Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hardcore Holidays

Since the half I haven't done much running. I climbed back on the lazy train pretty fast. It was nice to get home from work and not feel like I HAD to go run. However, I wanted to get back to running, I planned to get hardcore and do some running over Thanksgiving. Danielle and I met up Thanksgiving morning for the 4 mile Turkey Trot around the Old Port.

I had never run this before....given the fact I had never run ANY race until this past June, that makes sence:-) All I knew was that it was a 2 mile loop full of hills that we ran twice. Sweet!

And because we ran the loop twice, it means we ran all those stupid hills twice...including this one. Bogus.

After the race I went home and enjoyed Thanksgiving with my amazing family, watched football, took a nap and watched Home Alone...twice:-) Danielle and I ventured back out for a Midnight Fun Run in Freeport. We really had no idea what we were in for...but since we are hardcore, we were up for anything. Turns out the run was chasing Santa on his red harley around Freeport. haha. They said it was a "1 mile run". Mmm not so much. Try like .5 miles. Oh well....we got a sweet LL Bean water bottle free for running....I'll take it. We went to some shops that opened at midnight and then headed home. To complete the hardcore weekend we got up and braved the mall for black friday shopping and then tonight will celebrate Danielles 29th Birthday!!! Woot Woot!:-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chilly Half Marathon Recap

So It's been a week since I ran my first half marathon, and I am finally getting around to writing my recap.

My mom and dad arrived around 2:30 to pick us up and head to Newton. As soon as my mom arrive, I lost it...which you will see is one of many times I cried this weekend. She told me I didn't have to do this, that no one was making me and I told her we WERE going and I WAS running. There was no choice in that.WIth that, I collected myself and we were off. Our first stop was the Nike outlet in Kittery....I still hadn't gotten pants to wear and the forecast predicted rain. My awesome husband bought me a new pair of running pants, a new shirt and ear warmers!:-)

It was pouring rain all the way to Newton which I was less than thrilled about I just kept picturing running the race in a downpour...awesome. So we made it, and ventured out to find a carb filled dinner! mmmm, I love carbs. I never did make it to the store before I left to get my bananas and peanut butter for my breakfast so we planned to find a store while we were in Newton. However, after dinner driving around town was not our idea of fun. I had this brilliant idea (I know...shocker) that room service could deliver me something yummy:-) I called when I got back to the room only to find out that room service doesn't start until 6:30am...BOGUS! I explained to the nice lady that I needed to eat around 5:00am and all I wanted was some bananas and peanut butter! She sent up a huge fruit bowl with a giant scoop of peanut butter on the side for me that night! I'll totally stay there again!:-)

All night long I was getting 'good luck' texts from my friends. I had planned to save them and post a few of the good ones on here....there were some good ones!:-) Buuuuuuut, I deleted them the other day by mistake...booo. I made myself go to sleep around 9:30 and my alarm was set for 4:45...yikes! Who would of thought I would wake up BEFORE my alarm..oh yes, I did. I got up to shut the alarm off on my phone when I noticed I had a new text...from Twitter. It said "for @gksarahj5 (thats me) ive run races in the snow, heat & rain, ive been hurt, hungover, sleepless & alone... it makes u HARDCORE! just DO it :-)" clearly i started crying one was awake yet and I crawled back into bed and layed there for a little while. I collected myself, yet again and got up and got ready for the day.
We arrived to the start about an hour before the race. I had to pick up my packet annnnnnd I got a small t-shirt! I was excited! The closer it got to race time, the more excited I was getting. Forget all the nerves, tear, and fears I had...this was it! I got a few more texts....
"Good Luck. Kick the half marathon's butt. We are proud of you!"

" GO GO GO. Run hard, don't be afraid to walk, and don't drink the colored water"

" Good Luck sexy runner girl!"

My mom was super camera happy....a few pre race pics....

Before I knew it, I was off.....annnnd crying again (this makes #3). The first 4 miles flew by. Usually those are my worst miles and I want to crawl in a hole and die until I get in my rhythm. I was feeling great. There was a girl running next to me for most of this, before she fell behind. I was passing people, I felt great, and I had a good pace going, I was having FUN! I big debate I had before the race was if I should wear my long sleeve shirt or not. I decided to, but at mile 1.5ish it came off. It was quite a scene because of course I didn't stop to take it off...just kept running. The old lady next to me tried to help...I assured her I was ok:-) I made it to mile 6.2 some where around 57:00. I was pleased because my goal has been to run a 10K in under an hour....and had this been a 10K, I would have done it. Alas....I had 7 more miles left! This is also where the "gentle hills" kicked in. I'm not so sure gentle is the word I would use to describe them. Of course I can't remember now, but I think there were only 4 or 5 but they were long, winding, steep hills. Thank you to the nice lady and her 2 little boys who served water 3/4 of the way up the worst hill! I forced myself not to walk and to keep going....which I did. My pace slowed down quite a bit though from about mile 7 on.

The course was so pretty, it was all through residential areas and HUGE mansions and some wealthy neighborhoods. It was kind of cool not knowing where the course was going, there were a lot of turns. After I passed mile 9 I realized that every step I took after would the the longest run I had ever had. I chatted with a nice lady for a while who told me that we were done with the hills and it was flat the rest of the way! I promptly told her I needed a massive downhill and a drink of water and I'd be ok:-) I am assuming she lived in the area since she stooped at a house, took off her jacket, thew it in the front door and then picked up her newspaper and tossed it on her front steps and continued on. At some point I was behind a lady and the back of her shirt read "....and I'm getting married next weekend" I really wanted to know what the front said, but didn't have the energy to get up to her to read it.

