So yesterday, I ran my first half marathon. I honestly still can’t believe it, but let’s rewind a little…
Saturday morning I woke up and got myself packed – its crazy how much stuff you have to bring with you when you travel for a race! I made a good breakfast to start the day off right – –
2 eggs (pan fried with a lid over them so the top cooked too – my new favorite way!) (4 pts), a sliced tomato from my CSA, and a toasted bagel thin (1). Then we got on the road up to Philly and the traffic was pretty bad, so I ended up cutting it pretty close getting to the race expo in time to pick up my bib and swag bag (obviously my favorite part..) I still made it though but had to zip through the expo and didn’t snap any pictures.
After the expo, we headed to the hotel room that I ended up getting last minute. We stayed at the Westin in downtown Philly, and I got the room for $85 on priceline!! I went back on priceline to see how much it would be to book it directly through the site (and not through name your own price) and it was $286!! I love me a good deal.
Here’s a picture of everything I got in my swag bag and my bib. The samples that came were GU chomps, a mini builder protein bar, CytoMax powder, and these dole fruit things with yogurt and oats. There was also a shoe wallet, some chaffing liquid, a $10 coupon off at Sports Authority, and of course, my bib and dtag for the race.
We met my parents for dinner Saturday night at this cute little Italian restaurant, and I got a mozzarella and roasted veggie salad to start.
It was awesome! The mozzarella was housemade and the veggies were grilled to perfection. For my main course I had a pasta dish with eggplant and a tomato ragu, but the picture turned out blurry and dark, so I’ll spare you. Just picture a dish of penne and you’ll be right on. 🙂 I drank lots of water but skipped the wine, and we all shared a piece of tiramisu for dessert.
Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty awful all day Saturday. My nose was running (I went through a whole box of tissues!), I was coughing, and just soooo congested. I was worried I wouldn’t be feeling too well for the race, but I was not coming all this way, paying the entry fee AND for a hotel, and not going to run. Wil and I just went back to the hotel after dinner, rented a movie and chilled out. I did NOT sleep very well since I was coughing/blowing my nose all night, so when my alarm went off at 6:03am I felt sort of in a daze.
I had laid out all of my clothes and gear the night before to make the morning a breeze:
Sneakers, running pants, shirt, sports bra, knee bands, socks, bib, dtag, gu, sportsbeans, long sleeve shirt, hat, camelbak, and my new SpiBelt (bought that at the expo!). Last minute I decided NOT to wear my CamelBak because the race had 8 water stops and I thought that would be sufficient. Also, I wanted to carry some gu/beans with me, but it’s so hard to get it out from the CameBak, so the spibelt worked perfect for that.
I also brought some breakfast with me:
Jar of almond butter, banana, arnold thin, and a knife! I made a ab + banana sammie and also brewed some coffee to have pre-race.
We left the hotel around 7:20 (race started at 8) but they were already shutting streets down so it was tough to find a place to park/get around the city. Luckily we found a lot that was $10 for the whole day, so we just parked in there and got out to head towards the start line.
Even though I was not feeling so hot, I was excited to run!! I was in Coral 14, and was SHOCKED by how many people we had to walk past to get to my start area. There were thousands and thousands of runners and spectators – I’d never seen such a huge event up close!
I was so excited for the run but Wil told me to stop smiling so cheesy…
But I couldn’t help it – I was excited!!
The elites started at 8:00 and then they started the corals in waves. Mine left around 8:17am and I was off! The run itself was pretty amazing. There were bands every single mile, and the course was really flat – perfect for a first timer like me. The number of people running helped pump me up so much and there was so much going on during the course that served as milestones, so it really helped break up the run. I had Cytomax (similar to Gatorade) at all 8 water stops, and then had a Gu around mile 6 and again around mile 10 (100 calories each).
Mentally, I took the pressure off myself when I was sick and just told myself to finish – not to push myself too hard or try to finish in a certain time. Removing that pressure helped tremendously – I actually got to enjoy myself rather than stressing over my finish time and pushing myself to go faster. I stopped twice – once to use a portapotty, and once to walk through the last water station on the course (mile 11.5 I think) but other than that, I ran the whole time! I sprinted the last tenth of a mile, which doesn’t sound like much but I regretted my decision pretty soon after I started sprinting because I was exhausted. Wil got a picture of me almost at the finish:
As I was getting towards the end, I was really nervous about finding Wil/my parents, but then I heard BETH!!! and Wil had spotted me and told me where to meet him. I was seriously GLOWING at the end of the race, so, sooooooo happy.
Sweaty, too. 🙂
My parents came to the finish line as well and I was so happy for the support.
My final time was 2 hours 16 minutes 18 seconds, or a 10:24 pace.
I am sooooooo happy that I ran a half marathon – this was my biggest goal for 2010, and now I have achieved it! I can’t even believe it. 🙂