Where do I begin???
So, I decided sometime in May that I was going to run a half marathon. I chose The Route66 Marathon because a friend of mine ran it last year and said it was a beautiful run. The training began!
November came fast.....between school and kids sports I had no time to play around!
My husband and I arrived in Tulsa around 4:30. We had a difficult time finding the right exit to the Convention Center for packet pick-up. There were CLOSED signs on a lot of the signs....which was extremely frustrating. The fact that I was nervous didn't help. Why was I nervous? Not just the fact that I was going to run my first half marathon but while driving around we saw the START sign. The sign was near tons of hills. The hills were NOT little. I looked at my husband and said "I did NOT train on hills like this" I'm sure he could see the fear on my face. I can't remember his exact words but he said something like " Babe, you got this! They're just hills." We finally reached our destination and received my packet. There were a number of booths in the packet pick-up area. People were selling skinny wraps, gym memberships, running gear (of course), and messages. Runners took pictures next to the Route66 Marathon sign (I didn't...I was so nervous). I remember them being so excited.....like jumping around and smiling....I was not in the jumping smiley type of mood....I was quite.
I've heard and read that some runners have a hard time falling asleep the night before their race. Me? I slept like a baby!! I love my kids but I did not wake up in the middle of the night with a little leg pressing on my back or small arm on my face! LOL I woke up showered and decided I didn't want to go full make-up. Why?.. because it was going to be cold any way......25 degree weather with a wind chill of 12 kind of cold. I was worried about freezing...and the hills. I wore cold weather pants, a pair of running pants over them, a cold weather long sleeve shirt and a running jacket over it. (wicking material) I had tissue for my nose, chap stick, and ipod, and Gu in my running pouch. (looks like a mini fanny pack) I had gloves and a head band. I wasn't for sure if I had enough of everything. We checked out of the hotel and I had just enough time to grab a bagel....when I say bagel I mean 3. Yes. I said 3. I only had time to eat 1. I had to put on my trusty concealer and mascara. I tried to go without make-up.....I tried......... I just couldn't. LOL.
Finding the START line wasn't as hard as I though it would be. We just followed the many other people with bibs and running gear on. It was SOOOOO cold waiting in the corral!!! I put my headphones in and started listening to Pitbull radio on Pandora......This mama was jumping, smiling, and was hype!!! This was it!! The moment I had been training for was here!!! My heart was pounding. I was nervous. I was excited. I was ready to conquer some HILLS!!!
I was getting hype after hearing the announcer telling each group to go....Group A...feeling my music....Group B...its almost time...
Group C....we're moving.....I started taking deep breaths so that my chest could get used to the cold.....Gave the hubby one last kiss. I wouldn't see him until the finish line or so I thought. (goal 2:30) Group D.... I'm running a HALF MARATHON!!!!!!! 13.1 MILES!!!!!! WOOHHHOOO!!!!! Yep...that's what I was thinking!!
I got in the zone at this point. I started noticing that my pace was fast. I kept looking at my watch within the first mile. I tend to get a little excited and run an 8:30ish pace. I worked down to a 10 minute pace. I tried to stay there. After mile 3 I stopped looking at my watch.
The atmosphere within the runners was indescribable. The volunteers and spectators were so encouraging. I saw signs that said "You are strong".. "Keep going"..."I bet this sounded like a good idea 14 weeks ago"..... There were a lot others I just cant remember them all!! Around mile 4 I ran near a boy about 10-12 years old running. He looked so tired and began walking. I looked at him smiled and told him he was doing a good job! I can only imagine how proud his parent were as he crossed the finish line!
Mile 5 I got a call from my husband......
I was so happy he called. Usually mile 4-6 are my "Pep talk" miles. My body is telling my mind "Are ya sure you wanna do this to yourself?" around that time. My husband asked where I was. I told him "I just past the mile 5 marker"...He asked what my pace was.."9:40....Oh gosh! I cant look at my watch!"....I heard him say "I'M AT MILE 8". (no, he didn't yell....but it was amazing to hear) I wanted to cry!!!!! My babe was waiting for me at mile 8. I took out my Gu popped it in my mouth and said "Ok, I'm on my way!" I ran like nobodies business to mile 8. I honestly couldn't run fast enough. Mile marker 6....Remember this is part of the "pep talk" mile "Rich is waiting for you"...."You get to kiss your babe"...., mile marker 7, marker 8
There he is!!
This mama got a kiss and a smack on the booty!!!
I was energized and ready to run the rest of the way! I didn't think about how many miles I had to go. I enjoyed the scenery. The houses in this area where beautiful.
I started getting cold around mile 9....my calves were getting stiff. I decided to stop for about 2-3 mins to stretch and drink water.
Mile 10......this is the FURTHEST I've run!!
Mile 11......Woot Woot Wat Wat!!! LOL (seriously...I was excited to run 11 miles....) I chocked down tears.......really....I was running for my kids, for my family....Change starts with me....I'm going to leave a legacy. (even if its with running!) This was it....The hell I went through in my past no longer matters......It ends today!!! Life starts today!! I can do this!!
Mile 12....The Hills....were in plan sight....."Father help me".....(Prayed....This was the biggest fear of my run....hills) About that time my husband called "Babe, how you doin'? What mile are you on?" ....I told him "I'm doing good....I'm at mile 12....I'm coming to you babe"......
Not going to lie. I was trying to speed walk up the hills and run down them. I did that with the first two. I got to the top of one and seen a lady in front of me with a "Baby on board" sign on the back of her t-shirt...... I thought to myself "Danielle....SUCK IT UP and RUN!!" I picked up my pace....I could see the FINISH line. I wanted to walk so bad. I gave it all I had left....I sprinted to the finish line.
I just ran a HALF MARATHON!!!!....13.1 MILES!!!!!!.....Me......I did it!!!
I ran a half marathon in 25 degree weather.....and finished under my goal time.(official time 2:20:15) I have a PR set and I'm ready to beat it!
Beer for my biggest fan!!! My husband was the best through the whole run. I loved his encouraging words, calls, and booty smack!! I love my man!! I'm very blessed!
I started this journey because I wanted to get healthy. Diabetes and other types illness run in my family. I wanted to make a change for myself and my kids. I ran my first 5k in March and never thought I would ever run a half marathon. I'm hooked on this running thing!! LOL
My husband and I plan on running the Full Marathon at the Memorial Run in OKC. Hope to see you there!!!