Before I get to all the food goodies for the day (and believe you me, there’s lots of them!) I have big news: I completed my first half marathon this morning!! It was the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon to be exact. I’m still on a bit of a runner’s high even tonight! A little background on me to help explain why: I started running in Nov. 2007 by following a modified (to make it longer and more gradual) version of the Couch to 5k Program and I couldn’t run for 3 minutes straight back then. Growing up I had always despised ‘The Mile’ in gym class and never thought I could EVER be a runner. I originally decided to take up running as a means to burn calories and shed some weight. The C25K program was awesome and I competed in my first race in April 2008 (the Go! St. Louis 5k) and LOVED it. Now, one year later, I returned to the same event, but this time I competed in the half marathon!!!
So here’s how my race day went. First of all, let me say, I was SO excited going into this. I had been training for months, so this was the culmination of lots of hard work! Also, I only run a couple of events each year, so this was big and I was SO looking forward to another fun race day (particularly because I get so few)! I had set a goal for myself of 2:10:00, which was a pretty lofty goal for me as a 10 min/mile pace is challenging for me to sustain long-term. Unfortunately, all did not go according to plan as the weather decided it did not care about my plans/hopes/goals. The race itself started out miserable. It had been raining all night and it rained throughout the whole race. So I was soaked from head to toe by the 2nd mile! Here’s a mile by mile breakdown of my thoughts (for those who care):
Mile 1: YAY! I love race days! There are so many people and this is so fun… I don’t even mind the rain that much. Besides, if I stay a bit back from the person in front of me, I can see the puddles ahead and dodge them. This is going to be fine.
Mile 2: My feet are soaked. No need to try and dodge puddles anymore! All these people crapping out already are ticking me off. Get out of my way! Clearly you started off too far up time-corral-wise! Ugh… 1st water station only has gatorade… tummy ache here I come! (Can you tell I was crabby because I was wet?)
Mile 3: Never drinking gatorade… not one sip… ever again. Ever. If they don’t have H20 at the next station I plan to start running with my mouth open to catch rain water. In other news, I now know why so many people are wearing shorts… my pants are soaked on bottom from the puddles and the weight of the water is pulling them down. I CANNOT run 10 more miles while holding my pants up. What am I going to do? This. sucks.
Mile 4: I hate St. Louis weather. I hate rain. I hate these pants. I hate that I have 9 more miles to go. I hate that the 2:10 pace group leader has suddenly decided to kick it up a notch and is almost to the point of catching up with the next pace group. Is she really on pace? I mean seriously, can I really be THAT far behind already? I’m panicking. My shoes and clothes are so wet that I feel like I just rode a major water ride at Six Flags, I can’t keep my pants up, and now I’m not even going to finish in the time I wanted. This is NOT going well!
Mile 5: Pulling over to roll my pants up and make them into shorts = Best. Idea. EVER! At least my pants are staying up now. Problem #1 solved. Looks like crazy-2:10 pace lady has slowed down a bit… or I’m catching up somehow (funny how not holding your pants up allows you to focus on running more). Hey! There’s my first fan! My friend Jason! YAY!
Mile 6: Guess who’s IN FRONT OF crazy-2:10 pace lady now? This gal here… that’s who! YAY! Now I can take my scheduled 30 second walk breaks at the mile markers and still keep pace with them. Almost halfway done! Hey, there’s my family! I love having fans! What a boost. Maybe this will work out afterall!
Mile 6.5: WTF? I didn’t eat or drink anything recently… so why do I have the most painful side stitch ever? Ugh. This is not cool. I’ll slow my breathing a bit and surely it will go away…
Mile 6.6: Seriously going to vomit from pain. I just took an unscheduled 30 second walk break and I’m still trying to slow my breathing to take care of this stitch.
Mile 6.7: OMG this is never going to end. I’m going to have to run the last half of this race doubled over in pain. The 2:10 running group has officially passed me again. Maybe that’s because I’ve had to take 3 freakin’ walk breaks this mile!