Finally, mile 10!! Only 3 more left. I can do this. ANNNNNND I was surprised to see Ruddley waiting for me. He ran the last 3 miles with me. I needed it so bad. He asked how I was doing and if I had stopped to walk yet and I told him I was hanging in and had not stopped yet. He replied "I'm so proud, I love you". He told me my family was up ahead waiting for me....

Mile 11!

In all the excitement of seeing my family and getting water, I missed the mile 11 sign. For the next mile I thought I was STILL on mile 10. I was so mad. I knew I was running slow and stopping to walk at times, but I knew I had to be farther then that!. I yapped at Ruddley for most of mile 11 and all of 12 telling him how much my butt and hips hurt! He was such a good supporter and continued to remind me how many french fries I can have on the way home!:-) We finally got to mile 12 and I was shocked....but soooo happy I was closer then I thought. Just 1 more mile!!! This was the LONGEST mile ever!!! We started to smell some food cooking and we thought it was from the finish line party, turns out that was not the case, and Ruddley says "can you smell that? LETS GO!". Apparently he knows what motivates me...mmm fooooood!

We rounded the corner onto the last stretch, he pointed out the finish line to me and I put my head down and gave it everything I had. I started crying one. last. time. I had the BIGGEST smile and I was soooo happy. I could see my family waiting for me and the announcer announced me as I came through the gate.

I was soo happy to be done. All I wanted was a big glass of water so I went to this tent where the lady had a ton of water. Of course it was some "special" water and she felt the need to tell me all about how great it was for you. All I wanted was the stupid water with no explanation! My family met me and mom was was again camera happy and I seriously couldn't even stand on my 2 feet without almost falling over. In a matter of 5 minutes my legs were in sooo much pain...all I wanted to do was sit down. I made an attempt to go into the school for the little awards ceremony thing but that was a major fail. I needed to sit ASAP.
With that, we hopped in the car and ventured home. I really thought I would sleep the entire way...but I was still so excited that I talked everyones ears off:-) Once I got home, I showered, changed and made a home on my couch for the rest of the day!:-)

I can't wait to run my next half! Ruddley is already planning to run his first.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's finally here...12 weeks later...

Wow. I seriously can't believe 12 weeks has already passed. For a while I felt like I race day would never come and now here it is, tomorrow morning! I can tell you right now this blog is not going to be any kind of organized thoughts because I have so much going through my mind right now--

My weekend started Thursday night at 10:00pm and since I got out of work I have done nothing but think about this race. Am I ready? Will I have to stop and walk? Can I do it? Am I in over my head? What will I wear? Will it be cold? Is it going to rain? YIKES!!! Danielle and I had our usual "we're bored and both have the day off, lets go to the mall" trip yesterday where I tried on 3 pairs of running pants and 2 long sleeve shirts. I found a pair I really like and think we will stop at the Nike outlet on the way to the race today and see if they have them. I thought I knew what I was going to wear a few weeks ago but I wore it on my 10-mile disaster run and decided that was NOT the outfit for me. My pants were falling down, the under armour long sleeve was riding was quite a scene.

Part of me really can't believe I am doing this. That I have worked hard, all on my own, to run this race. Just 9 months ago 13.1 miles was something I never dreamed of doing.....ever. After I started running some races I thought it would be cool to do, but quickly talked myself out of it. Finally I said "just do it" which also happens to be the motto for the month of November thanks to Danielle.

I feel like I have a lot to do today:
*I need to finish my laundry and make sure my socks, sports bra and underwear I need are all fresh and ready to go
*Print out all the info for the race, I don't want to get there and find out what I need is 2 1/2 hours north.
*Go to the store and get some Bananas/peanut butter for race day breakfast along with some other stuff. What that is, I'm not quite sure.
*Pack my bags which will probably include every piece of running apparel I have (which isn't much yet) because I can't make up my mind what I want to wear and if my shopping trip is a major fail I need a plan B.
* Charge my ipod!! This is the most to have clothes to wear:-) The race website says "ipods are highly discouraged" which in my world means, I can wear them. It also says if you wear them you will not be eligible for any awards...HELLO!? Have we met? The only award I might win is the "best turtle pace" award. I'm not worried.
*Finish cleaning my house. I know when I get home on Sunday, cleaning is NOT what I will want to do and I hate starting the week off with a dirty house.

Another thing that is stressing me out is that the packet pick up was on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and race day. I live about 2 1/2/ hours north of the race and there was no way I was going to drive down to pick it up and drive back in the middle of the week (although I seriously thought about it). In an email I got from the race people it said that t-shirt sizes are not guaranteed. I was pissed. I love the shirts, thats why I register early, so I can get the "free" shirt! I told Ruddley the only size left would probably be an XL, so he would get to wear it and pretend like he ran the race, not me. haha. He liked the idea. I just wish on the morning of the race I didn't have to worry about picking up my packet....I'd like to be able to relax. Oh well. Guess I don't have to worry about forgetting my number or timing chip.

It's now about 7:00am- I've been tossing and turning all night and finally got up around 6:30 in hopes that writing this blog will help me clear my head and be able to get a little more sleep before I start my day. My parents and my awesome little brother are picking Ruddley and I up at 2:00 today. We'll pack the car and head south. My roommate and his girlfriend are in Boston this weekend, I'm hoping we can meet them for dinner tonight and I'm really hoping to see them at the finish line tomorrow.

I guess that's it for now... 24 hours and 20 minutes until the gun goes off. Wish me luck!
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