Saturday, October 13, 2007

Half Marathon Recap

This particular Runner Baggage Area came complete with couches and boxes of tissues.
Just kidding.

So. A recap. From beginning to end.

Here goes:

Got up at 5:15 that morning. Along with Hubby and Eldest, who were preparing to head to Eldest's football game in middle-of-nowhere Massachusetts. I know. Making little 5 year olds play football at the ass-crack of dawn! (his games start at 8am on Sundays.)

Anyway, my parents had come into town for the weekend. So we left them there with the remaining 2 sleeping boyz. I picked up my Sis at 6, and we headed into Boston. The weather at home was an uncomfortably muggy and warm 70+ degrees, even at that early hour. Not good running weather.

Arrived in the city around 7 (the race started at 8). The weather in Boston was COLD. 59 degrees, a little windy, and no humidity. Perfect running weather.

Upon our arrival at the registration area, we immediately headed for the porta-potties. (She had had coffee and water, I had a diet Red Bull and water.) Good call on our part. No lines (yet).

Then we picked up our numbers, our timing chips, our free long-sleeve shirts (I'm starting to get a collection! Hubby had the gall to be pissed that I didn't get an XL for him. Hello? Who did all the work?), and dropped our gear off at the therapy baggage area.

And headed back to the porta-potties. Had to wait in a longer line this time, but it wasn't too bad. By the time we finished peeing, the lines for those suckers were miles long! Everyone eliminating at the same time. Sweet.

Headed to the Start. I wanted to stand in the 10-minute mile section, Sis wanted to be in the 9-minute section. So we compromised and stood in between. On the side, because I get a bit claustrophobic, and besides, I DON'T LIKE PEOPLE TOUCHING ME. It's annoying.

Waited there about 15 minutes, as more and more runners trickled in. It got crowded, and a bit warm. And yes, people were touching me, and I was getting irked. And I had to pee. Again. But there was no time.

So our my strategy for the race was to run together. Sis said that she'd stick with me, as long as I didn't bitch (I may have complained ALOT at our last race--that hellish hilly 10-miler). Because, if I "have energy to run my mouth and bitch, I should just zip it and run faster", right? (Yeah, Sis doesn't mince words.) My goal was to keep quiet and keep pace with Sis, and focus on not letting her get ahead of me on the hilly parts.

And then the gun sounded and we were OFF! I think it took us about 2-3 minutes to get up to the actual starting line.

Sis and I both didn't even turn on our iPods for the first 2 miles. It was exciting to be in such a huge crowd of runners and to listen to everyone's excitement.

Our pace was pretty much on 9-minute mile time. The course was mostly flat, a few ups and downs, but nothing steep. At Mile 5, I think we were around 48 minutes.

Before we got to the Franklin Park Zoo, we could see the race leaders heading back (the course was a loop). It was exciting to see those Kenyans rush by in a blur! All the runners cheered as they passed us. (Yeah, the top runners finished the race in less than half the time it took Sis and I. Amazing.)

Miles 6, 7, and 8 were through the zoo. At Mile 7, there was Gatorade and some sort of "energy gel" thing to eat. I got caramel flavor, which wasn't too bad. Sis got strawberry banana. It was nauseating! (Of course, she pulled the old, "Yuck. Mine is totally gross. Here, taste..." and I did.)

At this point, we were both still doing great. Not too out of breath, keeping a good pace, feeling decent.

At Mile 10, I was happy because our time was 1:37. Quicker than my finish time at the stupid mountainous Harvard run! Sis even had enough energy at this point to make fun of another runner's ass in their running spandex. Now that's multi-tasking!

Mile 11 was tough. It became a head-game for me. Physically, my body could finish the race. Mentally, I was psyching myself out. My breathing got all out of whack. I knew the end was near, but not near enough yet. Sis helped me through this. She may have told me to shut up or something.

We saw Sis's Hubby around this time. He jogged alongside us, and snapped a few prize-winning action photos. (And shockingly, they all came out blurry. Go figure.)

And then, it was over! Just like that. I saw my Dad on the sideline right before the finish. He didn't see us until I called to him as I was heading down the stretch. So no action photos from him either.

Our official finish time: 2:03:06.

I wish I could capture that moment of crossing the Finish Line and realizing I DID IT! I want to bottle that emotion.

Because, now?

I'm experiencing a bit lot of post-race letdown (as is Sis).

We chatted yesterday. Neither of us ran all week.

I fact, I binged all week. For example, one night I ate two (2!) BLT sandwiches and two (2!) cupcakes. I've eaten ice cream for dessert practically every night. I haven't been drinking enough water.

I feel like I have no incentive. Nothing to strive for. Nothing to get me motivated. The big race is over. I did it. It's done.

And I'm depressed, frustrated and mad at myself that I can't find it in me to just exercise. To just do it. Because it makes me feel good and look better. Because it makes me happy. Because it's what I need in my life.

So what now?

This morning, I ran. Down a gradual hill, and then up a steep hill to home. For 40 minutes. It felt great.

And tomorrow, Sis and I are going for a long run together. And we're going to put our heads together to try to come up with some sort of motivation to keep us active through the long New England winter. Because we realize that we both have the potential to allow ourselves to become lazy and complacent. And neither of us want that.

In an act of desperation, I even suggested to Sis that we run this. Yeah, you read that right. A half marathon. In February. On the water. At the Cape. Think it'll be cold? Think we're crazy enough to attempt it?

We just might be.

Stay tuned.


Sarah said...

Good stuff, Sarah. I'm really impressed. And maybe a tad envious. Not enough to get up off the couch, however...

Kate said...

Many awed congratulations! And rock on with your runnin' self, another one on the Cape... bet it'll be beautiful, and a tiny bit chilly. That's what a post-run hot toddy is for, no?

painted maypole said...

i'm so proud of you!

tulipmom said...

You guys are amazing!

As for the Cape, chilly? Yes! Impossible? Not for you two! Sounds like a great incentive to keep up with the running this winter.

Natalie said...

Wow, congratulations.

You are totally inspiring me to get my big, fat butt back into shape. I used to run six miles a day; now I look like I couldn't run six feet in a day.

I may be single, but I have only one boy (vs. your three) to look after, surely I can find the time to at least become friends with a treadmill again, right? If you can do it, so can I!

Seriously, you rock! And ohmygosh, I am so jealous of the kinds of places you get to run!

Keep up the good work! What a wonderful example you are setting for your boyz!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Back when I could run (although never as many miles as you), I used to LOVE winter running in the dark of morning. So, I say, go for that Cape Cod Race! You'll probably love it!

And congrats on the half-marathon!!

Christine said...

Congratulations! That's a great accomplishment, not to mention an enviable time, to say the least.

And also, good for you for pulling yourself out of that post-marathon slump. After I ran a half marathon a couple of years ago I didn't run for over a month. Blech.

Carla said...

Awesome job! I am so proud of you! I think you should go for the Cape! Wouldn't you say that it's all mental? I mean that the body is willing but the brain is lazy? Congrats and keep it up. You are an inspiration to many.

Heather said...

Way to go!

I think it's great that you and your Sis can be there to run together. I've found I always will get up and go exercise if I know someone is waiting on me to meet them.

Elizabeth said...

Seriously, so impressed. You totally did amazing. Love it.

Leo said...

You got to have iPods? Everywhere I look they're banned. That was tough part for me to get used to...

You're right, though, about the addicting. I am already looking to do a 1/2. Now that I'm mobile again.

Good job! And thanks for blogging about it! Helps keep me motivated. I'm looking for something to run in the February time now, too - otherwise I risk giving up altogether through the holidays, and what a waste that would be!


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