We did it! We completed a half marathon! 13.1 miles.
My knees are killing me. My body is telling me it’s bedtime. But we did it! I can’t believe I completed something that I have wanted to do for so long. Now…it’s time for a marathon! Haha!
The half-marathon itself went just as we had planned, but all the events BEFORE the half-marathon did not go just as planned. We figured out that it was 1 1/2 hour drive to get to Oxford, OH. The half marathon run was set to start at 8:00, and we figured it would be a good goal to get there by 7:15. We woke up at 5:30 am, got dressed quickly and literally stood in the kitchen staring at the pot of oatmeal on the stove, just waiting for it to cook. And waiting. And waiting. Finally, we were out the door! Only 10 minutes later than our goal time, so we were not too concerned. We knew that would still give us 35 minutes before go time.
After about 20 minutes of driving, Theo told me I might as well take a nap. I was a bundle of nerves, so I decided that I would try. About 30 minutes later, Theo wakes me up and tells me that he needs help finding a road. Well, we had to stop at a Drury Inn and ask for directions, but easily found the road and were on our way. By this time, I was starting to get stressed out about our time, and we didn’t seem to be finding the roads that were on our directions. Finally, at 7:35 we realize we are on the right track….with at least 15 miles to go. I started bawling, thinking about the waste of training time, of money and of waking up at 5:30 am. Theo said that we would run anyways….even if we didn’t get a bib number.
We finally pull into Oxford at 7:53. We jump out of the car, and head towards the loud noises. I told Theo to run ahead, so he ran the full mile to get to the start line, while I speed walked behind him. Just as Theo go there, the starting gun went off and the half marathon runners were long gone before I even got to the start. I just wanted to weep, but there was Theo calmly walking towards me with our race packs, bib numbers and chips for our shoes. He said that since the chips start the time when we cross the start line, it didn’t really matter if we start at 8:00 or if we started at 8:15. So we took 15 minutes to use the restroom, put the bib numbers on and clip the chip to our shoes.
And then we were off!
Honestly…if you are running a half-marathon when you have the chip, start 15 minutes after anyone. I didn’t have to get nervous about the gun, how fast everyone around me was going, or anything like that. Instead, there we were, just jogging at our own pace at the very back of the race. And how awesome does it feel to pass someone when you started 15 minutes after them??? And then pass some more people? And more? It felt great! The other awesome thing about being at the back of the pack was that we got to see every single runner. The course was a long road- 7 miles out and then you just turn around and run that same road right back to the start line. Since this is how it worked, when we reached about mile 6, the super fast runners who were in first place started passing us going the other direction. It was awesome to see them, since usually in a race I am somewhere in the middle and never see those fast guys at the front.
The weather was PERFECT. It was not too cold, not too hot. There was no wind. So many water points along the way…and porta pots, too!
The first few miles went by quickly, then our knees started to hurt. I really started to feel it around mile 9 and 10. Miles 9-12 were the hardest miles for me….I just wanted to stop and lay down in the grass. We both found that were able to breath and our heart rate didn’t seem to be going crazy, but running on blacktop for 13 miles KILLS the knees!
Before the half-marathon, I envisioned taking before and after pictures…taking pictures of the start line and the finish line, the clock, our time and the chips tied to our shoes and everything else that I might possibly take a picture of. HOWEVER, due to the fact that we literally parked the car and ran a mile to the start line, the camera was forgotten for all the ‘before’ and ‘during’ (at the race course) pictures. I do have a couple of after pictures, though! Enjoy!
Thanks so much for supporting our half marathon! In another post I will update on how much money we were able to raise for Niger!