This past weekend was like any other weekend. Get off work Friday, hang out with the hubs, and wake up early Saturday to go to race expo to pick up my packet, go to lunch with friends for Lauren's birthday, and check out the new 4Runners at Toyota dealership. You know the usual.
Except it wasn't!!!!!
This weekend was one of the MOST memorable weekends. After 6 months of training I was finally going to complete my goal of running 13.1 miles! How insane is that?? It was last May/June when Lauren and I went to lunch and out of the blue she said "you should run a half marathon!" I said, "No, no, WE should run a half marathon!" I had been running for exercise purposes only at that time. 3 miles here and there. No big deal. Well Lauren planted the seed in my little brain and from there the idea blossomed. She of course agreed to join me in this adventure - I think she was a little more pumped about this than me - as did two of our other friends Alison and Mark. This won't be that bad, right? I mean we're all in this together.
As the months passed by and the miles started increasing, I almost second guessed my decision. Maybe a couple of times actually. It was rough. 3 miles was now 7, 8, 9, etc. Those longer runs didn't seem to come as easy to me as I had hoped. There were days when I would come back in from a 9 or 11 mile run and feel so sick. I wouldn't get off the couch until 3! Part of my problem was not really knowing what to eat while I ran. I would try out new things and they would NOT work for me at all. But it was always very empowering to go over to my schedule and "X" off one of those bigger runs. What a feeling that was! I felt like I had really accomplished something!
As the training progressed, the 13 miler crept up on us. I decided to run that one with Lauren. We had been running all of our runs separate but we knew we were pretty much the same pace. That was probably one of my best runs I had had up to that point. It felt so good and I never felt like I was drained - physically or mentally. We finished 13 miles in 2:02.40. We both looked at each other after and said "you know what that means!" Knowing how competitive each of us is, we wanted to try to break 2 hours for the half. That was each of ours secret goal. :)
13 mile Before/After shot - stole this from Lauren :)
chocolate milk! best recovery drink ever!!
my poor feet and legs. they took a beating.
Fast forward to this weekend. What a blast!! Saturday we all met up and headed to the expo to pick up all of our goodies. I kept telling myself to take it all in. There was so much to see and it was really awesome to be there with all the runners - and to be one myself! We picked up our packets and shirt and walked around for a bit. After grabbing some cowbells and posters we headed out. It was Lauren's birthday on Friday so we went to lunch and then went home so we could all get some rest for the big day.
Running group! Me, Lauren, Ali and Mark
Me and my partner - Ski!
4:00 am came extremely fast the next morning. I had gone to bed at 9 and slept the entire night so I felt pretty good and rested. I had all my stuff laid out the night before so I wouldn't be rushed. The chip was on my shoes and I was ready to go! We made our way back to Lauren's where we all met up and then had the boys drop all 4 of us off! I really wasn't nervous. I was actually pretty pumped! We listened to a few jams on the ride over and I think it got me in the zone ;) We got inside the convention center and hung out for about 30 minutes; stretching and using the lovely port-a-cans! Then we made way to the start line!
Awesome signs Aaron made us all! The one he's holding reads:
"You better pick up the pace if you want some C-Lubes"
I about died!!! C-Lubes?? Maybe, CLoubs. Oh and he so
funnily puts a 2 hour time frame in order to get my "C-Lubes"
This is when the adrenaline starts pumping! They have music playing and you're shoulder to shoulder with 20,000 of your closest friends. All these maniacs out here ready to sweat their brains out to run this thing! Oh, it was an awesome feeling my friends. I did several "woo-hoo's" and "holla's!" That's when the gun went off and we were on our way to dominating 13.1 miles!
The first couple of miles were slow. Weaving in and out of people to get to a less crowded area. I feel like we spent the first 3 miles doing this. But it went by so fast! The first 6 miles flew by. Before I knew it I was looking down at my watch and we had already been running for an hour. We were checking off miles right and left. We were able to see our wonderful support group at mile 4.5. That was so awesome! I am so happy that all of our families came out to cheer us on! I almost got a little teary eyed when I ran by and saw all the signs and heard all the encouraging words! Aaron had stayed up making us all signs the night before (see above). I wasn't allowed to see them until the next day and they were hilarious! I also loved the ones my mom and little sis made. So cute and sparkly!
momma, chels and gabby :)
Lauren's, Ali's and my mommas - aren't they adorable??
Little sis of mine, Gabby - love her!
Lauren and I kept trucking along. Each mile felt faster. I think it was mile 9 or 10 that I started getting weak. My arch of my right foot had been hurting since Saturday and was acting up again. My legs weren't too tired, but I just felt drained. We started making our way back downtown and it felt like the longest stretch. The course was relatively flat, but we had a lot more inclines than I was anticipating. I was used to running on the sidewalks of my neighborhood so the hills were getting to me. I started losing my pace and I would speed way up then slow down. At mile 12 I had a "vurp" - you know a vomit burp. Egh, not a nice feeling. Totally burned!! I have never thrown up after a run, but after the vurp, I felt like I might. We were so close and I knew there was no giving up. We pushed through and sped up a little through the last mile. We had several turns in the last stretch so I couldn't get a feel for where the finish line was. That annoyed me! I wanted to see it so I could know I was getting close. After the last turn I finally caught a glimpse of the big blue arch! Ahhh!! Almost home :)
We had one more family sighting and that really helped kick me into gear! We made it this far and I wanted to go out with a bang! The announcer was there at the end along with all the cameras and I did a fist pump and a woohoo and I heard "Alright Nicole!" The announcer called my name! Holla!! Then I raced on in to the finish line. This is when I ran smack dab into some old man that had come to a complete stop! I totally jacked the dude! Whoops. Yeah so my finish line video is kind of funny!
obviously I was a little excited here :)
so close you can almost taste it!
Final time: 2:02.40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was more than happy with our time! Lauren and I finished the exact same time so that was pretty sweet too! We started this thing together and we were going to finish it together. How close were we to breaking 2 hours though?!? Now I know what my goal will be if I decide to challenge myself to another 13.1! ;)
after the race pics!
me and my boy :)
the 13.1 group! So proud of all of us!
After the race, we met up with all of our families and then went to have mimosas and brunch! It was such an incredible day! All the training, sweat and tears that led up to race day were totally worth it! I'm still a little on the sore side today but nothing too bad.
mi familia at Cyclones for bottomless mimosas!
PS I have the best family ever :) I just love them. They were
amazing and I couldn't ask for a better support group!
Next up is a 10K race in February that the fam and I are running in together! Should be fun and hopefully a breeze from the half. I'm going to try to continue short runs here and there. I probably won't be waking up extra early on Saturdays to get in 11 miles though. I'm ready for a break and to reconnect my relationship with the elliptical! Poor thing has been sitting dormant for the last 6 months!