I DID IT!!! I DID IT!!!
Official Time– 1:58:11
Oh my goodness gracious, that was the hardest race I’ve ran so far ever, ever, ever.
It was pretty clear that I had a lot of jitters leading up to this race. Oddly though, I slept like a log the night before. I think I was so beat from worrying that my body went into shut down mode. Either way, I was glad that I was able to rest.
Our alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. –our real alarm, not my almost 6 month old 🙂 — and we began getting ready. I had my clothes laid out and ready to go so this process didn’t take too long; we wanted to leave our house by 5:45. I ate my usual Nutrigrain bar and we were off.
Do you have a pre-race song you like to listen to before a race? I do. It’s Delta Goodrem’s “Believe Again”. I hear that song on repeat in the car on my way to each race. Luckily, my husband likes it and didn’t mind hearing it for the 20 minute car ride. We had to park and take the light rail to the race as the area where it started was super congested and trying to find parking there would have been ridiculous and expensive.
The race’s starting line was right smack in the middle of my college campus, Arizona State University. This is me in front of the bridge I’d cross each morning on my way to class 🙂 My dorm building is the farthest one on the left.
I was able to move up corrals, thank goodness!, and hung out there while I waited for the start. I seriously thought my corral had to be the most popular; we were packed in there like sardines. I anticipated the first mile to be a weave through process and it was. Once it was time to go, I moved towards the outside left so I can pass as many as I could to get my pace started. I didn’t feel like I was settled in until about mile 3!
I went into the race telling myself I wanted to maintain an under 9 minute average the first 6 miles. I knew from the map that these were the flattest and I wanted to take advantage of it. Sure enough, each mile I was in the 8:35-8:50 range. Up to that point, I was really enjoying myself. There was a very slight downhill in one spot and you could see the thousands of people running the race–it was pretty cool to see and know you were one of those colored specks. The music was loud and definitely helping to move us all along. Spectators were cheering, holding signs–the atmosphere was just awesome.
And then things started to get a little rough around mile 8. I reached the low incline portion of the course, the one leading up to the hill, and I instantly felt myself slow down. I wanted to stay at the 9:00 min mark and it was so difficult to do.
By the time I got to mile 10, I had had it. My legs felt heavy and I could feel the hill approaching. The mental game had official started.
I was trudging up the hill, it was an up and back so I could see on the other side the runners who had already climbed the hill running back down. As I was snailing, I noticed a runner on the descent bouncing two basketballs, one on each hand. Yes, someone running while bouncing basketballs! Yes, this was around mile 10! It took me a split second to realize that it was Doctor Dribble. If you don’t know who he is, you need to check him out–he’s pretty incredible. I recognized him because he’d commented on one of my Instagram photos and when I checked out his profile, I saw that this is something he’s done in quite a few races. I had no idea he was doing RnRAZ .
Having gotten pumped up by Doctor Dribble, I moved up what was left of the hill. On the ride down, I let the descent carry me for a while. My legs were tired and I could use all the help I could get. I got to mile 11 and told myself that once I got to my 12 I would be sooo close. I just needed to get to mile 12.
The eleventh mile was the longest mile of my life.
Have you ever had those miles? That one mile that just seems way longer than all the others? This was it. This was that mile. I was thinking to myself how I had ran 13 miles quite a few times in my lifetime. How this was not anything new to me. I could do this. I’ve done this!
But I could feel my form falling apart. I could hear my feet start to shuffle. But then all of a sudden, I also heard my name! I looked around me but couldn’t see anyone I knew but I could definitely hear my name being yelled. Finally, I saw a girl jumping and waving her hands hysterically. It was my old friend from waayyy back, Nadia. Nadia ran cross country with me in high school and was one of the elite. She’s so hard core. I love her because she’s a no-nonsense type of gal. But there was my typically serious friend cheering me on, trying her best to make sure I could hear her tell me to Keep Going! You got this!
I could not have seen her at a better time. She was exactly what I needed.
Not long after, I saw mile 12 and I knew I was on my way to reaching my PR. I wanted to make sure I left no room for doubt, so I picked up my pace wanting to get as under 2 as possible.
I turned and saw mile 13 and immediately begin my final kick. I finished that .1 leaving everything I had behind me. Immediately crossing the finish line, I looked down at my watch and saw 1:58:10. I wanted so badly to yell, scream, shout in joy but I had absolutely no strength left. I clumsily made my way through the finisher’s chute to look for my husband and when he found me, he could see that I had given it all I had.
“You did it, didn’t you?!?”
All I could do was nod.
I somehow managed to pull myself together to take a finisher’s photo with him. (I actually loved the pic and ordered it! I’ll share it with you guys as soon as I get it.)
Once were able to get past the crowd of finishers, we came across a grassy knoll that I found perfect to rest my weary bones.
And this is where I stayed for about 45 minutes.
I honestly don’t think it was until yesterday that it sunk in. I DID IT. I ran a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours!!
–What’s your most memorable race or the race you’re most proud of ? (This one is mine!)
My 1/2 marathon was dedicated to Meg Cross Menzies.