I am not going to lie, but I hibernate during the winter when it comes to running. I don't like how the cold stings my lungs, and how snot comes pouring out of my nose like a faucet. I feel like I get a brain freeze. So, I thought I was safe by registering my first race of 2013 with the Marine Corps 17.75k. Muahaha... the groundhog should be indicted.
As race day approached, and with friends telling me that the hills were brutal from when they surveyed the site, I knew the Marine Corps was not going to let us go easy. My husband of course, always chuckles before I do a race, because I don't put the mileage in to prepare. I know it drives him crazy! I am just horrible about getting on a training program, and I should. Watch out when I do! ;)
The night before:
I am so nervous. I am always nervous before a race. Why? Because of my guilty conscience from not training like everyone else. At least not the conventional training; however, I've been CrossFitting a month after the last Marine Corps Historic Half. Believe me, it has definitely helped my endurance.
My daughters had a birthday party, and I had a piece of cheese pizza - and literally prayed to the GI gods that it wouldn't raise it's ugly head during the race the following morning - I am lactose intolerant. I also had some popcorn. and cake.
I went home, and laid out my shirt and bib, and went to bed.
I told my husband to set the alarm for 5ish, and my body decided to get up 3:30 am. I can barely open my eyes at 7 am to get my girls ready for school on a week day, and it is a freaking Saturday! I went online to make sure that I had the correct address, got dressed, took an awesome picture, and off to the start line I go to wait. I went to the nearest 7-Eleven and grabbed a banana and a bottle of water. Besides a couple of nibbles of a mini blueberry muffin, that was my pre-fuel. I just can't eat a whole lot that early in the morning.
It was soo cold! It was in the 20's, and my bones hurt from how hard I was shivering. I kept a positive mindset that I would warm up down the road. I have to say that I am so happy that I joined the RFRC. Just amazing support from other runners, and one of them was kind of enough to loan me their shuffle, since my iPod had no juice left. My husband bought a set of earbuds that actually stayed put. I don't ever run with music, surprising, huh? I tried during the Ragnar Relay, and it was an epic fail. The ear buds kept flying out of my ears, and my iPod kept flying out of my sports bra. EPIC FAIL. It even messed with my pace.
One of my friends is a videographer for the Marine Corps, and interviewed me. I am a little nervous on how that turned out.
We took off!
In my oversized Ragnar Ambassador running jacket, full of keys and a cell phone, with an infinity scarf on, I had 11.03 miles of the unknown that awaited me. The first 3 miles are always the toughest for me. I guess my body is like, why.. why are we doing this? Then, my body is like, okay... I got this. I am not too crazy about running on asphalt. I feel like my legs get a pounding. Put me on a trail, and I fly. So, after 3 miles on the asphalt, we plunge up into a trail, and I jokingly replied, "I am dancing up these hills!" I seriously say the craziest things to distract myself.
It was amazing though. My breathing was great, the music motivated me, and the scenery was beautiful. I just felt overall wonderful. It started to get challenging towards the end with the crazy steep hills, and it is so rough seeing runners start to walk. It is like my body tells me, "hey.. they are doing it, it's okay if you take a rest..." I knew the whole time, that if I caved to my bladder - which I had to go before we took off - or if I did stop, it was going to be incredibly hard to make a good pace. So, I didn't. I looked at every port-o- john on the course as I went by. I kept going, one foot in front of the other. The last 2 miles were super rough, because my legs were done. I had bruised my tibia really bad the week before from falling on wooden 20 inch box from doing box jumps, and I just prayed that it wouldn't give me issues, and it didn't!
The finish was amazing. I was so happy that I was done. My legs; however, were complete jello. I was on cloud nine. I had rightfully earned my entry into the Marine Corps Marathon. I finished at 2:06:19. I believe the course was a lot harder than the Marine Corps Historic Half, in my honest opinion. But, it was a lot of fun!
I am officially registered for my first 26.2, and I will be following an actual training program. :)