Monday, April 27, 2015

Lace Up With Liz - My 1st 1/2 Marathon Recap

Oh boy I can't believe how fast this day has come and gone! Last year I said I wanted to run the 1/2 marathon for the - OKC Memorial Marathon. It was a huge goal that I didn't think possible. Here is the journey as short as I can make it!! 

Jan 2014 I started couch to 5K weighing 222 pounds at 31 years old. I Hadn't run since middle school and gained a lot of weight after having two wonderful babies back to back and never really worked to get the weight off. So very out of shape! I was asked if I wanted to try to do the Memorial 1/2 with my cousin but training was to much to soon and I injured my IT Band. Took a few weeks off and then completed couch to 5K. 

I volunteered for that race for the 1st time that year which is sad because My hubby is the Volunteer Chairmen and has been involved in this race for over 10 years. I'm so proud of him. This is a huge highlight of his year! He absolutely loves it and that year I understood why! I loved meeting many of the Key people that make this race happen. I remember talking to Mark Bravo (running/wellness coach and speaker) and telling him I really wanted to run but couldn't this year just because I wasn't ready.  
There is nothing more rewarding than cheering and supporting those runners. I have out hugs, medal and encouragement to so many that day until the last one came across that line! I knew I had to run the next year. 

I continued running, training for a faster 5K pace, then 10K. I had other injures I had to work through but kept running all through 2014. 

Jan 2015, a year later, I started preparing for 1/2 marathon training. 16 weeks of that 1/2 training. Since January to April 25th I ran 265 miles in prep for the big day!  In April I also reached a weight loss goal of 72 pounds lost weighing in at 150!! 

So moving forward to race week! I was ready and there was nothing more I could do to prepare but do a little carb loading, drink tons of water and rely on my training! 

Friday was Expo day! I was looking forward to working the info booth. Met up with my hubby around 6 pm for the last two hrs of the expo. Picked up my race packet and walked around with my hubby checking out race gear! He already bought me a few fun shirts, a hat and a 13.1 car sticker.  I was thinking about getting new shoes but I decided not too but only because I WON A PAIR OF BROOKS!!! So I get to pick out a new pair that I want for free. It's going to be hard to choose! I was so excited. I love my brooks! 

My hubby told me Mark Bravo wanted to talk to me. He'd remembered I said I was going to run this. He was so proud of me for putting in the hard work to make it happen, gave me some encouraging words and a free, singed copy of his book. He's just an amazing inspirational man. I can't wait to read his book. Momentum. (I read a little bit of it friday...its a good read already, so check it out!!) We worked the booth for the last few hrs, cleaned up and headed out before the rest of the busy weekend.  

We enjoyed a dinner at Zio's downtown and then got a good nights sleep at the Hotel Friday night we knew we wouldn't get much sleep the rest of the weekend. 

Saturday we got up and ready for a full day at the Expo at 8:00. I passed out volunteer t-shirts and helped with many common race questions all day! I met a lot of other 1st time 1/2 marathoners too! 

Saturday - Expo -Info booth! Love the lime green volunteer shirt sponsored my Sonic this year!! 

While the expo closes around 6. We provide late packet pick up with isn't really something we advertise but there are usually a few delayed by flights or other things they can't control so we make it  possible just for a few more hrs for them to pick it up! We didn't finish that till around 9 pm. Again thankful for the Hotel so we actually made it to bed around 10:30. I had trouble sleeping and I knew 3:00 would come early....yes set alarm for 3:00 because hubby has to get up and do whatever needs to be done as a chairmen for the race!! I try to rest but filled with excitement get up at 3:45 make coffee! Grab a quick shower to wake me up and have a tasty bagel. Get all my race gear ready to go and do a few little exercise warmups. 
All Ready for Race day! 
I was nervous about waking downtown around 5 am alone, I prayed for safety and opened my door. Answered prayer immediately, another coordinator friend of my hubby was headed that way so we walked together and I didn't get lost. She probably doesn't know how much that meant to me. 

Texted hubby I made it and then headed to meet up with my local running group "Edmond Moms Run This Town" for a group pic at 5:45. Of course I was a little early and the sun wasn't up. My tank top wasn't warm. It was looking to be perfect race weather though and it was, so I wasn't going to complain to much. Got a group pic and chatted for a minute then made my way to 11:30 pace area in Corral D! 
EMRTT Group Pic Pre-Race - Many 1st time Marathoners!! 
Messaged a friend that I was hoping to meet up with to run and thankfully we found each other very easily. I was glad I not be alone for 13.1 miles. 
Rebekka and I ready for our 1st 1/2 marathon. I never had a chance to do any training runs with her but we enjoyed each others company encouraging each other along the way! She did great!!! 
Corral D was so far away you couldnt really hear anything so I felt like we missed out on the starting ceremonies which are a very important part of this marathon to honor those in the Bombing. This is a Run to Remember after all! That's part of what makes this race so very special! 

