When I started out this journey to improve my health, I never imagined that I would actually enjoy running, let alone run a half marathon (13.1 miles)…on purpose. Like the title says, I'm on HALF crazy.
On March 18, 2012 I ran the Publix Half Marathon in Atlanta, GA. I would like to share my journey with you.
I went back and forth with my decision to run the the Publix for a couple of reasons:
1. I only had 5 weeks to train after fracturing my foot in December. The longest distance I had run prior to hurting my foot was 10 miles but that was in December.
2. I had another engagement that I was afraid of missing if I did not finish in time.
I was so excited and up at 4 am. I am glad that I prepared my bags the night before because I had to time to pray, stretch, eat, and just BE! I can't believe how calm I was because I am usually nervous before each race.
Drive to Centennial Olympic Park
Dorian & I decided that we would take a chance and drive because I needed to leave as soon as I crossed the finish line. He and I talked about the "escape route" one last time and I was fine with our plan. He knows that I am a planner and I have to go over things a few times before I can let my mind rest.
Heading to the Corral!
Based on the time I entered when I registered for the race, I was in Corral M which was pretty far back, not to mention, all of the ladies I run with were in lower corrals; so I kind of eased my way up to L and then K and found several of my running buddies. This also put me at ease because I had familiar faces with me. While waiting for the race to start, we took pictures, stretched, hydrated, and laughed. I was still very calm.
The race begins and it took 10 minutes before I reached the start line; there were 15,000 participants in this event.
I cross the start line with Gnarls Barkley playing in my earphones "I remember when, I remember I remember when I lost my mind; there was something so pleasant about that place…Does that make me Crazy?" How appropriate for this to be the first song on my ipod!?
These are always the toughest miles for me regardless of the race distance; this is why I don't care to run 5k. It takes me a good 3 miles to feel like I'm in a groove. By the end of mile 3 I usually have my breathing under control and have relaxed. I started off much slower than my usual pace and ran a 12:15 minute mile. I actually felt really good going into mile 4. I remember some dummy saying 1 mile down 12.1 to go…dumb ass!
I finally hit a zone and was running 5:1 intervals (run for 5 minutes…walk 1 minute). I love intervals, not only do you burn more calories with intervals, but you take walk breaks. I have a nice interval timer called the Gym Boss and I love it. I used to think that I was not a "runner" if I took walk breaks, however Jeff Galloway says different. Walk breaks actually improve your performance.
Um yeah, the intervals went out the door and I was so over this event. I was hot, the coconut water and water in my fuel belt were hot, and my "energy chews" made me thirsty. WTH is the next water stop because I need to chase these chews with cold water. I was pissed because it was not cooler outside, shoot it is March and it should not be in the 70s already. I trained during the cooler months and that is when I like to run, when it is cold. I drank my warm water and kept on moving. Hmmm, if I get on the sag bus, I can still get a medal…"Hey LaWanda?!?" It was Melika, one of my running buddies; she passed and I followed…
I don't remember it. I really think I blacked out this entire mile because I wanted to be in double digits.
Back to the intervals…2:1 because I am finally starting to feel a little kick from those energy chews. I'm feeling pretty good. I stand under the water sprinklers for a minute and I begin running again. I catch up to Melika and we begin pacing each other…again. Oh look, cameras and the street is painted green; it must be the finish line! I am almost there…so I thought, but that was just some paint on the pavement that said "Publix 2012!" Shit!
I'm nauseous. I'm hot. I'm so ready to be finished. Stop taking my picture. I stop and pose…lol They better not run out of medals! Why in the hell did they put up signs telling me I still have 3/4, 1/2. 1/4, of a mile to go? I don't want to know. I begin to run and I ran until…
Oooooh, there is the finish! I run faster! Rack City is playing in my ear (don't judge me). There is my son! My daughter! They are cheering for me! I start crying! I jump on the timing strip. I see my husband! I run to him shouting "I did it!" I give him some suga! I raise my hands in victory! I'm not last! I run to get my medal. Hey, gimme me one of those towels too…please. Where is the water? Are you kidding me? I just ran 13.1 miles and the water is hot?
Overall, my first half marathon was a good experience. The course was great because we ran through great areas, however there are too many daggone hills in Atlanta! I'm signing up for next year.
Thanks for allowing me to share my journey! Next half marathon…Kentucky Derby Half Marathon in Louisville on April 28, 2012!
Peace & Love,