Monday, October 11, 2010

Going The Distance

So this weekend was the start of something great. I finished my first half marathon on Sunday, 10-10-10, and I couldn't be happier! I wanted to share some of the details of the events.

Saturday, Brian and I had a great day together. I wasn't feeling great, so a good friend offered to watch the kiddos so we would have one less thing to do that day. We ran to the Fitness Expo to pick up my registration packet, then headed out for lunch.

That afternoon Brian let me take a nap, then we got ready for the fun to begin. We had lots of friends and family over Saturday evening to celebrate with a carb up dinner. We fixed 2 kinds of pasta, sauces, meatballs, grilled chicken, bread sticks, and salad to munch on.

While dinner was finishing up, the party drove the race route to see where Sara and I would be running the next morning. When we arrived at the Hyatt, the race tents and markers were already set up, so we took advantage of a photo op. I love what this picture said...

That really was my goal of this half marathon. I wanted to run the entire race without stopping to walk, but mostly I wanted to finish!
After dinner, everyone made posters to hold up so they would be easier to spot in the crowds.
Rest is not something I got much of Saturday night. I hope that is eventually something I can overcome, but after a lights out of 12:30, and kiddos waking me up 4 different times, I finally rolled out of bed at 5:15, and my little sis picked me up for Race Day Breakfast!
We opened our neighborhood Starbucks, and powered up.

It really was fun to just sit there and chat before the race. We went early so there would be plenty of time to relax. I hope this is a new race day tradition... (and yes, this is as good as it gets at 5:30 a.m.)

I got back home around 6:15, and took a hot shower and got ready to run. My smiley boys are always ready to go, no matter how early.

**Photo disclaimer: My tattoo on my face says 13.1- not 3.1, and no, I am not wearing lipstick, the chapstick I put on just made it look that way!

I LOVE THIS PHOTO! It is so blurry, but we were SOOO wired that morning. Erin had already had 3 cups of coffee, and I was just high on adrenaline! The boys weren't so amused.

The race took off at 8:00. This is such a beautiful picture of our city and racers.

The race took us from the downtown streets to the College Hill neighborhood. Erin had been following me in her car, but this was my first chance to see my other friends and family.

I took a quick moment and kissed each of the boys before running on. It was well worth the time wasted. Brian was there each time I ran by to offer me whatever I needed. I love those 3 more than anything in the world.

Here were a few of my favorite fans! They are always there to cheer me on. I am so lucky.

The miles were going by quickly, and I felt really good. I struggled a little with the brick roads, but nothing I couldn't get past. They felt like I was running in grass, or sand. It was just hard to get good footing. I was relieved to hit the pavement again at mile 6.5, and head back downtown.

This sign says it all...

The trip took us back down Douglas. My family actually drove by me on the opposite side of the road honking a screaming. That was a pick me up. I was also passed around mile 8 by the full marathon leader. So stinkin' fast!

After a quick trip back down Douglas, we had some twists and turns to run.

At mile 10 I hit my first major hiccup. I was having BAD cramping in both of my calves. I had charlie horses in both legs, and could no longer fully straighten them. Brian took this pic of me before he realized how much pain I was in.

When I made it to him, I was hollering for water, but no one had any. Brian ran next to me for a block or so giving me encouraging words. Spectators were hollering that there was a water station around the corner. I took advantage, and downed a cup of Gatorade and a cup of water.

The cramping subsided, and I pressed on. If ever there had been a moment to stop, it was now, but I was not giving up on my plans of RUNNING THE ENTIRE RACE.

I hit another wall around mile 12. I was just exhausted. I felt like I was running backwards, and the race would never end. People around me were stopping to walk. I decided that no matter what, I was going to press on. It felt really good to pass people, one at a time, I just kept going...

To the finish. At the very end, (like literally within 500 feet of the finish line) I was struck with the leg cramps again. Worse this time. I could see the finish line. At this point I was not able to put full pressure on my right leg for fear of severely injuring it while it was cramped up, so with a grimace on my face, and a limp in my stride I ran to the finish. I did it!

I was so relieved. The goal was met, and my race was run. The clock says 2:38:12, but my official time was 2:36:12 based upon the time chip in my bib. I was thrilled with that.

Here's a pic of Sara and I at the end!

And quite possibly my favorite moment of all... These are the friends and family that were there at the end to cheer me. Do you see the smile on my face. I will do it again.

This is a map of the race route, and I have added my times and a couple of notes about the race. Sorry it did not come out more clear.

All in all this was a great experience. I had such an amazing time with loved ones, and look forward to doing it again.

Finish time: 2:36:12
Pace 11:55

Favorite memory: I think what will stand out the most is just finishing this one. I will also remember the Armour family being EVERYWHERE. They were always just a couple of minutes ahead of me, and ready to cheer me on! I was so thankful for that.

Worst memory: I hope to never suffer leg cramps like that again.

What I will do the same: I will always go back to First Gear for running shoes. Running without foot pain is worth every dime.

What I will do different: I was actually scared of over hydrating myself (and needing to pee during the race), but next time I think I will forgo that possibility, and drink, drink, drink.

What made me laugh: The W-O clan driving down Douglas with their van doors open screaming at me.

What made me cry: I cried on the way downtown when I saw police cars starting to block the roads for the racers. At that moment it felt real.
Turkey Trot, here I come.


  1. AWESOME JOB MANDY!!! You should be ever so proud of yourself, running a half marathon is something not many people ever do and you are truly an inspiration to those people (read: me). The pictures were great, they really captured the feeling of the race! My favorite was you kissing your little guy! :)

  2. VERY, VERY proud of you!! Did you EVER think that you would be a marathon runner?!?! Now you can say that you are!!! You've got me inspired!

  3. Really impressed.

  4. So impressed, to say the least!!! You have so much to be proud of!

  5. FAB-U-LOUS! How lucky are you to have these wonderful photo memories of your day! ♥

  6. Mandy, I'm so glad I came and read this. I'm so very very proud of you.

  7. Congrats Mandy! Such an accomplishment! Proud of you! :)

  8. I'm so glad you got this all documented- and with pictures! It reads as a great story with a great ending. Super congrats on all that you have accomplished! I'm sorry we missed the carb party but I'd like to think I sent positive race vibes your way all that morning... :)