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 We are half and full marathoners!
And 5Ker’s too!

We ran our first half-marathon on May 7th, 2011 in Frederick, MD. I know…it has been a while since we ran, and I have been wanting to post a blog about it, but it seems like every time I sat down to start writing it, I just didn’t know what to write. So here goes nothing!

Unlike when we ran the marathon in Baltimore, I did not carry my camera while I ran, and for a couple of reasons. 1) We were running this half-marathon separately, and 2) I was running with a specific time goal.

I had some people asking me what my goal was before I actually ran, and I was hesitant to say what it was because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to hit that goal. When I went and picked up our race packets I sign-up with one of the Geico Pace groups…the 1:55 pace group to be exact! When you sign-up, they give you a wrist band with the times for each mile that you can wear if you want, so I took one home with me. After looking that the wrist band, and seeing all those times and just how fast I would have to be running, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to pull off running a sub-2 hour half-marathon. The sub-2 hour half was my goal! So did I do it…keep reading!

YES! WOW! I DID IT! I didn’t know if I was going to be able to push through and hit my goal! A huge thanks goes out to the 1:55 Geico Pacers and Ray J. (A fellow DailyMiler) who came up behind me around the 11 mile mark, I was able to get my sub-2 hour half-marathon. The support and encouragement really helped to push me through the hill at the end and push it to the finish line. Thank you, Ray J. for sticking with me to help me hit my goal. 🙂

My head started to get in the way around mile 4, as I wasn’t sure if I could keep pace for the next 9.1 miles. Then, I stopped thinking about that and just ran. The crowd was pretty good and supportive as well. It was at this point that I realized I was also ahead of the Geico pacers, I has actually gotten ahead of them around the mile 3 water stop. I wasn’t too worried about being a head of them because according to my Garmin and the wristband, I was right on pace. I knew I would probably slow down a little later in the race and wanted to just keep going while I was feeling pretty good.

Me running the half. Not sure where this was taken, but I am guessing around mile 7 or so. It seemed like I was always running into the sun and couldn’t see. I didn’t even see the photographer! Can you tell?! 🙂

I felt pretty good until about mile 10 and that was where I started to slow down a little bit. The hill around there really got to me and the sun was very hot at this point in the race! Thankfully, there was a nice breeze every now and then, and it always seemed to come right when I needed it.

When I hit the 11 mile mark my legs were hurting, but I knew I just needed to keep going. I couldn’t stop now! I was SO close! I was really glad to see the Geico Pacers and Ray J., as I don’t think I would have been able to do it without them. They gave me just that little bit extra that I needed to finish. If it wasn’t for them, I know I wouldn’t have hit my sub-2 hour goal! Ray J. kept telling me, “You got this!” Although, I wasn’t as sure about it as he was! 🙂 I finished pretty strong, of course, not as strong as I would have liked. I remember turning the corner and seeing the last hill before the race to the finish line. I wasn’t sure if this hill was going to be the end of my goal, or, if I would be able to push through it and finish what I set out to do. At one point, I do remember telling Ray J. “I don’t know how much I have left.” I guess it was enough because I pushed through that final hill, gave a little boy a high 5 on my way up it, (which I later found out was another fellow DailyMiler’s little boy! How cool is that?!), that put a huge smile on my face, and knew that this race was mine! I WAS going to get that sub-2 hour half! And I did! Not only was it a sub-2 hour, but I cleared that 2 hour mark by 5 whole minutes! 1:55:31 was my official chip time!

Me crossing the finish line! I love this photo! And Ray J. is on the far right side in blue!

I am super proud of myself and so thankful to my husband, Rob, who let me run this race, so I could try for my goal. I have to admit though, it was really weird not running with him, and thought about him while I was running as well.

Rob running the half! He obviously saw the photographers!

It was so crowded at the end that I didn’t even get to see him finish! 😦 But, he did! He ran a great race as well! 2:16:16! So proud of you, baby!

Rob crossing the finish line!

Before the race started, we met up with some fellow DailyMilers (luckily some of them had a camera)— Heather R., Achillex aka Ernie, Michael C., and Patty E. It was so nice to finally meet some DM’ers. Thank you all so much for the support! It is greatly appreciated!

From left to right: Rob, Me, Patty, Michael, Heather, and Ernie.

Oh, and my back was not a problem at all during the half-marathon! But, my legs were sure giving me what for afterwards 🙂 A little back pain after the half-marathon and before the 5K, but not too bad! All that rest definitely was the right thing, even though it was very difficult!

Now, that is a GREAT way to start your 30’s!

Here are my official stats for the half-marathon:

Clock time: 1:56:05
Chip time: 1:55:31
Overall: 1009/3864
Female Place: 302/2076
Division Place: 60/322
8 Mile Rank:1022
8 Mile Time: 1:09:32
Total Pace: 8:49

Here are some pictures from after the half-marathon!

Ray J. and I with our medals!

Me with my medal!

Rob with his medal!

Us with our medals!

Rob with his medal as soon as he finished!

Me showing off my medal as soon as I finished!
I think I was a little dizzy and shaky, hence how I am standing!

5K/Nut Job Challenge

As I said before…we also ran a 5K the same day and only a couple of hours apart!

What was I thinking?! Ha, ha! Definitely NOT my best 5K time, but I just didn’t have a lot left after running my best (and first) half-marathon ever! I was not feeling very good about 15 minutes before the start either, and Rob wasn’t going to let me run it. But, I promised a run/walk just so we could finish it. We were standing in the sun waiting to line up and the heat really got to me. I got very dizzy, eye sight was blurry, and my ears were ringing. I went to the shade, sat down, and drank some water for about 10 minutes until we were ready to start. I felt fine by the start of the race, except for my legs, but it was definitely very scary!

Me running the 5k! Saw this photographer! Notice the water bottle!

It was the hardest and longest 3.1 miles of my life. My legs hurt and were cramping, which made it very difficult to run. I don’t think the 2-1/2 hours in between the half and the 5K helped either.

But, Rob and I finished it…he would have totally kicked my butt in the 5K today, but he was so sweet to stay with me and finish it out. I believe we probably walked close to half the race and only ended up about 10-1/2 minutes slower than I would have liked. Not too bad considering the circumstances!

Us crossing the 5K finish line!

As soon as we crossed the finish line! I was so happy to be finished!

5K finishers photo!
I will definitely take my half-marathon time, over trying for a 5K PR today! I have more opportunities to do the 5K in under 30 minutes and I don’t have to run 13.1 miles first! 🙂

Official 5K stats:

Clock Time: 42:04
Chip Time : 40:32
Overall Place: 774 / 985
Gender Place: 436 / 601
Division Place: 72 / 95
Total Pace: 13:05

Here are my totals for both the Half and 5K:

Finished 28th (even with that horrible 5K time) for the female finishers! I guess I will take it!

Series Total: 2:36:03.80

Other race photos:

Our race swag!

The Medal!

Me after getting home and cleaned up with my Nut Job t-shirt and medal on!
I was trying to not look exhausted, but I was!