Tuesday, April 22, 2014

//my first half-marathon//

This past Saturday I ran my first half-marathon.
(The Derby Festival Mini-Marathon in Louisville, to be exact.)

I haven't blogged much about my addiction to running.

Basically, I grew up thinking I was not an athlete.  
I was horrible at all team sports I was forced to play in grade school...
a tiny church school where everyone was expected to participate in the following sports:
basketball, volleyball, and softball.

I sat on the bench in basketball and prayed the coach would not put me in.

Volleyball was just me standing there a lot looking goofy.

Softball...just yuck.  I whiffed the ball constantly and thankfully was mostly put in the outfield where someone else would run over and catch the ball if it came anywhere near me.

Clearly any sport involving a ball was not for me
since I am super uncoordinated and afraid of being hit in the face.

High school was no different. After one season of volleyball freshman year I gave up on team sports for good. 
 I preferred reading.
I loved writing.
I was in plays.
I stayed active by taking super long walks around our farm property, contemplating life and daydreaming.

Then, at age sixteen, I got a little bored with my hours of walking and decided I would mix in some running.  Prior to this I had only run one mile - the requirement during freshman gym class. 

Anyway, I started by running a mile, then walking a mile, then running two, then three...

Pretty soon, I was running every day. I loved it.

And I haven't stopped since.

I probably ran more than I went to class my first year of college.

I kept with it throughout my twenties, running through the neighborhoods of wherever I lived.

I ran my first 5K at age nineteen, an activity for my required health class, and ran it in 26:10, which, even though I got passed by a guy pushing twins, I was happy with, since I had never raced before.

When I moved to Cincinnati in 2005 I joined a running group.
I joined to make friends, and while I did make a few I ended up enjoying it more for the competition.
I somehow found myself in the "fast group" (or at least chasing them) and pushing myself harder than I ever had before.
The group was training for a 10K race on Thanksgiving.
At that point that was the longest I'd ever ran - 6.2 miles.

It was awesome - and I even placed #11 in my division!

Somehow, despite being terrible at sports, I had found my sport.

After that I got married and sort of fell away from the running group and racing.
I kept running about 3 miles a day, five days a week, 
but stressful jobs and grad school and eventually babies
took my mind away from racing.

Until now.

In an effort to get back in shape after my pregnancy with Finola
I committed to training for a half-marathon.
I registered and then there was no going back.

Because of my schedule and the babies I decided to train on the treadmill, 
building my mileage each Saturday at the gym.
I've never been a treadmill runner, much preferring outside, 
but sometimes you just have to do what works...

and it worked!

I ran 13.1 miles in 1:45:50 
(meeting my goal of finishing in less than two hours!)

During the race I felt like I was running pretty slow, but I didn't want to overdo it and then have to walk at the end.  I tried to keep my pace reasonably fast yet steady.

I stopped at every water stop and even ran with a protein bar - which I ate half of during the race.

I listened to my 'racing mix' on my iPod and let the likes of Ke$ha and Beyonce motivate me mile after mile.

I enjoyed the scenery of Churchill Downs and beautiful, historic streets of old Louisville.

I was amused by the signs of the amazing folks cheering us on by the side of the road, especially the one that said
"Smile!  You paid to do this!"  

And I did smile.  In fact, I grinned a big ol' goofy grin as I crossed that finish line.

It was awesome.

Of course, about fifteen minutes after crossing the finish line I was hobbling around like an 80-year-old woman, my bowels screaming at me and feeling super nauseous.

Then I had my free congratulatory beer at the beer tent and that made me feel better.
Because that is what free beer does at 10am.


Here are me, the Hubby and my little guy,
who came to celebrate with me, post-race....
Cormac was a little confused about what was going on and why mama running was so cool. 
my biggest fan
at least he was impressed by my medal
Cannot wait for my next half!  
Or, perhaps, a full?
Who is with me?