inspiring!
Mile 10: Eminem (not really, but this is when his song came on and it pushed me through this mile).
Mile 11: Brian, my patient, thoughtful, hard working, and HOTT husband.
Mile 12: ME! I was almost finished, and I just thought about my hard work and persistence. Knowing that my mind was stronger than my body.
Mile 13 (plus some): My mom, she was so upset and disappointed to not be running in this race with us, I just had to finish it for her since she wasn't there.
I finished in 2 hours and 19 minutes, my average pace was 10:20 (I am embarrassed to write that, I never run that slow).
Weather: Perfect! Probably about the mid 60's for the majority of the race.
Start time: 8:30
Finish time: 2 hours 19 minutes after start time
Shoes: Adidas AdiStar Rides (pink version)
Clothes: Adidas black capris, Adidas bright orange short sleeve performance top, and a Nike iridescent plum long sleeved performance top. Fox river socks, Brian's Arnett sunglasses.
Learned? My mind is stronger than my body, training too fast and too hard with not enough rest is NOT good, Moab is beautiful this time of year, and I MUST run another half (though I don't even want to run, or think about running, for a few days -- maybe a week.