I grew up on Long Island, but now live 4 hours away. Originally my mom and daughter were going to come along with me, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, I ended up going by myself. The race was on Sunday, but I drove down on Saturday so I could pick up my number and race packet at the Expo. The Expo was small, but I did manage to get 2 shirts from the Run Like a Girl booth...one for me and one for MissyMiss.
Saturday night was the first time I ever slept in a hotel room alone....very strange! It was a bit lonely, but also a little nice to settle down and watch a movie in the quiet without having to explain to the front desk why I can't keep my 3-year-old away from the phone. :)
I went to bed around 11, but had a hard time sleeping! I had 2 alarms and a wake-up call set, but was still worried about oversleeping and ended up waking up every hour!
I was up for good at 6 and checked e-mail, watched some tv and had my traditional long run breakfast: bread with peanut butter, mini Kitkat and Capri sun.
My hotel was right across the street from the starting line, which ROCKED! I left my room with 30 minutes until race time. The weather called for record high heat and humidity, so I decided to wear my hydration belt and was very glad I did!
With a few minutes to go I found my spot at the "10+ minute miles" and waited to start. Before I knew it, we were off! I got really emotional at the start of the race. It had been along road just to get there and it almost felt like a dream. My plan was to stay around 11:00-11:30 miles. It was VERY crowded and my first mile was likely even slower. I am not used to racing in such a big crowd!
The first few miles were FUN! Everyone around me was so excited and the energy was great. I noticed that as the miles ticked by people got quieter and quieter.
There was a water stop just about every mile and since it was so hot and humid, I drank at every water stop. By mile 5 I was feeling like I should use a porta-potty, but as I ran by one, it had a good 6 people on line. I didn't want to lose time, so I just kept running. The next one also had a line.
At mile 6 I ate my fruit flat even though I didn't feel hungry. I definitely felt better after eating it.
Now I am around mile 7 or 8 and know I have to use the bathroom soon. The guys are running behind stores and into bushes, but I could never do that. At this point, we are on a highway with lots of store and I spot it...a DUNKIN DONUTS!! As I am pondering running in, I see a guy running out. That decided it, I ran in for a quick pit stop, even washed my hands and then right back out on the course!
The rest is a blur. As the miles went out people really slowed down and more and more took walking breaks. I was able to run the whole race and was shocked with how many people I passed in the last few miles. On my long runs, I always picked up the pace a bit for the last mile or so and I was able to do that during the race and passed a TON of people during the last mile. I felt AWESOME at the finish!!
I finished in 2:27. My #1 was to just finish. My 2nd goal was to finish under 2:30, so I did it!!!
I am still a bit in shock that I actually achieved something I have dreamed about for so long!!!
Here are a few pics from the race:
The starting line! The race actually started on the other side of the ballon arch.
Me before the race
Me after the race....I DID IT!!!
I have felt a bit strange this week...a little lost regarding my running. For so long I have been so focused about running this half. It was a little strange to not have a plan for what next. So...I signed up for a 5K the first weekend in June! My plan for the summer is to work on speed and the local 5 and 10Ks.
I also apologize for not vising everyone's blogs as much as usual...it has been a crazy week! I intend to catch up in the next few days!