First, many of you know that a short 6 months ago, I was not running at all...and had not been for about 15 months prior to that. In September - after coming home from 1 mile dog walks in tears from the pain, I tried again to find someone that could help me. Obviously resting my legs was not the solution I had hoped it would be. With the help of a wonderful chiropractor and her massage therapist, I was back to hiking fairly pain free in November and running for 20 minutes at a time in December. The next four months brought me to this weekend.
I had two options in mind as I went to bed Saturday night.... I would either do better than 10m/m or I wouldn't :-)
I woke up with fresh legs! ...to 34 degree temps ...and clear skies. Things were looking good! At the last minute, I decided not to bother with a throw away shirt. I had been staying warm in one of the law buildings - and enjoying the comfort of real bathrooms - and figured it would only be a few minutes until the start and I would be fine, so I checked everything and got in my corral...only to stand there waiting and shivering for quite some time. There was some problem at the start, but I was so far back, I had no idea what it was. There was a rather furry gentleman standing next to me and we kept bumping arms and I kept moving away until I realized how deliciously warm he was...so without being too obvious...I cuddled up right close to him until we were off....
I was warmed up perfectly within about a 1/4 mile. I had decided to listen to Green Day's "When Septemeber Ends" two times through at the start to keep me from going out too fast. As it was, the masses were not going too slow or too fast for me. It was a perfect start. When I needed to, there was room to pass. At mile two I had a little freak out with my memory on when the next water station would be and ended up downing a gel...at freakin' mile two...who does that? Anyways...it was one of three I had hidden on me and it happened to have been in my bra and was bugging me so it worked out ok.
All I really remember between mile 2 and mile 8 was that it flew by and I felt amazing. The sun was shining down on us the whole time, the crowd support was fantastic. Laurie posted some pictures of posters along the way that made my day - "Run Happy" and "Run Strong". My favorite, though, was held by a young boy - it said "Run faster - I Just Farted". HA! It reminded me of something my kids would hold up and made me giggle. The only real problem during this time was my bra. It was bugging. I have a feeling there are a lot of pictures out there with me copping a feel of myself.
Another gel was slurped down at mile 7. At mile 8 I felt a blister. I never get blisters so that was kind of weird, but I just ran on - happy to be running absolutely pain free in my ankles and shins and calves. I could feel my left butt cheek trying to come out and talk, but I told it that I was too busy. Also at mile 8, my husband's iTouch started flashing that the battery was at 20%. I spent the next mile trying to figure out when exactly I was going to lose music and that's when I hit a button that caused it to start shuffling...or making a new play list...or both. I have no idea, but I sure wished I had my own lost iPod at that point. With endless repeats of Korn and Metallica, I managed to up my pace a bit and keep the energy strong.
However, all my messing with the music, I suddenly realized I was at the mile 10 marker and in a panic, thought I had missed the split of the halfers and the full marathoners...and that is where I peed my pants a bit. I probably should have hit a honey bucket at some point, but had decided to push through. So...whoops.
But NO! I soon came to the split and my world was all rosy again. In fact, I have never felt better...just a little less dry than I had been.
YOU GUYS!!! I was on fire! At 11 miles, I knew that it was going great and I started passing people here and there. For some reason at mile 12, I thought it would be nice to take that last gel. I'm not sure what was going through my mind, but I did it. Who eats a gel at mile 12? The best part was I had my music so loud I couldn't hear if the aid station was calling out water or gatorade and I tossed back an entire cup of gatorade to wash down my gel. ICK. That almost made me puke. And then I almost slipped in puke on the bridge.
And then I started passing people left and right. My legs were M.O.V.I.N.G. As I approached the entrance to Hayward Field, I did it! I kicked it into high gear like I've never done in my life. I actually had the power to pass people for like the first time ever and I took full advantage. I heard someone say "look at her go" and that's all it took. Running on that track with the stands full of people watching and seeing myself on the jumbo tron...oh boy! THAT was fun! I think I probably passed 20 people just on the track alone.
And then I peed on myself again.
I wanted my medal really bad and I wanted to enjoy the whole bit and take my time leaving the track...but I wanted to not completely leave a huge puddle even more...so I got my medal quick quick quick and took the best pee of my life. TMI? Probably.
And that is my very first 1/2 marathon report. I don't imagine it could get any better. I came in at 2:04:31. That's 9:30m/m AND THAT IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, BABY!! More on this later :-)
Running again. It's a dream come true.
More Eugene race reports below! Enjoy!