Did I just run a half marathon?

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I’m back!

Sorry for the ridiculously long-span of time between this post and the last. If it was between getting a long run in or blogging… my decision was running–sorry guys!

So for a little recap:

1. I finished my first 5k on August 14th! Although it was nowhere near my time goal I still finished which was an accomplishment in itself. The weather was absolutely horrible, torrential downpouring streets were flooding, oh and we were waiting at the start line for a half hour freezing because they couldn’t get the clocks to work. Needless to say, I was so mentally checked out that by mile 1 I was DONE. But whatever, it was an experience and to say the least it does not surprise me one bit that the weather was like that on my first race– I just seem to have that luck 🙂

2. Right after my 5k I decided to sign up for a half marathon. I know that is a huge jump in mileage, but prior to my 5k I was doing long runs at 10 miles– and if you haven’t gotten this vibe from me already–I’m very determined and I LOVE testing my limits. I decided to sign up with my friend Rebecca who I went to FIT with. Although we haven’t talked since graduation in May 2010, she contacted me after reading my blog! ( See what running and blogging does to people?) And shortly after that, we decided we were going to sign up for the Diva’s Half Marathon. I know, I know, such an FIT graduate thing to do.

3. I got my ass kicked in training. Shortly after signing up for the half, I rejoined my gym. I figured Hey I need to do some strength training. My whole goal during training was yes of course to be ready for 13 miles but to also become a lean running machine. My brother wrote out a training plan, I’m sure he loved every minute of it knowing that I was about to get my ass kicked, and next thing I knew I had 3 solid weeks before my run! The first week went AMAZING. I felt so good and healthy, my long runs I was doing at an 8:30 pace which I normally was at 10:30 and I was doing tempo runs at an 8:00 pace which used to be unheard of for me. Also, I totally was killing it at speed work outs. But then during the second week of training my neck started bothering me. Dun, Dun, Dun. I of course ignored this and kept running because why would I want to take a day of! This was crunch time! Next thing you know, I can’t turn my head and I’m waking up in the middle of the night because my hands are numb. GREAT. Now, I couldn’t ignore this dull pain in my neck anymore. So I decided to talk to my Acupuncturist friend. Thankfully it ended up not being a pinched nerve, but I must have pulled a muscle in my back and the were inflamed and contorted my back which was putting pressure on a nerve in my neck– hence the hand numbness. She treated me twice which helped A LOT , but I was still in some pain which was now in my mid-back. I felt like I was sitting with one side of my body higher than the other! Next thing I knew, it was week 3— which means Brianna goes crazy. I am of course freaking out because A. I didn’t get good runs in due to my stupid neck problem in week 2. B. I didn’t get the mileage in I wanted. and C. WHAT ONLY ONE MORE WEEK TILL THE RUN?? So the whole week I was driving myself, and everyone around me including my poor boyfriend, crazy. I will write more about the half later in this post.

And… 4. I learned that I am a runner and I CAN run 13.1 miles. Prior to the half marathon I always doubted considering myself a runner. I dont know why, maybe it’s because I was never EVER an athlete growing up– or maybe it’s because I’m constantly comparing my mileage & times to my running prodigy brother, but whatever the reasoning was after I crossed that finish line something in me said ” Hey, your a runner you just freaking ran 13.1 miles- not everyone can do that!”. So now I am Brianna, a runner who now feels completely confident buying Nike shirts with running sayings on them and may possibly purchase a few 13.1 memorabilia items.

Now it’s time for the Race Weekend Recap!

Saturday Rebecca drove down! She got in around 3:30 and after some hugs and I missed yous we headed to the ” Boutique” to pick up our BIBS! We talked and talked about running and caught up on a bunch of things in our lives. Isn’t it so great when you cannot see someone in over a year and they go back to the way they used to be? I love that! So we arrived at the boutique around 5 which was completed dolled up with pink boas, tiaras, blinged out medals, free Luna bars ( can I get a hell ya??!), and little shops filled w/ 13.1 decor. I fell in love with some many cute 13.1 themed items BUT Rebecca and I decided to not buy anything until after our race– we didn’t want to jinx ourselves and felt pretty lame buying them before we actually accomplished it! Side note: They were not selling ANY 13.1 themed itmes after the race. What the hell? We were pretty pissed. After the boutique, we headed to my favorite Italian restaurant for some much-needed pasta. It was delicious. Since I had been trying to become this lean running machine I forgot what it was like to actually have regular dressing on my salad, buttery garlic knots, oh and pink cream sauce. We indulged, went home, ate Clif bars, drank some Gatorade and then anxiously set our alarm clocks to 5 am. YIKES. If you know me, I am NOT a morning person. This was the hardest thing I had to do.

Race Day.

