Hi everybody!! Hope you all had a great weekend!
As I posted on Friday, Brandon and I drove to Louisville this weekend for our first ever half marathon!
So Friday after work, I drove to a Panera in Dayton to wait for Brandon, as he was driving about an hour south to meet up with me. While I waited, I decided to have a carb-filled dinner in preparation for the race!
Any excuse to eat a bagel for dinner, right?
After Brandon made it down to Dayton and grabbed himself some dinner, we started the drive to Louisville. At this point, it was 5:30. Our bib numbers had to be picked up by 9pm. By my calculation, we should have gotten there before 8:00.
You know where this is going, don’t you?
What we weren’t expecting was traffic. And lots of it. It was a combination of Friday night traffic, construction, and car accidents resulting in bottlenecking.
Me having a panic attack that we weren’t going to get there in time.
After about two and a half hours, however, the traffic started to lighten up and we were able to make up a little time (not that we were speeding or anything … ).
In the end, we ended up pulling up to the building at 8:58. Talk about a close call!
But we made it. And then we got to check out all of our sweet loot.
They gave us a bunch of energy gels to help keep us going during the race. Brandon ended up consuming two of these during the run, and I used one of the Power Bar Double Latte gels. It had caffeine in it, which I loved. The taste was good but I hated the texture. But really, at that point, do you really even care as long as it’s helping you to survive the next 6 miles? I didn’t think so.
We also both got this cool shirt:
Here’s the back:
You know I’ll be wearing this shirt proudly around the gym for the next 6 months.
The morning of the race, we woke up ready to go. It was supposed to be a little chilly that morning, so I decided to sport some sweet sweat pants over my running shorts.
Brandon hates these sweatpants, which just makes them even more fun to wear.
The hotel gave us free breakfast, so of course we took advantage.
However, it wasn’t very good. Don’t be fooled … we only ate about 1/4 of all of that stuff. I tried eating a plain bagel but it was nasty so I opted for a small cinnamon muffin instead. Brandon was brave and ate yogurt and granola (something I wouldn’t risk doing before running!). He also tried a bagel but agreed they were nasty.
surviving enjoying our breakfast, we headed to the starting line to meet Erin and Sam!
Warning: the rest of the pictures are going to be a little grainy because they’re all from Brandon’s phone, since I didn’t want to risk running with my camera. I’m way too klutzy to try that one!
We found Erin and Sam pretty easily!
After chatting for a few minutes, I starting running a little to warm up before stretching.
Thanks, Brandon, for that super attractive shot.
Then it was just a matter of (nervously) waiting for the gun to go off!
Before we knew it, that gun had gone off and we were inching towards the starting line (for those who haven’t been in a race before, the beginning is so anticlimactic … you don’t just take off running, because there are a ton of people in front of you! Instead, you inch up slowly until you hit the starting line and then you can finally take off!).
The first couple of miles felt pretty good, but my body was still a little stiff because it hadn’t warmed up yet. We took about a 15 second walk break after miles 1 and 2, just because that’s what we usually do when we’re training.
Once we hit mile 3, I felt awesome. So awesome in fact, that we didn’t end up taking a single walk break for the rest of the race! That’s right … we ran nonstop for over 2 hours. I still can’t believe it myself!
Miles 4-6 went through Cherokee Park. And Erin had warned me that much of the run would be uphill.
And it was. Very much so. But we just kept ourselves moving and staying positive. I believe I even channeled the Little Engine That Could (“I think I can, I think I can …”).
Although we were doing well, several people around us weren’t. We saw a few girls throwing up, and we saw one poor woman take a face-plant into the concrete as she was running down a steep incline. Everyone felt so bad for her, but she got right back up and kept going!
Throughout the race, they had DJs and bands set up playing music in various spots. The music was a huge moral booster during the tough spots! My favorite was the DJ playing the “Cupid Shuffle.” I really wanted to stop and do the dance, but I refrained.
There were also spectators with signs, cheering us along. Some of my favorite signs included:
- “What are you running from?”
- “Run faster, I farted.”
- “Worst parade ever.”
- “When Chuck Norris grows up, he wants to be like you!”
I also loved this one girl’s t-shirt. The back of it said, “Dear God, I pray on race day that someone is behind me to read this.” Hilarious (and obviously, her prayers were answered because I was reading it! ).
Brandon and I continued feeling great all through miles 6-10. He was a little stiff in his shoulders, but he was able to stretch them out and seemed fine.
Around mile 11, I started feeling tired. I know, shocking … tired, after running 11 straight miles. But I just kept saying to myself “This is supposed to be hard,” and “In 2 more miles, I get to eat an awesome breakfast!”
Then it was mile 12. And I knew I only had 1.1 miles left.
We started picking up the pace and passing people left and right, which really helps get you pumped!
Before I knew it, the finish line was in sight. And that’s when we really starting moving.
Warning: the video is (obviously) shaky. Don’t watch it if you get sick easily!
Our official final time?
2 hours, 12 minutes, and 48 seconds. I loved that we finished at the exact same time. Our pace was 10:08, so about 10 minutes per mile. I was very excited about this time. I wanted to finish at 2:15, but I didn’t think it would happen and I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. So imagine how excited I was to finish with an even better time!!!
I was a hot mess after the race. When I eventually looked in the mirror, I had all kinds of grossness on my face … dried up energy gel, flavored water, dried sweat … yeah, very attractive.
But it was all worth it for this:
This medal was really cool, because it was dipped in Maker’s Mark red wax.
And Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky tradition, so it was very appropriate for this particular race!
After the race, we met up with Erin and Sam (who finished with a time of 1:47 … congrats, guys!!), and headed to eat.
I’ll be sharing details from our adventures at Lynn’s Paradise Café tomorrow, so be sure to come back … you don’t want to miss that post!
And if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out my guest post on Brittany’s blog!
I shared a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. These things are addictingly-delicious (yes, I just invented a new word, but these cupcakes are worthy of such an occasion!)!
Question for ya …
What did you do this weekend?
If you’ve ever run a race before, any funny stories?