Sunday, February 17, 2013

My First and Last Half Marathon

There were three points in this race when I thought I was going to cry:
  1. About a mile in it just kind of hit me, I'm doing this.  It was overwhelming and intense.
  2. About mile 10, when I knew there were 3 more miles.  My feet hurt intensely and my stomach was spasming/cramping.
  3. At mile 13, with a tenth of a mile to go.  A friend told me that I should sing the Chariots of Fire song loudly as I crossed the finish line.  I started humming/singing it and almost starting sobbing (it's a very emotional song). Since I didn't want to cross the finish line as a hysterical mess, I quickly focused on something else.
I went into this race with several goals:
  1. Finish it (if possible in under 3 hours)
  2. Have as much fun as possible
  3. Not pee, poop, or puke in inappropriate places
I mostly accomplished these.  I'm trying not to be too disappointed about being over 3 hours (it was just 5 minutes and 48 seconds, but I know I could have done better).  There were pacers for various speeds, one of which was a man holding a 3:00 sign.  He led a group in walking and jogging at a pace that would have them finish at exactly 3 hours.  I was with them until about mile 1, when I passed them and stayed well ahead of them until mile 12, when they passed me.  By that point, my stomach was cramping so badly that keeping up with them was out of the question (I tried briefly).

Somehow I was born with a stomach that does not like mornings.  If I get up earlier than my routine, my stomach seems to know and will not allow food in before it's normal breakfast time.  When I woke up this morning at 5:11am I knew that I needed to eat something fairly substancial, but trying to eat made me feel like I was going to puke.   I finally managed half a banana and most of my hot tea, not really the breakfast of champions.  I was able to eat another banana as we walked to the starting line, but I wish I could have managed more.  I think this is what made the last third of the race miserable for me.

I think the combination of anxiety and not eating properly was really hard on my stomach.  It didn't stop spasming/cramping until 5 or 6 hours after the race.  Hopefully it will be normal again tomorrow.

I did have quite a bit of fun, more so in the first 10 miles.  Everyone running had a story.  I got a chance to hear some of them: a group of 130 teens from New York flew in to run to raise money for HASC-- a program for special needs children; a woman who had heart surgery a couple years before; a woman running in memory of a friend's daughter.  I was inspired by their stories.

I expecting to have pain in my fat leg.  I did, but only until mile 2 or 3 and not unbearably.  There was a big hill right before the second mile marker.  Hills hurt my leg like crazy.  I started up it chanting, "this will hurt, but I can do it."  I'm not sure what the people around me thought, but it helped. 

I wasn't running with anyone since all my friends are faster than me.  I needed company, so I used social media and texting.  That worked fairly well except typing and running is hard.

I don't think I ever want to do that again.  I'm not sure if I'm glad I did it this time.  Natural childbirth was easier and hurt less and I got a baby at the end.  

1 comment:

  1. Melody, well done. You're an inspiration. This post - talking to strangers and learning their story - actually makes running a half-marathon sound like fun to me. The thought is in my brain now. I'm not sure if I can forgive you.