I came, I saw, I ran. We started with the Race Expo on Friday, where I proceeded to ride a moving shoe. Friday night I joined a couple girlfriend who flew into town to watch the race for dinner with one of their families, and we just relaxed. We slept in Saturday, laid around, I did some schoolwork, and we did a little shopping before a big, delicious pasta dinner! I was back at the hotel and in bed by about 10pm.
My alarm went off Sunday morning at 5:30am. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to actually wake up, to put on my clothes, to eat something, all that jazz. Turns out it doesn't take long, especially when one is trying to be courteous and quite while someone else sleeps! I sat on the sofa near the bathroom for some light and enjoyed a really crappy cup of coffee and a granola bar. The good news is the coffee worked and the granola bar held me over for most of the race. I grabbed a water bottle and left the hotel about 6:30am for the race start line.
As soon as I arrived, I walked inside the convention center and got in line for the bathroom, and then I found a nice spot to sit and wait. I was early, but not so early that I had time to be nervous or uncomfortable. I ventured outside and found some of my colleagues who were also running and managed to hang with them until our corral made it to the start line about 8:15am. And then I was on my own! Miles 1-4 were pretty uneventful. People were still trying to find their footing and I was still darting around people and being darted around. I got into a pretty good rhythm and just kind of watched the road go by.
I saw Erika & Paige right around Mile 5, which was very exciting and totally the highlight of the entire race. The real kicker is that they also tell you when you've hit a 5k and a 10k, which I just found to be the WORST. I don't need additional reminders of how far I still have to go!
I carried on and right around Mile 8 I started feeling crappy. The course wasn't overly exciting, my whole body was starting to ache, and I was slowing down in general. And then I got to Mile 9, where I thought long and hard about what injury I might tell the people in the medical tent. And just when I thought it couldn't get worse, right around Mile 11 I had to go to the bathroom. So I paused at a bathroom stop, waited 5ish minutes, and the volunteer told me that it was out of TP. Next! So now I'm miserable, my knees hurt, the bottoms of my feet hurt, I'm on the verge of tears because the whole thing is just really emotional and I've got to find a bathroom ASAP. I hated Mile 11.
I saw Erika & Paige a second time, shortly after my bathroom break, and I had been practicing what I was going to say to them for at least the 2 miles before that. The biggest part of the plan was not to cry. Success, but I whined and showed Erika my disgustingly swollen fingers. 2 miles left!
The last 2 miles sucked. I was starving, so I finally ate the granola bar I'd been carrying with me, but I had no water left, so I chewed and chewed and chewed. That helped. I also ate the little jelly beans Amanda gave me for Christmas, which energized me a lot for how little they were.
And then, before I knew it, I was coming into the fair grounds and rounding the corner and crossing the finish line, they handed me a medal, and I burst into tears.
And then I collapsed on the ground and claimed that I was never standing up again while simultaneously freezing to death. I don't know what those aluminum blanket things are usually for, but on this day, it was for warmth!
Erika & Paige came to pick us up and we made our way over to the after party. Many beers and mimosas and snacks were had by all. My feet started to swell, so we finally left and grabbed our belongings from the old hotel before I moved into my new hotel for the night.
I took a really hot, cozy bath, put on my pajamas at 6pm, and crawled under the covers. I talked to my mom and to a couple friends (exciting updates to come!), ordered Chinese food, and changed my flight to super early the next morning because at this point all I wanted was to go home.
And that was that! It's highly unlikely that I run a half marathon again, but I wouldn't be surprised to find myself registered for a handful of 10K's in the near future. That distance seemed juuuuuust right.