Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Half Marathon Weekend Recap

Good Morning all.  Get comfy because this is going to be a long post.

As most of you know, after running 9 miles two weeks ago during my training, I experienced what the doctor says and what I think is sciatica (from a herniated disc in my lower back).  It's a shooting pain from my lower back, through my hip, down my hamstring to my knee.  I'm even feeling it in my heel now.

I went to the chiroporacter 4x last week and he thinks it is not sciatica and that my spine just needs to be aligned.  He definitely made me feel better, loosened me up, so whatever.  He's all for running as he used to run himself. 

The "real" doctor who's an ortho/sports med doctor, does not think running is for me.  I don't really like that answer.  I've made it this far, haven't I?  Ok so maybe long distance isn't my thing but don't a lot of people feel SOME KIND OF pain after running 9+ miles?!

I mean when I started Couch to 5K in February 2012, running for 3 minutes straight was like WHOA and Sunday I ran for 163 minutes straight (with the exception of stopping for maybe 1/2 mile total and stopping for water).  The most I ran in my life was the mile that we HAD to run in school.

Saturday we headed to where the marathon starts to pick up our bibs, shirts and to check out the expo they had going on.  It's a little over an hour drive south.  We hung out there for a bit and I purchased a bondiband.  I'm very glad I did because it held my bangs down and didn't slip at all.  Very light weight too.

My bondiband ~ Bright & early pre race

Corral E AKA the slowest one, lol.
 Saturday night I got everything together - my outfit, sports beans, CEP socks, water belt (I didn't end up wearing it - there were water stations every mile or 2).

Sunday morning:
Alarm set for 3am but my eyes open at 2:45, so I get up.  I showered right before bed so no need to shower again.  I freshen up and get dressed in my outfit (with sweat pants over because it is COLD out - low 40s).  We eat a bagel with peanut butter on the way down and some strawberries.  A coffee too.

We arrive at 5:15am (minimal traffic pulling into the parking lot at this time) and sit in the car for a few, people watching.  So many interesting people here.  People are running around the parking lot, warming up?  We are like - why waste your energy?  Lol.

We wait in line for the bathroom and then head over to the starting line.  The race starts at 6:45.  We were in the last corral so we started around 7:00.  Those 15 minutes felt like forever.  The adrenaline is pumping, my heart is racing and I'm very eager to start.

We start and Saro takes off in front of me.  I see him for maybe 30 seconds but then he's lost in the crowd.  So many people and I'm loving it. 

For the first mile, people are passing me, I'm passing others.  I honestly was so busy looking around at the sights and other people, that the first 4 miles went by so quick.  Up until mile 5 or 6, I can't remember exactly, I was feeling great.  People were on their lawns cheering for us, holding signs, playing music - it was so cool.  About halfway through, my lower back was hurting but not terribly.  I stopped at almost every water station and stopped to stretch my back 2-3 times.  At mile 8, I got a text from Angela that said "I don't know where you are in the race but keep going!"  I had stopped to stretch at this point so I saw her text and told her I only had 5 miles left.  ONLY 5?!  A year ago - 5 seemed impossible and after running 8, I was so glad I only had 5 left.  In a way I didn't want it to end though.  It was a weird feeling

The rest is a blur.  I had noticed this girl near me the whole time - we were at the same pace.  The last 1/4 mile, she saw me hurting as I stopped to walk.  She grabbed my arm and said "I saw we were together the whole time - come on we'll finish together, I'm hurting too!"  So we ran the rest of the way together.

Me at 12.5 miles.  Saro's sister took the picture.

I saw Saro in the crowd and he was so happy to see me!!  The finish line was so close but so far it seemed.  I crossed it after 2 hours & 43 minutes.  I am happy with this time considering my injury.  I wanted to finish in 3 hours so I'm satisfied.

Saro's sister, brother in law, daughters and my cousin and her husband were waiting for us at the end.

Saro finished in 2 hours, 17 minutes!

It was such an amazing experience.  I still can't believe I ran that far.  Ran, jogged, whatever!  Either one isn't easy.  I would definitely do it again as long as my body is feeling better!

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day :)


  1. Great picture of Saro! As soon as I got up I sent you that text!

  2. Yay Rachel!! What a great recap!! How awesome was it that you and that girl ran in together!!
    Ok, when we were waiting for ours to start we saw people running around the parking lot too!! Are you effing kidding me? Aren't we going to get enough running in??
    Congrats again!!

    1. I know! I mean I had nervous energy too but I was like I'm good sitting here.. lol. Congrats again to you too :)

  3. Way to power through!!! Congrats lady- amazing experience!

  4. So fun! I can't believe I missed this post!

    Do you run with a GPS? Did you pay much attention to how you paced yourself?

    I'm really hoping I'll be thinking about everything going on around me and have the miles fly by!

    GREAT JOB!!!