I did it.
I am now a half marathoner. I really would love to say I’m simply a “marathoner,” but that would be a grave injustice to the full marathoners, who, at mile 11 when the two groups split, had to run what I’d just done all over again.
But I’m am PROUD of my new title. I’d say I earned it.
I beat the living daylights out of that half marathon. This was faster than my predicted finish by a FULL 15 minutes (and that was my optimistic estimate!), and I would be lying if I said I haven’t been on cloud nine since I found out.
But let’s back up to where we left off yesterday.
After lazing around, running a few errands, and enjoying a day dedicated to nothing other than resting and carbs, my brother came to town and we headed to the Expo to pick up our race packets.
We got nifty reusable bags, as well as a great technical shirt.
Because the expo was about to close, Casey and I only had a little time to run around and grab as much swag as possible.
It was crowded!
But we both made off juuuust fine.
Afterwards, we settled in for a cozy night with Being John Malkovich, big bowls of noodle soup from Pho Fusion, and a dysfunctional air mattress. Luckily, 2 of the 3 were quite good, which hopefully made up for the fact that my brother spent the night battling the floor through a semi-inflated piece of plastic. I fared hardly better in my comfy bed – I teetered between nervous insomnia and self-sabatoging nightmares, so needless to say, when the alarm went off at 5:00 am I was more than happy to just get up and DO IT.
Well, speaking of self-sabatoge… I ended up forgetting my bib. So with 15 minutes left before the race start, Casey and I sped home to get my bib, returned downtown, parked illegally, and ran to the race start (13.1? More like 13.5) where they were literally just releasing our corral. CLUTCH.
We hopped the fence like the obviously law abiding citizens we are, high-fived, and were off!
I’ve never felt so amazing while running. Never. My solo 11-miler was harder, longer, and more difficult than the 13 miler running with the crowd, the spectators, and the bands. There was so much energy the entire race. The people watching was great, the signs were clever, and the high fives from folks along the course kept my spirits up the entire time. My stomach emptied out around mile 9 and I was fearful I would hit a wall – but no! I turned the only corner where I felt less than steller and ran right into the GU/Cytomax water station and fueled just enough to power me through the finish. The race planners knew exactly what I needed when I needed it.
Casey was an incredible pace setter and pushed me to my limit, and we both sprinted the last 2 miles to the glorious finish. It was SUCH a success, and I am so proud of both of us for accomplishing the feat, not only alone, but as a team. We were both giddy with the excitement of it all for hours afterward. I now know what a “runner’s high” is.
I’m already signed up for the Country Music Half Marathon in April. Sea level? Bring it on.
Watch out Nashville!
Post-race, we limped back to the car and headed to breakfast. There’s a totally cute spot in my neighborhood called the Cozy Cottage, and it 100% delivered on every aspect of the desperately needed meal.
The vibe, service, and lack of a wait were all spot on.
And the food was DE-LISH.
Everything was super tasty – the pancakes in my pigs-in-a-blanket were amazing, and Casey’s biscuit and gravy were excellent. I will absolutely be back, there were a hundred other things on the menu I could have chosen!
A shower and a nap subsequently followed. As I was laying down at 11:30, I was ridiculously pleased with how much had been accomplished so early in the day. I’ve done basically nothing since. Which is okay because I’m definitely not a young spry thing anymore – my knees, hips, and ankles are pretty much toast. I’m going to be limping a bit for the next couple of days, I presume.
Whatever. So freaking worth it.
Lo and behold, a girlfriend of mine from college happened to be in town and had also run the half, so we met up tonight under the explicit premise that I be able to order pizza and a beer.
Her selection, City O’ City, delivered on all counts.
Carbs and more carbs. SO GOOD.
Florentine pizza with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. MEGA YUM.
The menu was so diverse, though, that my friend was able to order a big bowl of udon noodle soup.
The best part? She gave me her leftovers!!!!
Afterwards, like most Sunday nights around these parts, we headed to get ice cream.
Cream cheese and gingerbread flavors in a sugar cone.
And now I’m full, sore, tired, and excited to crash hard tonight. What a good day. What a good weekend! I am happy as a clam. xoxo