Sunday, May 23, 2010

Half Marathon

Many of you know that I conquered my first half marathon on April 25, 2010. That was exactly 4 weeks ago today. The entire experience made me want to shout from rooftops yet left me speechless and humbled at the same time.
It was great to cross the finish line after running 13.1 miles, but to me it was the JOURNEY that really mattered. Every ounce of my very being went into running and training for that day. I trained and conditioned my body for months. The countless hours on the trails, running on ice, passing out, blistered feet, and worn out shoes were all part of an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.
So here are some pics I know several of you have been patiently waiting to view. Enjoy!

My clothes all ready to go the next morning.

My good luck charm!

Courage, Strength, Resolve

Sporting my running gear... Ready to RUN!

I woke up super early and headed to downtown OKC at 5am. My parents were wonderful and drove me to the racing site. Along the way I enjoyed a small bowl of greek yogurt with 1/2 banana and some peanut butter and a sprinkling of rolled oats. I've been known to start a long run without eating first and I regret it once I'm a few miles out. Eating was a priority that morning. I also enjoyed about 6 ounces of coffee.
I met up with Aunt Amy by the Survivor Tree. We then joined up with the rest of her running group from work. They were all so sweet and eager to run. I just loved their energy and passion so early in the morning. Maybe it's a banker thing?!
We all headed over to the starting line... er, a long ways from the start, but we were still in line. It was so exciting when the run started. We were so far back in the line that it actually took several minutes for us to get to the starting line. Funny how that works. Some of the real competitive runners were probably already 2 miles in by the time we reached the start.
It was really tough in the beginning because Amy and I were trying to pass people who were slower than us.... ya know, runners that were even slower than our already slow and all the walkers. I say trying because we really did have to try to pass them. There were people everywhere! You'd go around one group of racers only to come across more. We eventually worked our way out from the back of the pack and it thinned out a bit. That was nice!
Around mile 3 my darn right knee started bothering me again. I would think and remind myself why I was participating in the event. My knee pain was temporary and very minor compared to the lifetime of pain that is experienced by the family members and friends of those whose lives were taken on April 19, 1995. That thought just kept things in perspective for me... it kept me going.
We were pretty far in and I stopped at a medical tent to have my knee quickly wrapped. The support provided relief for a few minutes, but my body was just telling me that it had enough for the day. I didn't care about the pain because I was finishing the race whether I ran, walked, or crawled across that finish line.
Amy and I ran together the entire way. It was so great talking to her along the way. If you really want to know someone on a deeper level, run with them for 13.1 miles. I think we both learned a lot about each other that day.

About to cross the finish line...

Veni, Vidi, Vici!

"Yeah, I did it!"

I grabbed a ton of food so I could fuel back up after the run. Running makes me so incredibly hungry. I think I immediately downed a banana, several fig newtons, 2 Nutter Butter cookies, 1/2 bagel, pretzels, bottled water, and a powerade. Soon after I ate some of the meat out of the burger and then handed it off to my Dad. I let myself splurge and have ONE CHEAT DAY. Once I arrived to my parents house I enjoyed a rice krispie treat with peanut butter smeared all over it and all sorts of other food. I was SO HUNGRY that day! My metabolism must have been through the roof!

Me with my biggest running supporters = my parents ; )

Me with some of the fam

Me and Aunt Amy
Amy is a survivor and the reason I signed up to run this half marathon.
Thank you for inspiring, encouraging, and believing in me, Amy!!!

A token to remember the day.

What's next? ; )

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