I slept well, surprisingly. I thought for sure I'd be too wound up to sleep. I got up at 4:15am, woke up my sister Grace, and then headed down stairs for breakfast. Grace decided last minute, the night before, that she would run the 1/2 too. They had a friend who ended up not being able to run so she decided she'd run with his bib number. She's been a runner for years. She has just recently started running long distances but she is very strong. After I got into running, she was so excited that we would finally have that in common with each other. She's been very supportive of me throughout this journey. :) We both ate oatmeal and a banana and then got ready for the race!
Katy was there at 5AM and came in and sat with me while I fed Addison. It would be a long time before Addison would see me again so I made sure she got to eat as long as she wanted. Amy, Grace's friend, met us at the house and we all left for the race.
"the knee" - I fell SO hard on my right knee. The cut was so big and open I had to find a way to wrap it so it wouldn't bother me. After playing around with it I was able to make it work.
Katy says everyone has one of "these" pictures. My final bathroom stop...clearly I wasn't expecting her to snap my picture!
saying goodbye! Katy was about to run 3 miles so she could be waiting for me at mile 3! And she's pregnant! it meant SO much to have her there supporting me!
last minute stretching...and another potty stop. just to make sure!
me and Bryan...I mean Grace! :) I didn't know that she would be there that day...much less running beside me. I enjoyed having her by my side!
here's Addison, waiting for Mommy to pass by!
Here we are at not even a mile yet. Anthony and Mom were supposed to be waiting at mile 2 but came down further. We were excited to see them!
mile 3...so good to see Katy!
still smiling! see you at mile 9!!!
here we come...we had just come out of Ft. Story. on the base, no one was allowed unless you were a runner or volunteer. it was good to see the Katy again and all the people cheering for us. the spectators were GREAT! it was so fun to hear them call out our names and cheer us on!
at mile 9, I got rid of my jacket and gave it to Katy. Poor thing had to run another 4 miles to meet up with us at the finish. i can't believe she did all that!!! it was SO good to see her along the way. it gave me something to look forward to!
only 4 more to go! WOO HOO!
there goes Grace! way to go!
Here I come to the finish line! I really was this happy! I remember smiling the whole way once I got on the board walk. I couldn't believe I had done it! I couldn't believe how great I felt and I was so happy with the pace i kept!
The whole experience was amazing! I can't really explain what it felt like coming to that finish line. It was one of the most incredible feelings I've ever had! I was so proud of myself and this journey has been life changing for me!
During the race, I knew my training had paid off. There was NEVER a time when I felt I needed to stop. There was never a time when I was overwhelmed or felt like I couldn't take another step. My body felt great, there were no intense pains I had to will myself through. It was a GREAT run. I'm sure not every race is that way. Probably not all of my races to come will be that way. BUT this race WAS that way for me. I was ready. I was strong. I know that now. I doubted it but was so pleased when I saw how my body responded. This truly was an incredible experience for me!
(side note - this hiccup with my knee this week has frustrated me for one main reason. I never want to stop running. the race confirmed that for me. I hope to run many more races for years and years to come. I can't wait for my knee to be better and to be able to run again!)
here i come...about to finish my FIRST 1/2 marathon!!! WOO HOO!!!
WE DID IT!!! 2009 Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon Finishers!
Anthony has been so supportive of me throughout my training. I think there was a time where he thought I had lost my mind when I told him I wanted to start running. When he finally saw how committed I was he has been with me every step of the way...even running with me...something he never cared to do before. I could not have done this without him!
I did it! When I signed up for the race in Dec. 2008 I had to "guess" what my finish time would be. I put down 2hrs. 45 min. As my training continued, I hoped I could finish in 2:30:00 or less but wanted to make sure I didn't set a real goal. I wanted to be happy with FINISHING! When I hurt my knee, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if that would affect my finish time or make me feel like I was slower...or make me feel like I needed to walk.
I finished in 2:24:56!!! Faster than I had hoped! :) I was SO excited! I ran that whole thing! How exciting is that??? :)
What a sweetie pie this girl is! Mom and Anthony said she was GREAT, as always. She just hung out all morning..taking it all in. :) Harrison and Jackson hung out at Aunt Janet's house. What a blessing she was to us! They just got to play and enjoy their cousins!
And here she is...the girl who got me to this place! Katy, I could have NEVER done this without you. You have encouraged me for months and talked me through countless running questions and scenarios! Thank you SO MUCH! Thank you for encouraging me, supporting me, believing in me! I am forever grateful to you!!!
It was a GREAT day! We headed straight for a big buffet breakfast at Catch 31 down at the beach. It was delicious! I was so hungry! I remember saying to Grace around mile 6..."I'm starving!" :) That afternoon I was able to go to Katy's baby shower which I was SO excited to be in town for and then we hit the road home to Raleigh. We got in around 11:30pm and I was in bed about midnight. I was SO tired. I mean, I had just run a 1/2 Marathon! :)
I'm already ready to sign up for another one! Wouldn't the Disney one be awesome! Anthony first...10K in June though...anyone want to join me??? :)