Monday, May 31

13.1 what?!

I did it!!!!! 13.1 Miles. Running. the entire time.

wooo-hooooo!!!! I still can't quite believe it. It seems so surreal to me. Then I try to walk, realize how incredibly sore I am, and am quickly reminded that it is indeed true.

(quick editors note: my parents took some fantastic photos but they are on their camera which is not with me, so I will be exercising my patience while I wait for them to be uploaded and emailed. Until then, I have a few taken on camera phones that I will share)

The down and dirty details of the race are as follows:

Distance: 13.1 miles (my Garmin said 13.28 miles)
Official Chip Time: 1:56:27!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Average Pace: 8:49
Rank Results: 1565th out of 4650, 297th out of 1348 in my division- women aged 19 to 29 (I could lie and say it doesn't matter because its personal and it's all about beating yourself yada yada yada, but I'm pretty damn proud that I was in the top 3rd!)

I don't know where to start on the race recap. I guess it should all start 11 weeks ago when I finished my first 5k and decided I wanted to challenge myself and signed up for my half marathon. Back then, I had never run more than 5 miles at a time and the thought of racing filled me with a mixture of anxiety and dread. Over the past 3 months, I increased my mileage and my speed with every training run. As I pushed myself, I also surprised myself. I've realized I really like having a training schedule. I kind of miss it now that it's gone. Also, I am still shocked and amazed to this day that I actually enjoy running (who am I!?).

All of my training led up to this weekend, and then it switched from training on the streets pounding pavement to training in the kitchen scarfing carbohydrates. I took the whole "carboload" strategy to heart and went hogwild. Pizza, french fries, and ice cream qualify as appropriate pre-race fuel right? I'm pretty sure I read that in Runner's World? Yes, yes I DID read that, now I remember. It was followed by an article about how you should recover from a race with mimosas, french toast with home fries, and more ice cream. God, I love running.

At the risk of sounding a bit cocky, the race itself was a bit easier than I thought it would be. Despite being extremely nervous and having to pee like 9340909423 times before the starting gun went off, once the race itself started, I felt prepared. I made sure to keep my pace even and not too fast out of the gate. My goal was to stay between 8:00 and 9:00 minute pace the entire race so that I wouldn't get stuck on the last 3 miles. The course was fantastic as it winded it way through downtown Boston and dumped us out on Memorial Drive along the Charles River.

(photo courtesy of wouldn't it be great if I were so talented as to run a half marathon AND produce photography like that at the same time???)

It was hot yesterday and there were water stops every 2 miles which was helpful. I didn't always drink the water but I sure felt like a badass dumping it on my head and tossing the cups on the ground to continue my run. The first half was pretty uneventful. I was excited and still had that "this is all so new and exciting" momento. Around mile 6, there was a turn around point and we headed back towards downtown Boston. I took my GU at mile 7 and settled into my pace. I was really excited because the race was half over and I was still feeling great. Along the way, I found people whose pace I tried to match and stuck with them to keep me on my toes. Around mile 8, a woman and I were running next to each other but she had no watch on so she asked me if I'd keep pace for both of us, which was a weird honor...someone wanted to use me to pace them!? Does she realize I'm an amateur at this? But we chugged along together for a mile or so before I took off during my "moment". You know, your "moment", that time when everything just falls into place exactly as it should?

My moment took place around mile 9. The clouds had covered the sun making for ideal running temperature. I had the Charles River and Boston skyline to my right and my time was exactly where it should be. As we came to the crest of the BU Bridge, there were a group of people standing on an overpass cheering for everyone and at very moment I headed down the hill, Eye of the Tiger came onto my ipod (cliche as it may be, the song still kicks major butt) and suddenly (dun, dun dun dun, dun dun duuuuuuunnn) I felt like a superstar. I didn't know any of the people cheering above me, I didn't know anyone else running around me, but none of it mattered. My feet felt like wings and I just had the most intense surge of happiness and peace and strength all at the same time; everything clicked for me and it was just....perfect. When I look back on this half marathon, THAT is the moment I will remember the most.

