I completed my first half-marathon. I actually did it.
And here’s my medal to prove it:
So, I suppose you’re wondering how it went. Well, let me tell you…
First of all, I finished and I am extremely proud of myself for doing so…despite what it may sound like when you read this. I am happy I did it. I don’t have any regrets. And, despite the fact that I said I was only going to do one in my life, my husband and I have already decided to do another one. We are planning on signing up for another Rock ‘n’ Roll series one, but this time, it’s going to be in San Jose, California. We are going to Napa, California next October to celebrate our 5-year anniversary and San Jose just happens to be a host city for a Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon. And, San Jose is somewhat close to Napa. Logistically, it just seemed to work out!
Anyway, back to the Las Vega Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon.
At the expo the day before the race, which is where we picked up our race packets and swag bag, we both ended up changing our estimated times, which also meant changing corrals. At this race, runners lined up in corrals according to their estimated finish time. At first, we estimated that Al would finish in two and half hours and I would finish in three hours. But, based on previous races, we decided to up our times to Al finishing in two hours and myself finishing in two and a half hours.
This meant that Al changed from corral number 24 to corral 14 and I changed from corral 36 to corral 27. There was a two-minute delay between the start of each corral, which helped immensely with not having a crowded course. This was greatly appreciated. Neither of us felt like squished sardines when we started out.
The race started at 4:30 p.m. Al crossed the starting line shortly before 5 p.m. – official time was 4:51 p.m. I crossed the starting line a little after 5 p.m. – official time was 5:16 p.m. We know our times because I was getting text message updates on Al (which I didn’t look at until after the race was done), and my son, Brandon, was getting updates on me. A couple of other people were following me also, which was really cool because I got messages from them immediately after the race was done.
Here are some messages from my son – before the race and after the race:
Text messages from my son
Loved the thumbs up from him when I finished. It made my heart melt and eyes fill with tears.
The start of the race was okay. The wind started to pick up and it almost looked as if a storm was heading our way. I checked my phone for weather details while waiting in the start line and learned that there were wind advisories – wind was blowing anywhere from 20 to 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 mph.
Yep. It was just a tish windy. And I think it played a factor in my running. When the wind wasn’t at my back, it was tough to push through.
I started the race out at a nice even tempo. At the advice of several friends and other runners, I took in the sites and the sounds. I knew I wasn’t going for a win, so I decided to take it easy. Too easy maybe.
I kept a pretty even pace – about an 11 minute mile – until mile seven. It’s here I hit the wall. Not sure what happened. But the wall was big and I hit it hard. For miles seven, eight, nine and 10, my pace was closer to a 12.5 minute mile. At mile 11 and 12, it was jumped to a 16 minute mile – yes, I was pretty close to walking, but yet I kept plugging along, one foot in front of another – VERY slowly. I stopped at every single water/Gatorade stop between miles 10 and the finish line. There was a GU energy stop, but I didn’t grab any. I should have.
The last mile to mile and a half, I basically walked, albeit a brisk, fast-paced walk, which seemed, at the time, way faster than my slow jog. At this point, I just wanted the race to be done. I wanted – NEEDED – to be done. I was crabby because I walked. I was crabby because my stomach was churning over and over and over and all I wanted to do was hurl. I was crabby because every ounce of my body ached. I was crabby because I was thirsty – despite all the water/Gatorade I had. I was crabby because I felt alone – yes, despite the mass amounts of runners and spectators around me. This was the first time ever I felt so alone in a race. Not sure why.
I just wanted to be done and I just wanted my husband. I wanted to curl up in his arms and have him tell me it was all going to be okay. I felt defeated. I felt disappointed. I felt…everything.
Here’s a picture that pretty much sums everything up:
Near the finish line.
Quite a contrast from a picture that was from the start of the race:
At the beginning of the race.
Well, after I crossed the finish line, which I did run across, I guess I was fairly happy because the photographer got this photo:
And I finished!
Truthfully, I don’t even remember this photo begin taken. At this point, I just wanted to find my husband and make our way back to our hotel. Well, I eventually found him, cold, shaking and also very ready to be back at our hotel. Apparently, he ended up in the medical tent with the shakes and shivers and was extremely nauseous. Eventually, he ended up throwing up. Sure wish I had.
Al ended up finishing the race in two hours and five minutes. I finished it in just under three hours – my first predicated finish time (guess I should have just kept it, huh!). My official time was two hours, 59 minutes and 56 seconds!
Despite the fact that I felt disappointed and let down, I will reiterate that I AM VERY PROUD of myself for finishing. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to run this race. And if truth be told, I am looking forward to the next one!