Monday, November 5, 2012

Half Marathon-- Mark it off the life list

I did it. I completed 13.1 miles. I ran it all. I wasn't out of breath. I wasn't ready to collapse.
I did it. I did it. I did it!

Ok... Here's how the whole event went.   Get Comfy--- It's a long one!

Friday, Cameron and I headed to Indy. After a few pit stops, we finally made it and checked into our room.(We were also helping out with a convention for high schoolers in our state Saturday/Sunday.) We helped load boxes/bags onto luggage carts and push them a block over to the convention center after checking in.  We then headed to the expo, picked up my bag with my bib, shirt, info, free poster, etc. I had to swipe my bib and make sure that the chip was functioning in it... luckily, it was! The expo was really neat. Booths had samples you could try and tons of products to buy! There were so many clothing racks with 'discounted' clothes, but no where to try them on, so I just bought some stickers and magnets.

From about 4PM on, I was trying to drink as much as I could. I went through several bottles of water and watered down Gatorade.
***Runner tip---before a race, you want to drink so much that your urine is basically clear...not yellow.

We had already decided to just go to The Old Spaghetti Factory instead of the pasta dinner. I had never eaten there before and thought it would be a great experience and a carbo load. We got a tiny table in the bar (near a guy that looked JUST LIKE Dana Carvey!) and ordered. I, of course, bounced around with my decision before going with lasagna........ bad choice. Their "World Famous Baked Lasagna" is the worst lasagna I've ever had. Simply--- it's dry and cheap tasting. I did eat a lot of the bread and my salad, but not much of my lasagna. We went ahead and asked for a to-go container for it...... ever asked for one there??

Yup... A chinese take out box for lasagna?!?! Weird.   All through dinner, my knees, shins and ankles were throbbing. I was really getting worried about what was to come and if I would be able to run it all--- or run at all the next morning!

After a cold walk back to our room, I iced my legs and Cameron massaged them a bit before covering the sorest (if that's not a word then I just made it one) places in BioFreeze. I laid out all of my things that I would need in the morning, set the alarms for 5AM and laid in bed watching all the news about the NYC Marathon cancellation. My brother was in NYC for his girlfriend to run, so we chatted on the phone about the latest updates on it and what their plans would be. I then endulged in some cookies and more watered down Gatorade.

My stuff----tight running leggings, UnderArmour shorts, a ball cap, ear warmers (180s), UnderArmour socks, UnderArmour turtleneck, cheap gloves, waist pack, bib and pins, sport beans and BodyGlide.
***Runner Tip---Train in everything you plan to wear/use. Nothing new!

In my waist pack--- cash, ID, tissues, cough drops, chapstick and my phone.

I went round and round on what to wear on the lower half of my body. If rain was heavily forecasted, I had my shorts and warming gel, but no rain-- leggings and shorts. The forecast seemed to change every 30 minutes, so I was still unsure until it was time to get dressed.

Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early to help my body wake up. We watched some TV, checked messages (and Facebook!), checked the latest on the weather (rain was forecasted for the end of the race!!), went over the game plan for Cam to get pictures and just mentally prepared for what was to come. For breakfast, I made a peanut butter sandwich and ate it with a banana.

We planned to leave at 7:15, so I didn't start getting ready until almost 7 because I didn't want to get too sweaty. I covered every part of my body that would rub against anything with BodyGlide---especially my feet! I wore my hair up in a bun through the back of the ball cap. I had done some reading and even put one layer of plastic cling wrap over my socks in case of heavy rain. (My feet stayed so warm and plastic wrap didn't cause any problems-- and yes, I had done this for a train as well.) I threw on my sweats over my running gear. I decided to run in my sweatshirt... yes, it was cotton, but it's what I've trained in several times and I like running in it, so I went ahead and attached my bib to it.

Cam's shirt that I had made. He said he had at least 30 comments on it!

When we headed out of the hotel, we met up with a girl on our same floor also doing the half. We walked over with her but then went our separate ways. I didn't get her name or where she was from : (

I stretched and then stripped my outer layer (coats and pants) and headed to the starting line.  The race advertised that they would be collecting the sweats that people threw down to give to charity, but I wasn't successful in finding pants or a coat that I wanted to wear to keep warm but then get rid of, so Cam just kept my stuff in the backpack so I had it wear at the end.