I tried to carry the glow of my moment into the rest of my remaining miles, but towards the end I was getting tired. Weaving our way through the city made the end feel so close but yet still so far. I started to panic, I had never run more than 10 miles leading up to the race and I was deep into mile 11 and freaked out that I had 2 more to go. I started jogging slower and made my way from the middle of the pack to the sidelines to start walking for a few minutes. No sooner had a slowed down than a woman grabbed my arm and said "No no, c'mon you can do this". She was right. I COULD do this. I took off my headphones to thank her and she just said "go on, you don't need to stay with me" and away I went. I never saw her for the rest of the race but she was like my guardian angel. I don't know who she was or where she came from...but to girl in the pink tank top: THANK YOU. I don't think I could've finished the race in such an amazing time if it weren't for you.

At mile 12, I called my mom and told her and my adoring fans (Dad, Laura, Kym- thankyouthankyouthankyou) to start watching for me. The last stretch felt like the longest. road. in. the. entire. world. People lined the streets and were cheering us on, I could see the Finish banner in the distance but it just never seemed to get closer. I felt like I was running in place. But soon enough, I heard my name being screamed and saw my family and friends on the sidelines cheering for me, which gave me the extra push I needed to cross that finish line. and finish I did!!!!!! I was covered in sweat, shaking from exhaustion, thirsty, hungry and nauseous all at the same time...but I was happy. I did it!

Quickly following the race, we walked over the North End for a big brunch. Now that the race was over, I could appreciate the sunny, beautiful Sunday. Sean's mom and stepdad joined my parents and friends for a delicious outdoor feast on the waterfront. French toast, pancakes, eggs benedict, homefries, mimosas, bloody mary' Garmin told me I burned 1,575 calories during the 2 hour race and I think I made up about 1,000 of those within 10 minutes of eating brunch. I think I will continue running half marathons for the pure benefit of getting to eat all the time.

Major bravo if you are still reading at this point and didn't get bored and switch over to Facebook by now. I think this is enough retelling (cough cough * bragging * ) for today. I will write more about the race once I get the rest of the pictures up in a few days. Until then, I am going to leave you with this candid photo of me trying to squat down, sorority style, for a photo:

(I'm pretty sure if you turn the volume on your computer up all the way, you can literally hear my quads screaming in pain)


Anonymous said...

Marie, your description of your race was as though I was inside you feeling every moment. How I know what you feel? The "moment" is what every runner looks for in a race, short or long. I have had several and they feel good. When I train, i train to get that "moment". Its more fun to have that moment last until the finish. Also, you will realize that true runners take care of each other as that runner took care of you. I am one of those runners. I hope I can get a run in with you when I shut down track season and begin Cross Country season to rebuild my base.

Congratulations on a fine race and a lifestyle that will benefit you in all areas of your life.

Michael Baugh

Rebecca said...

Congrats Marie!!! That's quite an accomplishment!Perhaps I shall start running halfs so I can eat eggs benedict and drink Mimosas sans guilt! haha! Congrats again! Any plans on training for Boston Marathon?

Marie said...

Thank you guys!!!

Rachel said...

I read the whole thing and I teared up reading it. Look at you--you became a RUNNER. SO proud.

Deb said...

Wow! When your mom & dad mentioned you were going to run a 1/2 marathon while we were visiting with them in Aruba, I could hear in their voices just how proud they are of you. This is only one of the many, many accomplishments you have had and will continue to have in your life. Way to go!
All the best,
Deb Brown Wogsland
(Lori's sister)

PS. You are so beautiful!!!

Jacki said...

Totally randomly came across your blog (um, maybe through Hollaback Health? I've been blog crawling and can't remember!!) and can't stop reading! Right now I'm training for a 1/2 and have been acting like a slug about it so this post was all inspiration-y, yay! :)

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