After waking up– which I don’t think I should call waking up since I was basically awake the whole night- I know I’m nuts right?. We got changed, grabbed our bags, and headed out! Right before we left my stomach started bothering me– oh no I thought. I played it off on my nerves. We stopped and grabbed coffee and bagels then headed for our 45 minute drive to our much-anticipated race. I barely pulled into the parking lot before I literally had to run to the bathroom. Sorry I should put a TMI warn-er here. IDK what the hell happened but I was SO sick and of course freaking out– How am I sick on race day? What the hell am I going to tell Rebecca? How am I going to race if I’m this sick! After a few runs back and forth the bathroom- I’m sure Rebecca caught on at this point- It was time for our warm up. Yup during the warm up as you could probably have guessed I was so dehydrated. I tried downing Gatorade in my final minutes of warming up but my stomach was just not having it. GREAT. We left and met up with my family and wonderful boyfriend at the starting line which made all my nerves go away– until my lovely little bro-ham says ” you call that stretching” THANKS BRO’. I knew of course I was skimpin’ out on stretching but I was so nervous, especially since I was so dehydrated and wondering how I would finish 13 miles like this, that I couldn’t focus on stretching. I took his advice and then took of with Rebecca to the start line. Before I knew it we were off. OMG- I was running a half marathon. What a rush. Mile 1- 9:18. What Brianna? Slow down crazy! This is what I’m yelling to myself because my planned time was 10:30 for the first 10 miles then kill it at the end. Clearly this wasn’t going to happen. Mile 2- 19:30. Okay, slowed down a little but only because I feel like I have cotton mouth. WTF it’s only mile 2 and I’m dehydrated. Then I see my boyfriend waving and my brother crouched down taking pictures–pose Brianna look like a runner, yup not happening– I was winded all ready but put a smile on my face. I lost Rebecca around this point but I knew it was for the best I didn’t want to hold her back since I was feeling crappy. The rest is a blur to be honest I was grabbing water like crazy at all of the water stations but I still was dehydrated. Then I got to mile 6. Alright I was on pace for my 2:15 goal but now I have a huge stitch in my side. DEHYDRATION. what a wonderful thing. I knew from previous experiences, don’t push yourself if your dehydrated ( I’ve have two heat stokes and I was not making it a 3rd). So, I slowed down and at times walked for :30 seconds just to try to stretch out the cramp. Nothing worked and I was still thirsty. Then at mile 8 my hands go numb. Awesome. At this point my goal was to just cross that finish line– I let go of my 2:15 goal and said Brianna just finish you can do this. The rest of the miles I don’t really remember until mile 12 because that’s when we got our boas and tiaras– this was a diva half marathon after all! My clumsy ass of course drops my tiara and breaks it. Whatever. I wasn’t going back to crab another. I shoved it in my massive amount of hair and held the boa in my hand. I couldn’t fathom attempting to put this on I felt so nasty. After feeling like this was the longest mile of my life– last stretch was in sight. All of a sudden I had all of this energy and sprinted, I had been working on my kick after all. I passed a bunch of people and then when I saw my brother I went for it and passed the last woman. Hell ya. I was done, I was going to puke, but I was done. It was so great to see Rebecca at the finish line! My time was 2:42. Very far off of my goal time but whatever with everything going on I was happy to be finished. Rebecca and I ended our day with taking pictures with the shirtless firemen– yes this was at the finish line for all the ladies. I’ll attach a picture of this. I felt so awkward. We were rewarded with this crazy blinged out medal, champagne, and a rose.

Rebecca and I were so happy and then it hit us. We were tired. After congratulating ourselves we drove home in silence and apologized for this since we were bot like zombies. Shortly after she left to go home and I fell into my bed. I slept for a few hour then had a craving for icecream from my favorite place- TCBY. I grabbed my phone- saw all the wonderful text messages which I couldn’t even read after the race THANK YOU FRIENDS I LOVE YOU- and texted my boyfriend claiming I needed icecream. Shortly after he picked me up and treated me to my favorite thing- a parfait consisted of wet walnuts, m & ms, white chocolate mousse and french vanilla. YUM. After finishing our icecream we parted ways and fell asleep. We were both tired after all he did get up at 5 am to watch his favorite girl run her heart out 🙂

Things I learned

1. Do not eat pasta in a cream sauce the night before a half marathon. You will die.

2. Keep in touch with Rebecca she is AWESOME.

3. I can run 13.1 miles.

I would also like to thank all of my wonderful running friends from twitter who congratulated me and asked how my race went. You are the BEST!

My questions for you

1. What are your favorite experiences from a race?

2. What are you food rituals for a half- marathon?

3. Has running brought you closer to friends?

Until next time,

Race on.

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3 thoughts on “Did I just run a half marathon?

  1. I have yet to run a half-marathon! I feel too scared to make the leap up to something bigger.

    Congrats on finishing!!! Even if you didn’t hit your target time, all that means is that you can definitely PR the next race! That is really lame about how they weren’t selling anything 13.1 after the race. 😦

    As far as food goes, I try to stick with mostly veggies and food that I am very familiar with. I don’t go out and eat anywhere – I cook something at home. The morning of I always have Greek yogurt w/ granola and a cup of coffee. I guess the best policy is to eat the blandest food you can find!

    My favorite experience is right before the finish line! I really love the cheering AND I love to cheer for other people, even if I don’t know them.

    • I’m thinking about cooking at home next time as well! I’ll try the yogurt w/ granola next time. I guess it’s all trial and error. Thanks for the input & reading 🙂

  2. Pingback: Running Remedy « See Bri Run

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