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My First Half

by Meghann on December 6, 2008

Thank you guys for being so patient with me this last week. I am VERY happy to say that I am blogging to you from my brand new MacBook!

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My parents were gracious enough to help with the purchase of the Mac and call it an early Christmas present (Thanks Mom and Dad!) I am still learning all the ins and out of this thing, but it’s fun to play around with. I am also getting used to the Ecto program on here to blog with, so if the entries looks odd, that’s why.

Due to my lack of laptop, I am a bit behind on my food for the past two days, so I will do a HUGE recap of all of my food in a later post, but for now I want to get to what I know all of you want to hear about, My Half Marathon!

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That’s right I made it to the finish line and am here to tell the tale! :)

This race was AMAZING!!! I did not stop to walk the entire race and finished under my goal time with ease! Never in my life could I have thought I would achieve the goal of running a half marathon! I started running in January as a way to lose weight and it has developed into so much more than that. In July I decided to take my running to a whole other level and gave my elf 2 future goals: one was to run a 15k (which I completed back in September!) and the other to run a Half Marathon. 5 months later I have met both of my goals and seriously could not ask to be in better shape.

At the beginning of the week I gave myself the modest goal to have a finish time of 2 hours and 10 minutes.. well.. I am ECSTATIC to say I finished with a time of 2:06:18!!!!! Can you believe it? Because I couldn’t! It was the perfect ending to a great race!

Before I get all teary eyed, let me start back from the beginning… :)

I honestly woke up with butterflies in my belly this morning, I was no nervous! Before the race I had my traditional Wheat Bagel with Cashew Butter and Apple Slices.

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I had to force myself to eat this. The butterflies were hogging up so much room in my belly that it didn’t seem to have room for anything else. I knew I had to eat or there was no way I could finish the race, so down my throat it went. Most of the extra apple slices you see on the plate went to Abbie.

My parents picked me up from my apartment right before 6:00am and we were at the race site less than 15 minutes later. There were thousands of people already waiting to pick up packets and ChampionChips. By the time I got all of the stuff I needed, I only had 15 minutes to use the potty and, of course, there was a HUGE line.

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I love my Dad’s face in this picture… hahaha…And small world, while I was in line I ran into a girl I went to high school with who was also running her first half. I didn’t see her the rest of the race, but I hope she did great!

Luckily because the lines for pick ups were so long there was a delay of start to the race. I had plenty of time to warm myself up and get into the groove.

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Finally 15 minutes after the race was supposed to start the whistle blew and we were off.CIMG4177.JPG

  • Miles 1-2: Starting off there was a lot of congestion, so it took me a while to find a happy pace. I was thrown off at first when there was no mile marker for the first mile. It felt like the longest mile of my life until I saw the marker for Mile 2, I felt better.
  • Miles 3-4: I could feel a cramp starting in my side, but nothing major. I began breathing quick breaths through the nose and a long one out the mouth as a reader suggested last week. It helped as the cramp subsided.
  • Miles 4-5: The main complaint with this half was the lack of counters at each mile marker. Some mile markers were just there, with no clock or person anywhere near it. This threw off my rhythm as I had no clue where I was at at time. I really, really, really need to invest in an HRM ASAP!
  • Miles 6-7: The half way point! It’s funny, as I was running I kept comparing the distances in my head. As I ran by mile marker 3 I thought of how I would almost be done with a 5k, when I ran by 6 I thought of a 10k and then mile 9 a 15k. All those races seem so short at this point.
  • Miles 8-9: I was circling into Winter Park for the second time at this point. I recognized a brick path and a pond I run by when I do the 10 mile runs with the ORC. I love this route and it’s familiarity, I know where I am in relation to the ending at all times.
  • Miles 10-11: After I hit mile 11 I knew I was in unchartered territory. Until now the longest distance I had ran was 11 miles so every step I made from this point was a new PDR. I was becoming a stronger person with this run and that made me smile.
  • Mile 12: My half was almost over, everyone was cheering that the finish line was just around the corner as we begin to circle the lake at which we started. I could not believe after all this training and hard work I was 1 mile away from making my goal. I told myself to enjoy this moment, to never forget this feeling I had right now. I was finishing a half marathon, how many people could honestly say that? I closed my eyes and took it all in as I stepped up my speed ease past all of my competition.
  • Mile 13: I could see my parents at this point snapping pictures of me, the finish line was in reach, I had made it! A huge grin is plastered across my face that I knew would be goofy in pictures, but I didn’t care. I had done it, I was here and I was finishing. I sprinted to the end using every last ounce of strength in me to carry me through.
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  • Finish: I made it across the line and cheered! A guy removed my chip, I grabbed my medal and found my parents all in a matter of minutes. The race was over, but my head was still swimming with cheers of I DID IT! I was on a high that no drug could ever reproduce and never wanted it to end.

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I was famished after the race was completed and needed fuel ASAP! I found bins of Water, Oranges and Bagels and proceeded to PIG OUT!!!

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Sexy, right?

I can not believe my race is over, all that hard work and now it’s over. I still can’t believe I finished. In less then a year I went from barely being able to run 1 mile to being able to complete 13 miles in just over 2 hours. Does anyone else think that’s insane? This past year has taught me so much and I am thankful for all of the new changes in my life. Thank you guys for believing in me and helping me along my journey. I want to be an example that all of this stuff I am achieving is possible. If you are like I was and don’t think you have any hope of running so many miles, you are wrong! If you have the desire and aspiration you can do anything, even running a half marathon! All it takes is that first step and its all gravy from there. :)

Love you guys!

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