When I first got in with the group, I had some room to continue to stretch...but within a matter of minutes, we were packed in like sardines. This was the first time that I wished I had been with someone I knew because it seemed like everyone around me had someone to talk to.... so what did I do? Text people of course!   I wasn't nervous at all. I just wanted the next 2+ hours to pass quickly! I listened to everyone around me talk about how many races they had done and thought of what it would be like to say you had done 20+ marathons..Crazy! I also started eyeballing what running gear everyone had. ***Newbie***

From where I was, we couldn't hear a thing. A few minutes after 8, the line started moving and four minutes after that, we were crossing the start line. I found my pace and followed the group. I was slow, but I was moving.

The first mile seemed to take forever! My brain was already screaming and doing the math of how much estimated time I had left! I had looked at the map a million times, but I wasn't familiar enough with the city to really know where we were going, so I just enjoyed following the crowd and taking in the city at sunrise. At one point, we were running straight towards the horizon through downtown Indy, but we turned before I could get my phone out to get a pic, but I did snap this one shortly after.

We ran several miles before my knees/ankles started to bother me, but I knew that I just had to keep moving. I skipped the very first water stop because I had had quite a bit to drink already that morning and was sure I didn't need to stop yet. I just didn't want to stop moving. I had found my groove.  

At the second, I went to the left side (I had read that the right was more crowded because of right handed people, but I'm not sure there was a difference at this race) and grabbed a cup of water. I quickly realized that stopping for 5 seconds to drink from the cup was better than spilling it all down me!    At the expo, a speaker suggested alternating water and Gatorade at stops. I then realized that the Gatorade was several tables further down, but remembered that they only had lemon lime which I do not like, so it didn't bother me that I didn't get it.
***Runner Tip--- Don't try anything new on race day! I've never trained with Gatorade and I know that I don't like that flavor, so I didn't want to take a chance of upsetting my stomach.

People were lining the streets with signs, noise makers, costumes, and music. It was AWESOME! The city/spectators were great!

Cameron was to be at mile 3 and when I spotted him, I headed towards the side of the road (no stopping!) to give him the iPod. MapMyRun wasn't picking up the GPS and it was just annoying to keep it with me if it wasn't going to work. I knew that they were going to have mile markers with time, but I like being able to look down and know the distance as I go...

I think it was shortly after mile 3 when I started taking some Sport Beans.
***Runner Tip-- Take in calories while you run--- gummies, gel, beans...

I knew Cam would be at mile 12 (and eating breakfast/wandering the city for the 90 minutes in between! haha) so I tried to text him every so often to update him. Yes. Text. I text sometimes when I train, so it wasn't anything new to me. I did get some strange looks...but whatever!

***Runner tip--- If people know that you are running your race, they are probably sending you texts of encouragement. If you can read them during the race, it really helps! I loved reading them from friends and family. It was great!

Mile 7 was where the full/half split was. It was nice to no longer be beside someone that was 'more professional'!! haha... It was only people doing the half and that was nice. Right at the split, sprinkles started to fall, but it didn't last long.   This was about the same time that the signs really started to get encouraging and funny.

Several of the signs people had  got me choked up...
One said "You are an inspiration to all of us!" Another said, "By running this race, my beautiful wife is proving that she loves being alive."  I have no idea what the story was behind this one, but the fact that the husband had made it was awesome.

Several of them were funny--- "Keep Going! Keep Going! Faster! Faster! (That's what she said!)"...... yeah, several of us laughed about that one!....
"Run like you stole something!"      
"Your feet hurt from kicking so much ASSphalt."
"You are warmer than we are!"
"Run, Random Stranger, Run!"
" I bet this sounded like a good idea 4 months ago!"
Some people got really creative!

Again--- the spectators were great! "Good Job Runners!!!" "Keep going!" "You're half way there!" Everyone was so enouraging!!

Mile 7-8 is where the emotions really started. Getting choked up from signs, realizing that I was more than half way through and knowing that I was completing such a huge goal I set for myself... it was all so overwhelming. I kept remembering what Cam said. Before I lined up, he looked at me straight in the eyes and told me that he was proud of me. I hadn't even started yet... he was just proud of me for training and having the courage to do this.... overwhelming emotion.

