Monday, December 5, 2011

I Survived!

After 10 weeks of training, it was here: the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.

I left work early Friday to go home and pack.

everything checked off my packing list before loading it into my bag

We left at 5:30 PM, but had to stop in Jennings to pick up my mom.  My anxiety level was high, because I forgot that people drive 5 mph around downtown this time of year and it took me about 20 minutes to  get from my house to the interstate, and I was so worried about making it to packet pick up before 9:00.  It was a little after 8:00 when we pulled up to the Marriott for the expo and packet pick up.  My swag bag included a shirt, a drawstring bag, a pair of gloves, some lotion samples, a my favorite part: a koozie. 

My aunt lives in Denham Springs and was sweet enough to let me and my entourage invade her house for the night.  She wasn't in town, so we each had our own room with very cozy beds.  I was too excited and it took me a while to fall asleep.  Then, I woke up at 2:30 AM and thought that it was surely at least 4:00 AM.  So I got out of bed, only to discover it was 2:30, and went back to sleep until 4:30. 

I had my usual pre long run breakfast of a smoothie with lots of fruit and honey, and 2 cups of coffee.

By the time we drove into Baton Rouge, found a place to park, walked to the race, and I waited in line to use the portolet, it was almost start time.  I had butterflies.  I was so nervous that I wanted to just turn around and go home.

pre race with my best friend/cheerleader, Kristi.
pre race with my mom and sister

Then, as I was walking to line up for the start, I looked back at my entourage, and they were talking to this guy...

my cousin, Chris!  He was running, too!  I had no idea.

Ready. Set. Go!
Chris and I started out together, but the crowd was so thick that I had to bob and weave, and I lost him before the 1 mile mark.

At about mile 1.5, I saw my entourage.  I didn't expect to see them along the course, because without a bike, it was hard for spectators to move around the route.

I was yelling to them that I was 1/13th of the way done.

Miles 1 through 6 flew by.  To mentally break up the race, told myself I was running two 5-milers and a 5k.  At about mile 8, things got tough.  The course had a few little hills and they took their toll on my legs.  I am used to completely flat lands.  Chris ran it last year and warned me about a bridge around mile 10, but he said other than that the course was an easy run.  Lies! I found that the incline of the bridge was not nearly as bad as some of the other hills on the course.  The last 2.5 to 3 miles were around the lakes.  Every time I would make a curve around the lake, I thought I would see the finish line, but I never did.  It was torture.  Even though I knew exactly how far was remaining in the run(because the course was marked every mile), I needed that visualization of how far I had left to go.  The last two miles were pure misery.  It was hot and my legs hurt so bad.  They have never felt like that on a long run in training.  I wanted to walk, but I kept telling myself "You have run 11 miles, you are not going to stop at the last 2."  When I finally turned the last corner and saw the finish line, I sprinted.  That was over zealous; about half way there I was out of breath and had to slow down.


The little guy handing out medals tried to just hand it to me, but like a jack ass I leaned over to have him medal me like a true Olympian.

so happy because of what I accomplished or because its over?
Glory, sweaty glory!

Why do I run?  I run for my love of beer.  Have you ever had an ice cold beer after a very hard run?  There is absolutely nothing better in the entire world.

My official chip time.  2:16:43.  My goal was just to finish, but I had a secret goal of wanting to break 2:15.   I'm still extremely happy with my results.

Here are some of the official race pics.  They.are.awful.  I need to start looking at the cameras and smiling...

and we are off...
no idea who I'm giving that stink eye...
Worst!  Am I running or taking a dump in the street?
 Let the training for the New Orleans Rock & Roll Half Marathon begin

If you are a runner, why do you run?