After breakfast, Jason and I walked back to the hotel and I used the facilities... oh funny story. So, I got to wear my cute new running skirt that had capri's underneath. On my way to breakfast, it kept falling down and I was thinking... how am I going to run 13.1 miles with my skirt falling down? I'm going to have to switch and I just spent way too much money on these! :(
I went to the restroom at Denny's and as I was sitting there... I know, tmi... I realized I had them on BACKWARDS! OMG! I changed them around and voila... no more falling! I am so purty!
On the way back to the hotel, I had to take a picture under my corral number...
There were tons of runners in the lobby getting ready. Jason and I sat there and chatted.
And finally we headed outside to get ready for starting time. As soon as we walked out of the door of the hotel there were people everywhere. There was music playing. People were stretching and warming up and eating their energy gu's. There was excitement and nerves everywhere. Yellow numbers (half), red numbers (marathons) and blue numbers (relays). There were cute shirts and no shirts and sleeveless shirts with funky arm warmers. There were old people and young people and even one pushing a wheelchair.
We walked out to my corral. Each corral held 1000 runners and each one was separated by two people holding a rope. I stood there chatting with Jason and all of a sudden Danielle showed up. It was about this time that the first corral was sent off. As each corral moved forward we would move closer and closer. It took about 30 minutes to get to the starting line and it was sooooo neat that Jason got to stand with me almost all the way to the start. Danielle broke off to get some more pictures.
Imagine... 30,000 people all running toward the same goal. 30,000 people with hearts pumping and legs moving. Some were running for someone. Some were just running for the joy of it and some were running because of their own personal battles.
Some were dressed for fun and to be recognized...
As we were closer to the starting line, Jason started to leave and kissed me goodbye and wished me luck. A very nice lady asked me where he was going... and we both said he wasn't running he was just keeping me company. She asked me if I was running alone and if this was my first. I replied yes to both. She offered to run with me. She was actually a running coach and she was going to run 4 minutes walk 1. I agreed and secretly wondered if I was making a mistake... would it be better to run by myself? Or with someone? Oh well... too late. Her name was Kim. She turned out to be a Godsend. I really do think that she was the reason I made it through.
When we got to the starting line and crossed it... it was electrifying. We were there. We had worked hard to get there and now... it's time.
Kim and I settled into an easy pace. She was fantastically amazing. We hit a hill early on and it winded me but the walk was right after so it timed great. We ran through a part of San Antonio I had never been and the bands set up along the way were fun. They were all different and unique.
We really settled in and I was feeling fantastic. I was getting periodic texts from Jason and he missed me at the 3 mile marker so he headed to the 8 mile cross. Because of the way the course was laid out there were plenty of opportunities for he and my family to meet up with me.
We refilled our water bottles and ate a gu along the way. Kim would warn me to watch my step when there wre cups on the ground. She would warn me when there was a curb or to cut a corner. She warned me that mile 5-7 were a steady incline so to save some energy for that. It was so nice to have a coach. We ended up meeting up with one of her other "charge's" along the way and her sister and friend. They turned what would have been a good race into a great one. Having the company was nice and encouraging.
this was mile 8... feeling great.
dropped my jacket with Jason and off I go!
Kim and I kept trucking and I got a text from Danielle that they were at mile 9.8 near the band.
I rounded the bend and headed on. The marathon and half marathon people split around mile 11. I was starting to feel pain in my feet and my legs were beginning to get tired. Oh yeah... and all that water I had been downing... yeah, bathroom was nearing. Maybe I could muscle through.
As I approached mile 11 though I found a porto pot that had NO line... bingo! I ran off and separated from Kim. I really feel like this was my mistake if I could pinpoint one.
This really killed my groove... my momentum shifted at this point as if my body said... oh good, you stopped, we're done!
When I took off from the bathroom I saw my family one more time...
and kept going. I really can say that I ran the whole next mile trying to catch back up with Kim but I think I killed at least two minutes in the port o pot.
I made it to the Alamodome and came down a big hill... oh yeah and you know what goes down... must come up! The final 1/4 of a mile... yeah it was UPHILL! Oh dear God! But I made it. I came around the top of the hill and found that finish line!
I met back up with Kim and Miranda, then Connie and Crissy came running through. We got our covers to keep us warm and got some post race food.
from left to right:
Miranda, Crissy, Connie, Kim and Me.
Miranda and Crissy had been in a wedding the night before in HOUSTON and drove in, got there at midnight and ran the entire 13.1 miles. CRAZY!
I met up with Todd and Danielle at the family reunion center...
and we headed towards Jason, mom and dad and Joe.
Jason was so proud of me. He was so excited. It was sooo good to see him.
Then we had to walk back to the hotel... with a stop along the way for a family photo.
this shows all of our shirts. Mine had an arrow with a heart leading to my baby. Theirs had a squiggly leading to 13.1. :) Thanks again Meg! I love them!
So we got back to the hotel and so I could shower and pack up. Soreness started setting in and I stiffened a bit. But, what an accomplishment.
The organization of the event was second to none. With 30,000 runners running, it never felt overwhelming. It was so much fun!
I achieved my goal and I seriously cannot wait to do it again.
In fact... I am planning on doing the Disneyworld Wine and Dine Half Marathon on October 1, 2011. 5 month's post baby and I will most likely still be nursing. I canNOT wait! :)
anyone want to join me?