I did it! I ran a half marathon! Not very fast, but I did it!! It was super hot, the heat index hit 100, and there was very little shade. I'm suprised I didn't die.
Allllll these names on the wall also did it with me. It was a record number of participants, over 20,000 people.
I didn't sleep the night before. Unless you count the hours from 11-2am. I layed in bed until about 4 am and decided to get up, and eat my whole wheat skinny bread, and too-ripe-for-me banana, and get in some extra hydration. It was going to be a scorcher. 85 degrees and sunny. I don't run outdoors in the heat. I was scared.
Who knew there were pretty views in cleveland? This was on a steep hill when we were going s-l-o-w!
I did not run this alone, I ran with one of my oldest friends, and only running partner, who has run plenty of halfs, but agreed to stick with me thru the race so I could get my first one under my belt. She was a good coach along the way! Telling me when to drink, and making me take inventory of how I felt, and asking if I needed to slow down.
Mile 1-3, I kept telling my girlfriend..."we're doing this!!!!!!" I was so excited!!
The first 8 miles was pretty easy. FLEW by! It was hot and miserable, but my body felt good. The sun was blazing, and it was kind of miserable.
After passing the 8 mile marker, my bff told me we only had 1 hand's worth of miles to go. (5) and that made me smile. "I run that every day" I said.
Some time along the course, we had about a half mile of street that was slanted, and that threw off my gaite, and started to make my foot hurt. But I soldiered on!
Mile 9 I was so excited to see the APL there with the doggies! It was downhill, but what goes down, must come up. By this point, my ass muscles hurt so bad we walked up the hill and stopped mid way to stretch. This is about when everyone started to walk the hill.
I started to feel pretty awful about this time.
At first, I was not a fan of getting wet to stay cool. But there were so many supportive people along the way with hoses, buckets and pitchers of water to throw on you if you wanted, and kids with squirt guns who probably had the time of their lives dousing us with water. The water stations hooked up to the hydrants and had those going for you to run through too. I did partake in the water after a while. It gave you that childlike spurt of energy, "weeeeeeeeee"!!!
Mile 10, everything hurt. My feet, my ankles, my shoulders, my butt, my calves. This is about the time some of the spectators were blaring "eye of the tiger" so we tried out our best "boxer moves" and laughed thru the pain for a bit.
Ohio City bridge was hard. All I kept hearing was after this bridge we are home free. But the bridge was long, and hot, and mostly uphill, with no crowd support. It was brutal! I had to walk the whole thing. This threw off our time, but my ultimate goal was to finish, uninjured, so I had to. The good thing about walking is meeting people on the course!
Only 3 more miles. I think I was dilerious. But being goofy was all I had. I kept repeating....only three more miles!! Even after the 11 mile marker, and my bff told me "NO! ONLY TWO MORE!!" Yessss!!! "Anyone can run 2 miles!!"
Being so close, yet so far was the hardest thing to deal with. It hurt so bad to run, but hurt even more to walk, and by that point I was singing Dories song "just keep swimming". Every step hurt. I think I said "fuck" with every strike of my foot, or "sweet jesus" I don't remember. Honestly, if it weren't for my girlfriend, I'd have walked the entire last 3 miles. I had never been in that much pain. She's a good friend, and she kept my eye on the prize!
Some time past mile 12, almost to the finish, I had a wave of emotion when I heard the finish line crowd cheering from a distance. I held back tears. Then we saw my girlfriends running team on the sideline, cheering us the loudest we had heard the whole time. It was awesome!
"We're almost there, just around the corner, we only have a little bit to go, you got this, you can do it, look at that guy he's running the full marathon barefoot, if he can do that we can finish this!!". All words from my friend that kept my feet moving.
We decided when we started that we would cross the finish holding hands.
We rounded the last curve, my girlfriend said "there it is, the finish line, let's do this!" So I mustered up the last tenth of an ounce of energy I had and pushed forward. We grabbed hands, and crossed that finish the same way we started....together!
I immediately started to dry heave from my last bit of over-exertion but not until after collecting my prized medal!
Yea, the guitar spins, it's pretty awesome!!
We finished at 2:55, at a 13:25 minute mile pace. I wanted to just finish, but secretly, I wanted to finish under 3 hours. Walking some parts threw off our normal 10m pace, but I'll take it. I still met a goal! Plus, I've never even run 13 miles!
I had to sit in the shade and not move right after. My feet were pissed at me. There was no way I could walk another step. My friend left to find her husband, and I hydrated, and ate pretzels. And played with my spinny guitar medal. And smiled, because I was able to finish the half!
Isn't Brown's Stadium pretty? I don't love foosball, and I'll never be here again but we got to use their toilets so I took a picture.
I don't get out much, so I took this "rainman" picture from the ride home of our brand new, and first Cleveland casino!
And..there she is. My beautiful pink 13.1 magnet proudly displayed on the fusion! I love it!