Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Your no longer a runner, your a marathoner.

Well, I (with my husband by my side) completed my first half marathon on November 21st,2010. Words could never describe the incredible sense of accomplishment that met me at the finish line.

The course was one that I knew all too well. I've run it in bits and pieces over that past 4 months of training. But on the big day, it was like I'd never seen it before. Really, I'd never seen it with thousands of other people in front of and behind me, spread all over the streets of Tulsa, reaching for the same goal I've been working to attain this whole year!

I decided after I did my initial Couch to 5k training program, that I definitely wanted to extend my goals. So as most of you know, I decided that I wanted to shoot for the Tulsa Run. (9.3 miles) - After realizing that it's only 4 more miles added to that, to achieve a half marathon, my mind was set on that 13.1!

My husband and I decided to set this goal and reach it together. And that we did.

The first 3 miles of the run was extremely hard to regulate my breathing, pace, comfort- There were massive amounts of people everywhere! Some where passing me, as I was passing another runner. It was intense. Once I hit the 2nd water stop at 4 miles, I took a minute to re-group. I took a gu, popped a jolly rancher in my mouth and continued. By mile 5 I was feeling GREAT!

Mile 7... Feeling FAB!

Felt pretty good until we reached mile 10. I'm not sure what happened, but my energy level tanked. I stared 10 feet ahead of me on the road until I could re-center. I saw the water stop coming up around mile 11.5, and knew that if I could just get to that stop I could GU (gel energy packets), get some water take a little break, and beat the last mile or so with a stick! So I did just that.... I ran faster and harder.

Mile 13

I saw the 13 mile marker, knowing that I only had  100th of a mile to go.. I dug deep. Deeper than I had ever dug to get to that finish line!

WE DID IT! Together. We finished our first half marathon.

We then got to refuel, get warm, eat some food, get some water, take some pics with friends, and wait.... We waited for a while to see some of our other friends come across the finish line for the FULL marathon.

preparing for a pic. Apparently it takes lots of effort

Showing off our "bling" medals!!

Cheering on the full marathon finishers and waiting to spot some of our friends!

There's Ashley (my running coach!) -- Waited to run her in the last little bit!

Scott found his running buddy Ric and ran him in to the finish.

Scott running Ric across his first marathon finish line!


Now, I don't know if you have ever been to a marathon, but let me tell you, it is one of the most inspiring events I've ever been to.... The people there are so supportive. There were so many signs that people had made, and several of them whether inspiring, or funny, caught my attention! A few of them off the top of my head read:

" Chaff now, brag later"
"In our minds, you're all Kenyans"
" You're no longer a runner, your a marathoner" - At mile 12.

There are people EVERYWHERE. We passed so many houses where the families where just in their yard, drinking coffee and cheering on the runners. There were 42 bands along the course. So music was at every half mile. Whether, rock band, jazz band, marching band, or an old man singing karaoke..each band had something to offer us!

Also to see the all the people from different walks of life out there on the course is so inspiring!

The Handicap runners were amazing!!
We ran with people in their 80's.

We watched a man finish the full marathon pushing his special needs child. Where's the tissue!? ..

We saw a man carrying a full on American flag, and on the different stripes they read things like " God Bless America" , "John 3:16", " SO-and SO we miss you RIP" "Route 66" and so on, it was cool to see this guy who was in the military showing his patriotism-- for a very long time! All the people were just shouting out "Thank you's " To him. 

SO I know that many of you have followed my training since early on. And since running has become such a large part of my life, and I began to post about it so often, I decided to add a blog just for that =)

By ALLLLLL means I'm no pro. Seriously dude, I just finished my first HALF marathon. But I do know what I've learned whether from experience, or from advice from great friends. And it's been loads. So I'd love to share my learned info with anyone who wants it!  (( And i'll be working on getting this blog looking pretty, as soon as I can figure it all out!))

I'm so excited and ready to start thinking about my next run. I have an idea of where it might be, and I am thinking in a "cajun" town! We shall see!

Well, what inspires you?  The only person that will hold you back from doing anything you want to do, is you.

* I want to give a special thanks to:
  • My husband who has supported me and encouraged me through this whole process. Right by my side the whole time, start to finish. We can do anything baby!
  • Jessica for inspiring me. I've always wanted to do big things.. Seeing you start from the ground up was so inspiring. Thank you!
  • Chera for letting me wear her own shoes! You saved my life! -- and my feet, knees,and back. You are such a giving person, you literally will gave the shoes off your feet. And being my go-to girl when I need advice.
  • Ashley "coach" Thank you for leading me.
  • Jan for keeping our daughter so that we were able to make the 5am training runs. You're a blessing!! 
And everyone else for their kind words,support and prayers!