The last 5-6 miles were tough. My breathing wasn't struggling... it was my ankles! They were throbbing...but I just had to keep moving. Water stops got quicker and quicker because the pain set in as soon as I stopped moving. One of the women along side the street yelled out to us to stand up straighter and push through. Those simple words were so encouraging!

Hitting mile 10 was huge... double digits! It also meant that we were in the home stretch. The last 3 miles were almost a straight shot back to the finish! Mile 11 is when I really needed to keep my mind off of the pain in my ankles..... so, back to texting! haha... I sent a quick "mile 11" text to about 8 people and loved getting the feedback! Yes, I got more strange looks from people... and while I had my phone out, I snapped some horrible blurry pictures! so... more strange looks.

Cam was right where he said he would be around mile 12. He snapped a pic of Forrest Gump... This guy had the outfit identical and ran the whole half in it! No gloves, no ear warmers, no sleeves. Dedication. You can see that he had leggings on underneath, but still!

See the people NOT running in the pic?? yeah, they crossed the street in front of me and I almost plowed them over. This is me (in the center) after I did a little dance around them. Just after this, Cam screamed my name and I turned to look at him. As I turned back, I noticed a huge pile of vomit in my path and had to leap over it. It was an interesting time.

Just after the vomit is when I realized that I was ALMOST DONE! Someone yelled, "You can hear the finish line from here!" As I strained to listen, I instead heard the sleet starting!! Sleet! Not just rain, sleet. I didn't care... I was almost done!! I turned the last corner and could see the finish!!!

I crossed the finish and heard Cam scream my name. I walked over to him. I hugged him, grabbed my coat and realized that I was hoarse.... and done! I was done! I completed it.... I completed a half marathon..... Then it set it in.... my legs were killing me. I hadn't even looked at the time, but Cam did. My official time (the chip calculates crossing the start to crossing the finish-- not just the time from when the clock starts) was 2:19:23.  It's slow, yes... but I'll take it.

I grabbed chocolate milk (which made me SO COLD!) and a banana which was hard and cold from sitting out in 35 degrees... I bi-passed the medal booth at first and had to go back to find mine! haha

Photo Op---My cheeks look HUGE!

I skipped out on the festivities... They had bagels, chili, coconut water, massages, sandwiches, etc.... but all I wanted to do was lay down and ice! It was a long and slow walk back to the hotel... where, randomly, we ran into the same girl from the morning outside the door!  We got upstairs and before I took any of my running clothes off, I just laid on the bed and covered with my ice packs. (Cameron was AMAZING. He ran to open every door, got me anything/everything I needed, and was so proud of me.)

My knees were a bit swollen, but went down quickly after the ice.

My pic for facebook.
After resting, I started getting SO HUNGRY... but nothing even sounded good. I took a quick shower and started getting ready. We were going to head to the food court in the mall, but I started getting horrible stomach cramps (hadn't eaten yet!). Cam walked over and called to tell me what they had.... Tacos sounded so good, so I got some Taco Bell brought back for me : )   I endulged in two tacos and a gordita supreme! After some more rest, we made our way to the convention that we were helping with. We did some sitting for a while, but then we had to walk quite a bit and I did about a million flights of stairs, so I was done for by the time we were heading to bed at 1AM (after two more meals to fill me up!).

My right ankle is still very sore, as well as my back and legs, but I'm sure all the stairs that evening has something to do with it, too!

Will I do another one??? Definitely. Will I do another Fall/Winter one.... probably not.
But...Am I glad that I did this one??? ABSOLUTELY!

I hope to do a spring one and work on my speed between now and then.

After completing 13.1 miles, I feel as though I can refer to myself as a runner now. Hi. I'm Krista. I am a runner.

Until Next Time...

**Fellow bloggers-- Don't forget to become a follower! I like knowing who is reading my stuff so that I can read your posts, too!


  1. Fantastic job Krista! Way to go! Have you ever thought of doing a Tough Mudder or Viking Assult??


  2. I've heard of them, but not thought of doing them...yet. I want to do some fun runs soon-- Color Run, Dirty Girl, etc. to build up more stamina. I'm also going to start Round 2 of Insanity in a few weeks so maybe as my body changes more and gets more lean (and I gain more muscle), more challenging events like those you mentioned will pop up on my calendar :)


Do you have a tip, suggestion, or critique? Leave me a comment.