When I realized I was finally going to do Naperville Women’s Half Marathon and that it wasn’t going to be a cold and rainy April day I got super excited!
The day before I picked up my packet, hung out, relaxed, ate roasted sweet potato and a turkey burger (my favorite go-to meal), set my alarm for 4am, and went to bed super early! (around 8-9pm). When my alarm clock went off at 4am, I hopped out of bed headed to the shower and started the process of waking up, and that means COFFEE! Part of me thought just go back lay down in bed, say that you got sick and had to miss the run, but then I thought JUST DO THE RUN. So I continued on my mission.
While I was getting ready David was in charge of the kiddos. He flipped on the lights in Zooey’s room, and she said “Why’d you turn on the lights?” in a very groggy voice. He told her that even though it was still dark out that it was actually morning and that I had the run today in which she replies, “Are you kidding me?” All week long she had been so excited about this run so it was just funny to hear her future teenage self come out a little bit. Then they went into Leo’s room and flipped on the lights. Leo blinked open his eyes, looked at them, rolled over, stuck his thumb in his mouth and started laughing. Again, I love seeing their future teenage selves come out in the morning!
We headed to the event, found parking right away, made a short walk, quick line to the potty, did my final adjustments, and next thing you know I was headed toward my corral! Luckily I saw a friend of mine just as I was entering my corral and ended up being in hers which was a 2:10 finish (faster than I originally planned considered my 1st half marathon I finished in about 2:30). As we were waiting to start I realized out of all things I forgot to do this morning was put on deodorant! I literally put Glide between each of my toes (just as an example of my fine detail) but deodorant? Apparently not! When we were off I was so glad that I was able to run with a friend. It really kept me feeling positive and happy. Around mile 3 there was a huge decline and I decided to take it. I shot forward and ended up not seeing my friend until the after party (sorry about that! We weren’t originally planning on running together because she was training faster than I was-who would’ve thought I would run faster-plus I thought she’d catch up with me and she had a friend with her too so I think in the long run it’s ok I did that)! ;P
Around mile 6 David and the kiddos were at a park to cheer me on and catch my gloves as I tossed them to him. It was so great to see their smiling faces. At this point I hit another hill, a sharp turn into ANOTHER hill! I know I looked at the elevation map prior to this run, but didn’t realize how basically the majority of the run was on an incline. Usually the incline was gradual but long, however there were a couple doozies that made me get out of breath.
The entire run I was doing great! I had zero pain, tons of energy, my fastest mile was 9:02 (which is a huge difference because my fastest mile in my 1st half marathon was 10:30), and best of all no GI issues!!! When I was training last fall this was a very common and frustrating problem for me and luckily wasn’t an issue this time around. Around mile 11 those hills finally started getting to me and I had to tell my legs to keep moving right left right left. I even told myself that my legs weren’t even pushing it too hard in comparison to some of my faster paces (an 8ish/7ish min mile). It put me in perspective that I got this. Also, dedicating each mile to someone worked fantastic. I refocused my thoughts away from my tired feet or tight calves and focused on that person and how grateful I am for them to be in my life.
Soon enough I started hearing the music and the crowds cheering, I turned a corner, headed onto the track field (where we start and finish), and the moment that beautiful beautiful track surface hit my feet I was able to bring out the last of my energy and sprint!
I was floored that I PR’d by about 25 minutes! As I said earlier my first half marathon I finished in 2:28 and this one… 2:04!!! The best thing about that is that I did that with a lot of incline, hills, my breathing never exhausted, no GI issues, and best of all… I felt great!
Once I crossed the finish line I floated on clouds looking for my husband and kids. I didn’t see them so I picked up a couple snacks and water and floated to the turf. I sat down, settled down, and called David. They found me and it was so refreshing to see their smiles! I gave Zooey and Leo the biggest hugs ever, because let me tell you I focused on kissing those cheeks during tough times!
Post-half I continued to feel great. The following morning I felt a little sore and tight in certain
areas, but overall fantastic. As for today I ventured out and did my first workout post-half (Orange Theory-has become a new favorite and no I’m not being paid to say that, it’s just a good workout). I feel so blissfully satisfied with how it went I’m already planning on my next!
Do you have a favorite half marathon?