Mommy Hobbies running: DC Rock 'n' Roll half-marathon first half-marathon experience my first half-marathon
by Mommy Hobbies
In my napsack stash
There IS a story behind this (hah!). See, in the world of runners running naked simply means you run without your Garmin (or your pace keeper of choice) or even music.
The morning of my race started out early — 5:30am. I had everything set out and ready to go so I didn’t have to think too hard that early.
The night before I carb-loaded, along with my all time fav salad from Trader Joe’s, took a shower and made sure my head was on the pillow by 9:30. The best decision, ever.
We rented a townhouse, in Alexandria, VA, that was just blocks from the metro, so I able to leave and D followed me later with the babies. So, there I am jogging to the metro, totally happy that I’m on schedule, my breakfast is settling nicely and then I realize that I forgot my Garmin. O.my.gu-oshhhh!!! I literally stop mid stride and slap my forehead, but there was no going back, if I didn’t catch that train I was in danger of being late, or something horrible like that. (I can’t stand being late for important dates, I get so anxious) So, I just kept running.
The train was a little full, all runners, bright colors, crazy greens (for St. Patty’s), happy eyes, low chatter. After the first stop, the sound in the train was more like a dull roar. When we finally reached the stadium, it was standing room only and I was SO happy that I had a seat. Getting out of the train was like a biblical exodus. It was hysterical. I’m sure I heard the train groan from all the weight leaving its belly.
The pa system barked out orders and finally, in a last attempt to try and clear the platforms of all the hundreds and hundreds of runners, the station master said, “Please, do not hesitate to use both exits …. don’t stand there looking confused!” I laughed. Because we were literally standing in place, swiveling our heads back and forth trying to comprehend what he was saying and which way we should go.
Anyway, used the restroom, and found my corral. #20. Waited impatiently and then, we were off. I started out next to a fellow mother runner, Martha, and after a half mile found my pace. The first 3 miles I was dodging other runners, trying to find a comfortable space to run.
Mile 5: This was the beginning of that *hill*. The course showed an incline of about 4% and I was ready. I popped a GU chomp.
Mile 6: Passing through the slight incline, wondering where this huge hill was
Mile 7: Edging out of mile 6 I finally saw the hill. It was nice. I wasn’t afraid though, I live in PA and hills are what I run on all the time. It was a rather steep one and took my breath for a minute, but I made it. I had been pacing a lady in bright gear and a fabulous tan, once we left mile 7 I shot ahead and didn’t look back.
Miles 8 and 9: They flew by along with a lady who had a cardboard Justin Beiber in her driveway with a green shamrock necklace. Hey, what ever floats your boat, right? Popped another GU
Mile 10: A lot of thoughts flowing through my mind, because 10 miles was the farthest I’d gone before. I’d never run more. I was smiling because I felt really good and confident, until someone dropped an air biscuit and I ran right into it! (this is runner speak for a passing of gas) SHEweeyy! Woke me up.
Mile 11: I couldn’t believe I was this far, my legs were still feeling great. The crowd was awesome and it made me surge forward. Also, this was were I saw my favorite sign of the whole race, a guy with a bright pink poster board that read :: Who Farted??
Mile 12: I sidled up to another runner and started pacing with him. We talked for a little, it was his first half, just like me. And his buddies, who were a few paces ahead, had never run before in their lives but were huge Cross Fit buffs. Seriously? I couldn’t catch them.
Mile 12.5: I still felt great, but my hips started bothering me. I felt a little rickety, but I was so, so close.
Mile 13: In a state of disbelief that I had actually completed a goal of mine, my back started hurting and my hips and knees were feeling really shaky.
Mile 13.1 and the finish: I picked up the pace and ran for all I was worth. I hauled tail and crossed the finish line 1 minute and 50 seconds short of 2 hours. I wanted to finish in 1:50, but it wasn’t to be.
Final time: 2 hours 1 minutes 5o seconds overall I placed 5,159 out of 24,000 something runners.
After crossing the finish line I was so happy but my lower back was killing me. I grabbed a water, a banana, some energy bars, and searched desperately for a place to sit. After squatting next to a fence for a second, I got up and searched for my sweet family.
Cylas found me. He was so proud that his mama got a medal. See, he was worried that I would be last and not get a medal. I was very pleased I didn’t let him down, he’s my biggest fan, after all.
Really, the one thing, if nothing else sticks with you about my race, I would like to encourage EVERYONE, if you think you can’t do this, it’s a lie. I saw people of all different shapes and sizes, young and old and I was so inspired. People out there, ignoring the little nasty voice in their head that says they can’t do it. You CAN!
Be strong, be empowered.
DC Rock ‘n’ Roll, you were amazing to me. Loved it all, thank you for setting my experience off on the right foot!