This is Part 2 of my race report.
My first Half Marathon! What an accomplishment. It’s still kind of hard to believe that I did this. Heh. I’m back from a half session Deep Tissue massage at BW Pasadena. I highly recommend Miles! When I saw him, I thought, “Oh yeah! He worked on me the first time I went to BW Pas! Cool!” A fun reunion. Tip: If you’ve watched Dexter, you know who Doakes is. Miles knows Doakes IRL! 😉
Alright, so here goes the Actual Day:
On Sunday morning, we all woke up at 5:20am. All four of us had a hard time sleeping at the Vagabond Inn. For me, I didn’t have enough head support with the flat pillow. For Nick, it was too hot. For Washy, Nick woke her up when he went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. For The Hubs, my iPod was lit up (I was trying to watch a movie on my iPod to make me sleepy – didn’t work) for hours.
Washy and I got ready and went downstairs to eat our breakfasts. I brought bread and peanut butter with me; Washy brought her oatmeal. There was no way we were going to stray from our normal breakfast routines. The husbands went to drop some bags in the cars and walked back. We walked to the start of the race – that was the best thing about the Vagabond Inn (and the hotel that should have been – Courtyard by Marriott) – it was really close walking distance to the start/finish line.
We stood around Wave 6 (my wave) and took a few photos. Then Washy had to head to Wave 2, with the rest of the FAST runners. 🙂
So the Waves start to go, and The Hubs moves away from the crowd. I’m standing there alone and thinking, “Damn, I have to go to the bathroom AGAIN for the 3rd time!” I debate whether to suck it up and go later on the route or just head to the bazillions of porta-potties off to the side. The bladder wins, and I end up starting later than my Wave (7:25am). There were still lines for the porta-potties; and man, thank god I pocketed a lot of tissues before I left the hotel. There was no more toilet paper! Leaving the porta-potty area, I spot Jazzmin! (My old-now-reconnected-through-Facebook-elementary-school friend!) She’s doing the 5K and waiting for the start, and I’m running to get going. We wish each other good luck and I go.
Miles 1-3: Meh. I started out running down Shoreline Drive, past The Pike area before I did my walking. I definitely did not follow my usual 3mins run/1min walk routine. I was all over the place, especially when there were inclines. Dang! We were running on the on-ramps and off-ramps and little sidestreets and bridges. I felt kind of meh about these first few miles until I got across the bridge and got back to “civilization.”I tried to concentrate on my breathing as I kept going.
I see Mile 4 marker and I think, “Oh this is supposed to be my shitty mile” – as it almost always is at the Rose Bowl. And I’m also thinking, “Ok, I only have 10 more miles to go! And I’ve done that before! Whee!”
I laughed when I saw the Bubba Gump shrimp costume doing the “Cha cha slide.” I think this was around Mile 5?
Throughout the rest of the route, I found myself dodging a lot of people who were walking in packs. Seriously, I wish there was a rule for “slower” people – MOVE TO THE SIDE or MOVE TO ONE SIDE of the route! This includes ME – I’m totally conscientious and considerate when I walking or running slow. Shit. Do the same for me!
We got to the parking lot near the after-race party area and I was feeling pretty good. I was pacing a few women whom I thought would be good to follow. (And I was right!)
We hit the beach boardwalk and I was doing well. A little slow, I felt, but still working. Here I think we were on Miles 7-9. I had been following Sheryl’s advice to eat my Sport Beans while walking, plus I was taking water at almost every water station. I’m glad I had my hydration belt with me – I could have water whenever I needed it.
Right near the end of Mile 9 and the start of 10, it was the last incline from the beach up to the street in Belmont Shore. UGH!! This was the worst part of my run. I didn’t train with inclines or hills, so these really pained me. At this point my feet started to hurt and my thighs were getting tight.
I noticed we had run past a 7-Eleven and a Carl’s Jr (?) – my stomach was empty and I was hungry. Heh! So I had the last half of my 2nd pack of Beans and more water.
Going through Mile 11, I could see the MARATHONERS running next to us. Wow. I couldn’t help but notice them while I panted along Shoreline Drive. Then I saw a man without a shirt… with a HAIRY back, running the marathon. Then I re-focused my eyes on the road. No one needs to see a hair back. That’s not motivation. That’s just mean.
At this point, I’m doing about one song’s worth of running and one song’s worth of walking. Plus I’m thinking about carbs. In my head, I’m debating on having pasta for lunch or if the carbo-loading thing was pre-race only. :p Mile 12 comes around, and I’m elated. I’m so emotional, I want to cry with joy. But I suck it up like a straight man and not cry.
I see a cop blocking traffic and he’s cheering everyone on “It’s all down hill from here! Come on!” I ALSO hear a guy roar really loud “Come on, chase me! Let’s go!! Qualify for Boston!!” Everyone on the Half Marathon side turns around and sees this guy yelling at this woman’s face, “cheering” her on. He was freaking scary. Obviously, they were training together, but damn… he just sounded so mean.
I think I missed the Mile 13 sign, but I know I’m almost home-free because I see Alamitos Ave!! Now I’m just SPRINTING down to the finish line! (It also doesn’t hurt that the last 0.2 miles is downhill.) I’m almost home free! Home free!
And guess what is blocking me? THREE runners running together side by side – creatingÂ A WALL. What do I do? I cut the old guy off and run as fast as I can to the finish line. I have no more manners in me – I want to fucking FINISH. No old man is going to bring me down!
I hear Washy and Nick yelling my name and cheering! I see The Hubs taking a photo! I am laughing as I cross the line. Whew!
In the end, I finished in 3 hours and 11 mins. That’s 4 minutes faster than my goal of 3:15! Hurrah!!
Washy also PR’d – she was hoping to finish in 2hours. She finished at 1:51!! Awesome job!
Anita PR’d too! I believe her time was 3:15!! Radness!
Overall – this was a really wonderful, emotional, kind of painful experience! I won’t forget it. And I’m pretty tempted to sign up for another Half Marathon…