Still standing (barely): my half marathon experience

Hello all!

I have been on a little vacay last week…. no just kidding. I have not been that fortunate. I have been training, studying, yoga-ing (verb?) and watching Dr. Who. This is finals time and things are CRAY! I am trying hard to keep calm and breathe through it all.

As many of you may know, I signed up for my first half marathon and it was yesterday! The entire experience was interesting, painful, humbling and emotional. I finished and am proud to have made it all the way through.

So what was my experience like? Well, at around mile 9 my knee gave out and at 9.5 my music stopped playing and my clicker which keeps track of my start and finish time fell off.

Before I go into detail about that, I want to discuss the previous night because it is important in setting up the mental state I was in Sunday morning.

D-Money and I drove to Oklahoma City to register for the race but found out we missed my registration time by an hour. Typical. Thankfully I was still able to pick up my packet but we missed all the pre-race activities. With tensions running high, we drove over an hour looking for a coffee shop to do some studying. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING was closed. Typical. Irritated we decided to stay in Oklahoma City for night that way we would not have to drive an hour back the next morning.

The nice hotels close to the race site were booked. Also typical. We decided to stay in a motel. All the nice motels were booked. We decided to stay in a shady motel and instantly regretted it.

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The entrance to our roach motel

The motel had a sign that read “No refunds. No Exceptions.” That should have been our clue that this place may not be the best idea.

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He actually attempted to study before we realized we were surrounded!

We paid anyway and went to our room which was disgusting, smelled bad and to top it off had roaches. ROACHES! We both were grossed out and angry. We told the manager who was kind enough to give us another room, which was also roach infested.

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Also not impressed

We didn’t notice that it had roaches until a few hours later but by then it was too late- it was time to go run!

We spent over 45 minutes driving around trying to figure things out; like where the race started and where to park. We finally got it together and I joined the thousands of racers eager to start. It was so amazing to see everyone pumped up to run.

The race started great; I felt good, I felt fast and I was excited! The spectators were incredible and had creative signs and free booze. It was my type of crowd. My music station on Slacker was hitting all the right motivational songs and I felt like I was on top of the world. Then at mile 9 my knee went out.

I am not sure what happened. It just gave. Instant pain. I tried stretching it out but nothing helped.

I kept running.

I told myself that I was almost finished and quitting now wasn’t an option. I reminded myself that I stayed in a roach motel and owed it to myself and my hubs to complete the race. So I ran. I ran with a knee that did not want to be ran on.

Right around that time, my awesome music stopped. For no reason. It just stopped. I normally don’t run with music so it wasn’t a huge issue but for some reason yesterday, that music station was giving me everything I needed to push on. When it stopped I felt like I was going to stop.

Thanks to some incredible spectators who yelled “You’re so close! Don’t stop pink shirt!” (my shirt was pink) I kept it up. I looked ahead and could see the finish line. I was going to make it. I felt confident in myself despite my knee. I looked down and BAM- no clicker. No way to track how I did in my age group. Typical.

I finished, got my medal, stumbled over to D-Money and literally cried for five minutes trying to explain to him everything that went wrong. He hugged me and had to carry me back to the car because my legs stopped working.

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My medal and three ice packs

So how was it?

It was one of the best days of my life.

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After the waterworks I was all smiles… until I realized I couldn’t walk without intense pain

Sure, a lot of things went wrong. But so many things went right! I ran 13.1 miles. I didn’t give up! I am alive and my body can do beautiful things. I realized how beautiful the human spirit can be; strangers cheered me on and kept me going. I got to feast on pasta afterwards without guilt.  I made memories with the hubby and we learned that shady motels are a no-no. Plus being in a position to stay overnight some place, even if it is shady is worth being thankful for.

I am able to walk with minimal pain today thanks to going to yoga class and my knee feels a lot better. I am going to rest my legs for the next few days and try running on Thursday. If my knee hurts, I will rest it longer.

One step at a time.

I think my 13 year old self who wrote a note to current me to run a half followed by a full marathon would be proud. I finished and that in itself is a victory.

P.S. My boo thang and I had to wash everything we took with us to the roach motel because we found one of the awful bugs in our bag.  Thankfully we saw it before we took any of our belongings in our home. NEVER AGAIN.

P.S.S. Will be posting many recipes so check back soon!

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3 thoughts on “Still standing (barely): my half marathon experience

    1. You can do it! There are a lot of awesome training programs out there to help. Have you found a 5k you want to run already? Good luck training and I hope to hear more about how the journey to 5k treats you!

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