Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rock N Roll Providence Recap

It's been WAY too long! My last post was before the school year even ended and summer vacation began. I had made a goal of trying to be a better blogger this summer, but that goal was smashed when we sold our house and our new house wasn't finished being built... if anyone has ever been in that situation, you know how stressful it can be. Fortunately we were incredibly lucky and were able to stay with family for the 5 weeks we were waiting for our house to be done. We owe them so much!

With all of the moving and "vacationing" that we did this summer, my first half quickly came up. As much as I wanted to be well prepared, I knew this race was going to be one of the hardest things I had ever done. I knew I wasn't as ready as I would liked to have been, but I knew that I could do it. In true "Liz fashion," I over planned our weekend without even thinking and scheduled my daughter's first birthday for the day before the race. At first, I was worried panicked that I would be overly exhausted and do even worse at my race. Thanks to Hubs' support, I was able to fall asleep at 9:00 at night and sleep straight through until my alarm at 3:30 am. Oh... I forgot to say that I live an hour and a half away from Providence so I decided to just get up early and head out to the race. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be and when I arrived and got ready for the race, I felt pretty good. Since it was such an early race, Hubs and Bubs decided that they would join me later and see me at the finish line.  Since my mom is awesome, she even woke up early and drove into the city to spend time with before the race since I would be by myself. Even with most of my family at home, I felt blessed to be supported by so many people.

Best sign ever! 

Waiting for the race to start was one of the most emotional experiences I've ever had. Yes, I have experienced childbirth, college graduations, and the passing of family and friends, and I will say that the feelings that I had at the start of this race could be included in the same group as these events. While I waited for my corral to leave, I couldn't stop thinking about how I had made it. Even though I hadn't run the race yet, I knew that I would finish (no matter how slow or hard it was), I knew I was going to finish. For someone who had never run more that 2 miles before I decided to run in Disney, it was an incredible feeling. The emotions hit me like a wave when my corral was let out and I held back tears while I had a gigantic smile on my face. Not sure if anyone else has felt this way... but I guess I now know what's it like to feel the true joy of running.

I could write for hours on what was going through my head and how I felt during the race, but since no one has hours to read my story, I'll keep it brief. I had decided this summer to try the Galloway method of run/walk - ing. I had chose the interval 4 minutes run and 1 minute walk this summer and was feeling very comfortable with this pace. However, my Garmin died after 4 miles (I swear  thought I had charged it the night before) so I needed to rely on how my body felt for my intervals. This was the most challenging part of the run because I usually use my watch to help me during the time times. It gives me something to focus on and I can remind myself that "I only have ..... to go." By mile 8 I had gotten in my head and I had hit a wall. I was quickly doubting myself and if it wasn't for the constant texts from my mom and hubs during the race I would have given up and walked to the finish line. When I reach the mile marker for mile 12, I decided that I was going to walk most of it and finish strong. Since this was my first half I knew that finishing was my only goal. I was feeling some soreness in my hip and I didn't want to injure myself because I still have my runDisney race in November. I walked about quarter of a mile and ran the rest of the way to the finish line. A shout-out goes to Katy Perry's Part of Me for my motivation! I crossed the finish line, took my medal picture and headed out to my family. I had finished! I had done something I had never thought I could do and I finished with a time of 2:35:25! Not a bad time for a first time.

Even though it's been a few days since the race, I still can't put into words how I felt feel about running my first half marathon. I am now working on building up my stamina, charging my watch (ha ha) and my speed. As I look forward to the race in November, I am hoping I can feel stronger throughout the race and finish with a better time. I also hope I can be better about blogging and share my experiences with you from now on! But... now I'll leave you with some pictures from race day...

My cheering section waiting at the finish line. 

"Mom is working hard and I've got my feet up."

Coming up on the finish line. 

Getting a hug from Bubs after the race. 

Not sure if you can see her shirt but it says "My mom is faster than your mom." Not necessarily true, but it still made me feel good! 

Post-race treats and snacks. 

Family picture after the race. By time I was pretty sure my legs would collapse! Thank you compression sleeves! 

What was your first race? Were you as emotional as me!? 

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