I ran 8 miles once, about 5 weeks out. I ran 10 miles once (and started having trouble with hip bursitis or something on the 10th mile), about 4 weeks out. Then I didnt run for a week (because of the hip issue). The next week, I ran 4 miles. The week of the race, I ran 2 (because once again, my hip was killing me!!! Didnt want to push it 3 days before the race). So I was totally not properly trained, but wanted to do it anyway.
Initially, a whole group of us planned to go, but one by one, each person going had something come up that made it impossible for them to go. Except me... Dan and I and the kids drove up to Boise the night before and stayed with my sister Miriam (who works at the prison). I didnt get any sleep the night before since Jayden was on the floor in our room (I forgot the pack n play) and kept waking up crying.
That morning, I got up and got ready. Miriam took me over to the race while Daniel got the kids up and ready to come over. It was cold outside, which I was thankful for, knowing that a few miles in, I wouldn't be worried about that cold!
The race has a really fun set up. You line up out front of the prison. They have guards and cops and lots of people with guns ;) They set off the siren and have planes do a flyover.... Miriam and I chatted while I stretched and choked down some gel.
The siren went off and off I went, just praying my heart out that both my knee and my hip would cooperate and let me do this race. My goal was to finish in under 2 hours. I had never seen the course before, had never run 13.1 miles in my life, but my guess was that I would complete it in about 1:58.
As I started, emotional mom that I am, I got all choked up. Does that give you an idea of what an emotional release running is for me? It truly is how I get out my stress, my anxiety, my anger (not that I have any of that.... ). So I swallowed those silly tears and started to run with the pack.
The race had a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. We all started together so the beginning was incredibly crowded. It was hard to find any sort of pace. You mostly just worked your way around people to try to get with those running your speed. But that only lasted about a mile and then things got less congested. The 5K athletes turned off about 2 miles in which freed up even more space, and 3 miles in, the 10K athletes turned around. By that point there was plenty of room to run.
I felt really good the while time. My hip started acting up about 2 miles in, but it wasn't bad enough to slow me down. My knee also felt good initially. The weather was ideal. I was enjoying every second of it. Throughout the whole race, it looked as though I was on target to meet my goal of under 2 hours. The course is relatively flat with just small hills until mile 12. Right at mile 12, you hit a huge hill. The hill made my hip really act up. It's a sharp, shooting pain (almost a shock) that takes your leg out from under you. I just started praying that it would hold out, that I could push through it, for that last mile. The hill itself wasn't as hard as it had looked (thank you RUSH Tri run course for your training), but by the time I reached the top, the pain in my hip was almost debilitating. I was within 2 minutes of my goal so I wasn't about to walk for a minute or slow down. I just prayed some more, closed my eyes and pushed through it. At the finish, I was even able to give it one last burst so I could "sprint" through the finish line.
I felt amazing! It was something I had wanted to do and I met my goal by finishing in 1:58 (just like I had estimated). I grabbed my sister and pulled her over to the asphalt where I laid down and made her help me stretch out the hip before I couldn't walk. I was limping. The worst part was that it didn't feel that hard! I felt great the whole time, except for that one pain. And yet when I finished, I could barely move that leg. After stretching for a while, it felt much better. I could tell my knee would also swell up but it takes a while (sure enough, by the end of the night, I couldnt bend my knee at all, but by a day later, it felt good again).
What a great experience! It was a fun, well organized race. It was fun to have my family, and my sister and her family, there to support me. I was able to finish in my goal time...
Once the final results were in, I found out I came in 15th out of 103 in my division and 35th out of 224 females overall. I was very happy with this result considering my lack of training, lack of sleep, and this being my first half. I will definitely be doing more, no question about it. I hope that next time I will have some of my crew running with me though- I missed them :)
Me running that last 100 yards or so...owee owee owee....
Crossing the finish line.