This weekend has been amazing. Many early hours, lots of driving and lots of memories.
Before I get started, I want to say how amazing Madison is!! She competed in her first road race at the Publix Kids Fun Run this past Saturday. She said she loves running and when she gets older she wants to run bigger races with me. Maybe I’ve sparked an interest in her. 😉 (you can see her just behind the left elbow of the mascot)
(click to view larger images)
About 3 or 4 months ago I decided to give myself a bigger challenge from my current 10K (6.2) road race status. So I signed up for the ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon, found a training schedule and made it a goal to finish my first half marathon (13.1 miles). Boy was I in for a treat!!
I was on a 12 week training program which was 4 days of running with increasing miles every week. And along with increasing miles came increasing food intake. I found out very quickly how fueling your body is one of THE most important parts of feeling good during a long run. There were several ‘next mornings’ where I thought that I probably shouldn’t have had two glasses of wine, two chocolate martini’s and lava cake…. J I sought out advice from many people who have either ran a half marathon or a full marathon and found one thing in common which was to just have fun and enjoy the experience, and that’s just what I did. I woke up at 4:30am on race day, fueled my body, checked the weather, kissed my amazing family as they slept, and drove to downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. Once I arrived, I participated in another one of my favorite sports: people watching. J It was a short time before I was joined by about 17,000 of my closest friends. As I made my way to my starting corral I finally found a familiar face, Mark! Ben and I have been friends with Mark and his lovely wife Karen for a few years so it was nice to share in the excitement with someone I knew.
I stayed strong for the first 7 miles, keeping at my normal pace and then started to feel the burn. From about mile 7 to 10 I was slower but still felt pretty good. At mile 10, I hit the wall. This was the mile marker where I started to slow down tremendously. Mentally I was focused and wanted to run like I had been , but my body was telling me otherwise. I almost let a new type of mental game win as I wondered what I had done wrong and why my body was giving up before my mind. Normally it is the other way around. I questioned my calorie, carb and protein intake, my sleep, my simple ability to do something like this, but then I started to think about writing about this endeavor and accepted that I was going to finish this and have an amazing story to go along with it.
Now I will talk a little about my title: Gatorade, spit and snot rockets?
First, at every race there are hydration stations loaded with water or Gatorade to help keep you cool and your electrolytes balanced. I’m not sure why this is my favorite part of running road races but it is! I think because it’s the only time that it is okay to throw trash on the floor and no one thinks twice about it, AND I’m not the one that has to clean it up! SCORE! I’m amazed at how good I have gotten at drinking and running and managing to get most of it in my mouth.
Second, I don’t partake in such things but it seems like runners like to spit…and they spit anywhere. After dodging a few spit balls myself, I listened for the sound of the runner in back, in front or on the side of me getting ready to brew one up and politely relocated myself. I’m thinking ‘chance of spit showers’ should have been in the forecast for today’s weather.
Finally, I have saved the best for last. Snot rockets!! I also learned how to listen for the brew of these bad boys and I wasn’t as subtle in my relocation. This has to be the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I understand the need to blow these bad boys out, but I don’t understand why it can’t be done on the sides of the course where the risk of a fellow runner being shot with one is less likely. J
I had spent some time in prayer this morning in the car praying that all of the staff, spectators and runners remain safe. Anything can happen and it breaks my heart when I hear stories of fallen runners. All was well until mile 12 and the gal in front of me fell like a ton of bricks. I was impressed with the runners next to her who stopped to help and how quickly emergency staff was there to take care of her. I hope she’s okay.
After I crossed the finish line I grabbed my medal, heat sheet and as much food as I could and found my man and three kids waiting for me.
There were times over the months that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it with taking care of the kids and stuff constantly coming up that would push my running back a day or two, but I am very glad that I stuck with it and finished what I said I was going to do.
One more shout out!! At the Health & Fitness expo, there was a booth by www.onemoremile.net
Check them out!! Here were some of my favorite shirts:
-My sport is your sports punishment
-It seemed like a good idea at the time
-Does this shirt make my butt look fast
-If found on ground, drag across the finish line
-Some girls chase boys, I pass ‘em
The End J