Mile 6.8: That’s it! I’m busting out the Clif Z-bar. Maybe my side stitch is hungry and wants some brownie. Brownies always make ME feel better. Please let chocolate please the side stitch demon.
Mile 6.9: I CANNOT take any more walk breaks this mile. This ends now side stitch. I’m running whether you like it or not!
Mile 7: Feeling better. Side stitch is fading. Now I’ve got to catch up with the 2:10 team, but still not push too hard for fear of a return of the side stitch monster! This is a delicate balance I’ve got going here…
Mile 8: Where did that last mile go?? That was quick! Love when that happens! Side stitch problem (AKA Problem #2) – solved. And I’m almost caught up with the 2:10 group!
Mile 9: I’m back up with the 2:10 group, though, apparently my left foot has forgotten how to run as it keeps knocking into my right ankle. Seriously? Weirdest, most-random-problem filled race ever!! I need to eat some more z-bar to keep my energy up. Mmmm…. brownie goodness.
Mile 10: I’m officially ahead of the 2:10 group which is where I need to be in order to be able to continue to take my walk breaks at each mile and keep up with them. Only a 5K left. My left foot officially knows how to run straight ahead again which is always a good thing!
Mile 11: I *heart* Clif Z-Bars. I’m feeling really good after eating my last part of it. What can I say? Chocolate makes me SO happy! I can totally do these last 2 miles. I am good to go.
Mile 12: Only 1 more mile until the finish. There are so many people lining the street. This is awesome! I love running! And I’m still ahead of the 2:10 group. I am on BEASTMODE! Rain, errant feet, side stitches, and falling pants be damned… I am SO doing this!
Mile 13: There’s my buddy! There’s my family! Look at me go! I am TOTALLY booking it and it feels great!
Finish: I can’t believe I just ran a half marathon! Woo-Hoo! So. Much. Fun!
Now the stats:
I finished in 2:08:45… beating the goal I set for myself by over a minute.
Another cool fact: One year ago when I did the 5K version of this same event I ran it at a 10:20/mile pace. Today my pace was 9:50/mile AND I was running 10 miles further!! AAHHH!! I LOVE that fact!
Here are some pics from the event (I’m the dork with my arms raised and a goofy grin):
I spent the remainder of the day sitting, then stretching, then puttering around, then stretching some more. My legs are tired and my right calf is really tight, but I think overall my muscles are OK. The only major pains I have right now are around my knees (chafing from rolling up my pants rubbed some raw spots) and my right ankle has a wicked bruise (from when my left food decided to beat it up around miles 8 or 9). On a side note, I’ve been ravenously hungry all afternoon! Nothing will satisfy me! As if this post weren’t long enough already, it’s time for the eats portion of our program:
Breakfast was my now favorite bowl of oats:
Choco-nana-berry. Oh yeah… and I crumbled 1/2 a chocolate-almond biscotti cookie on top too. And if you read my race report you saw that the Clif Z-bar was consumed during the race. Post race grub:
So it’s not the actual banana I had… so what? I was NOT about to bring my camera out in a monsoon just to snap a pic of a banana that I wolfed down! I also had several handfuls of not pictured pretzel sticks. All that held me over for quite a while and I wasn’t really hungry the rest of the morning (probably because I was drinking TONS of fluids to re-hydrate). Once I got home I had a late lunch:
Then 2 hours later I was hungry again:
That’s a typical Greek Yogurt/Fruit/Cereal bowl. And I couple hours later I was hungry for dinner!
I had some leftover Spicy Peanut Veggie/Tofu Stir-Fry from earlier in the week over pasta with toast and a salad. Now the hubbie and I have plans for a movie night. I think we’ll watch Slumdog Millionaire. No doubt snacks will be consumed! Here’s an idea of exactly what…
It’s been a long, but wonderful day (as most race days are). I want to say Thank You to my parents and the hubbie for coming out and supporting me… particularly in the the miserable weather. I’m SO lucky to have you guys cheering me on! Now I’m off to watch a movie! Enjoy the evening everyone!