The start line is so far away!!! Almost there!!! 

We took a few quick pics and slowly made our way to the start line. It took about 17 minutes from the official 6:30 time before we got there. Started my watch and started running.

Miles 1-3: These were fun and slow. Sometimes that 1st mile is the hardest but it went fast. So many walkers you just have to work your way through. Didn't have to worry about getting out too fast. Start soaking it in and enjoy the crowds and people cheering you on. 

Miles 4-6: were good and got into our rhythm but with much water comes need for a quick stop, (I knew I should have used the the potty at the race before the start it had been a good 2 hrs, but so did everyone else so pass several potty stops in hopes for shorter lines else where. Consider stopping at Mcdonalds but so did everyone else....Find short line......not so short waste 5-7 minutes. Decided to leave find a quicker stop but still lose a few minutes, but feel much better. 

Miles 6-8- gorilla hill! Fun area of local people offering all sorts of food, donuts, chocolate, bacon, beer, I think we'll pass... Let's just run..... or walk up this hill because  there are lots of banana peels. Don't slip!!! I'm starting to struggle with some annoying pains but try to ignore it. 

Miles 9-11 This is usually went the run gets mental and hard and it did, my pinky toe is yelling at me..... Stop. I blistered it good on my 11 mile training run a few weeks back. It's healed but the skin was tender and oh boy today it wasn't liking this. I told my buddy to run on, I'd be fine but I don't want to hold her back. I turn up my tunes and do some intervals walk/run sorta. More walking then I prefer, but get excited realizing I'm about to go farther than ever before start to get a little choked up and can't breathe when the perfect songs on my playlist are shuffling on! Turn them up to get pumped. (You Move Me by Natalie Grant) Only God was going to get me through this. I played this song for the remainder of my race on repeat! 

Mile 12 - After to much walking I try to run more, My caves are kinda seizing so go back to walk/run. Decide to text hubby that I only have 1.1 left. I'd had my phone in airplane mode to save the battery so when I turn my phone on to text I saw a flood of messages cheering me on and asking if I was finished yet. Got more choked up, trying to just breath and smile and walk through near the end of mile 13 so I can run it in!! Text hubby again from a few blocks away. Since He's a chairmen he was allowed right at the finish line!!! 

Run in and here them say hear comes  "Liz" over the loud speaker. I'm dumbfounded and I forget hubby knows all these people so they're giving me a special moment. Mark Bravo gives me a huge high five and says I'm so glad you made it!!  Hubby has a big hug and a Great big medal for me. He was so proud I finished.

Finished my 1st, 1/2 Marathon

My goal today was to "Finish what I started and enjoy the journey" oh boy did I. while I'm not happy with my pace today that is not what this race was about so I can say with confidence I can't wait to try again because I know I can improve from here. It was a wonderful first 1/2 marathon experience! 

My Race results! My pace was much slower than I had trained at but I still finished in under 3 hrs.  I think minus waiting in line for the porter potty and my pinky toe issues it really is a great time. I used to worry I'd be last LOL! 

Map of my run from my Garmin - I forgot to turn it off at the finish line.  :)
The fun part was the mile journey back to the hotel. I was just praying I made it back with out collapsing. I was feeling very sick to my stomach, I grabbed a banana, kind bar, water and my finishers t-shirt and made my way back to the hotel slowly!! 

I really wanted to go back and pass out medals again like last year but my body said "no way your going to walk back again today."  So I cleaned up, stretched, snacked and rested for a bit and decided I better keep moving or I'd fall asleep at the hotel and not be able to move when I woke up. Lol. 

It's been a long, emotional, eventful, wonderful weekend! I think it still hasn't quite sunk in! I don't have my race pics yet and I know I smiled for several official cameras along the way so I hope they got some good ones. I know I'll have a finish line shot. I'll post those asap! Oh and I might have a 2nd 1/2 marathon lined up in about 3 week because once you do get marathon crazy :) LOL! 

Thanks again for all the support! There are so many I could thank but they know who they are. Thanks for making this a special day. I couldn't not have done this without so many people that helped encourage along the way. I'm also so glad I've inspired many to get into shape, run and take better care of themselves. You are precious and you worth it!!! Thank you! I think I just might do this again next year! :)


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