We did it. We ran 13.1 miles yesterday.
And I hurt so very much today.
This was certainly a milestone experience in my life. From starting to train Aug. 22 to actually completing a half-marathon, my FIRST half-marathon is something I'll never forget.
(Yep, there's a reason there's "first" in there. You know you're addicted when your body is aching all over, yet you still make plans for next year's race...)
My parents drove Hubby and me down to New Orleans for the race, and the ride down was an experience in itself (especially since the day began at 5:15 a.m., but that's another story). We visited with Superman's family, went to the shockingly full-to-the-brim-with-screaming-yes-screaming-children aquariaum (where Mom and I petted the sting rays!!), and ate a fufilling crawfish pasta dinner. Great day, great night. Was in bed in our way cool hotel room by 9 p.m.
And I couldn't sleep. I was extremely exhausted but could NOT fall asleep. I tossed and turned, excited about the race, nervous about having to wake up at 5 a.m. for said race, and unable to sleep because of the crazy car noises outside the hotel.
I checked the clock finally at 4:09 a.m. and willed myself to go to sleep. At 4:53 a.m., I decided to go ahead and get up.
Rindy and I were surprisingly chipper at 5:30 when our husbands dropped us off at the Superdome so we could catch the shuttle to the race. It was a chilly morning, but we weren't dressed like some in hats, scarves, and gloves (though we were envious of the gloves). We also had more clothes on than the girls in sports bras and itty bitty shorts. We almost felt sorry for them. Almost.
Also, once the race got started and the sun rose, it got warm. Quickly. We passed dozens of scarves, sweaters, and gloves that had been abandoned all the way to the finish line. Should have done some "shopping," lol!!
The Rock and Roll Marathon and Halfie was amazingly organized. I've never seen anything so well-organized in my life. The company actually does RR marathons/halfies around the nation, so if you're interested in competing in one, I'd suggest that one. Bands were placed in strategic locations around the race, and, overall, it was a super fun race.
That's why I'm doing this again, despite the pain: it was a fun race. People were dressed up in poodle skirts, mini skirts, and Saints' jerseys, and some had made shirts specifically for the occassion. I had a couple of favorites:
"If you can read this, I've just gone Keynan on you." (We had two Olympic gold medalists from Keyna competing.)
"It's not that I'm lazy, but why run 26.1 if you get the same medal for 13.1?"
What made it even better was that I felt like a celebrity running. Volunteers and New Orleans' residents were all along the sidelines for the entire race, cheering us on, saying, "You can do this! Lookin' good!"
(When they yelled out, "Lookin' good!" I'd turn to Rindy and say, "They think we look goooood!" Lol.)
However, they did try to give us some nastiness that was SUPPOSED to give you protein, amino acids, something like that. NASTY. The first stuff were gummy, and they made my teeth slick. And tasted horrible. Rindy couldn't eat them. I choked down three but couldn't handle the fourth. Then, along the race route, they handed us something else in a packet that I hoped tasted like yogurt. So so wrong. Rindy had vanilla, which she said did not taste bad, but she, like I, could not handle the toothpaste consistency of the stuff. And mine was blackberry. Try eating blackberry-flavored toothpaste. YUCK!
About Mile 11, we started hurting. I mean, seriously hurting. I've never hurt so bad in my LIFE. Wanted to cry. But we trugged along. We pushed and pushed, and we finally saw the finish line, less than .2 miles away.
We started running (or, really, jogging by this point). And then I heard Rindy cry out.
Within distance of the end, Rindy, my sweet running partner, twisted her ankle.
It was insane. We were both upset, her obviously more so than me, and I was trying to get her arm and put it around my shoulder so she could hobble to the finish line. But Rindy wasn't through trying.
It was literally like something out of a movie. Rindy, filled with determination, suddenly bolted at full speed for the finish line. I watched in shock for a few seconds and then ran as fast as I could after her. I was behind because she is a faster runner than I am, and then, inches from the finish line, she turned around to face me.
"Come here!" she yelled. "We're finishing it together!"
She grabbed my hand, and, together, we ran across the finish line at 2:49:07.
It was sweet, sweet victory.