Monday, November 5, 2012

Spicy's Half Marathon Adventure

October 13th my Mom ran a race with me. A Half Marathon. My first. Her third. (I think)
Me, My Mom, and her cookie monster beenie

(Enjoy the pics, none were shot after mile 5.)

It was hard.

It was awful.

It hurt.

It was amazing.

Heber Creeper, the train we took to the start line.
The Half Marathon was a challenging one. My Mom registered for it. I blame it on her, haha. The first four miles were nothing but torturous hills. I had a mental break down when I couldn't even make it up the second hill. I didn't even make it a mile before I had to walk. I couldn't draw in enough air. And it only got worse. Thankfully she was there to talk me through it. I apologized because I felt like I was letting her down because I couldn't even run one stupid mile and I had been telling her about my long runs--About the hills I had been training on. She talked me through it as I fought back tears because the second I started to tear up my chest felt like it was collapsing so I couldn't let myself cry.

Mile Four was our first "aid station". Let me take a minute to tell you how upset my mom was about this race. My mom does not get upset easily. She is the most bubbly fun loving person I know. The "aid station" had nothing, but water. That is unheard of for a race of that distance. They always have something else; like alternative things to drink(specifically gaterade) and fuel (like my gu chomps). Yes, we brought our own stuff, but it was bad. My Mom dumped her extra layers at mile four... which had half our gu chomps in them. OOPS!

This beautiful mountain peak was poking through the mass of clouds to say Good Morning
Things got worse from there on out. My hip started hurting around mile 5. Yup... We still had 8 miles to go. When I was in high school I ran a 5K "with" my mom. I didn't stay with her during that race which is why there are the quotation marks. My hip, same hip as the one that hurt during the Half, started hurting during that race. It had never happened before. I was in front of my mom, by a bit of a ways, but she passed me because I had to walk. I started running when I knew I was close to the finish line, you know my thing with finishing strong. I couldn't lift my leg high enough to get over this tiny bump in the road and I tripped. I slammed my right knee into the ground and skidded a bit. I finished the race, running, limping, muddy, and bleeding. Since then, I haven't had issues with my hip. It was a weird one time thing. But it came back to haunt me during my 10 miler and again during the half.

It came back with a vengeance.

Photo Moment

Around Mile 7 we had another "aid station". I had started walking a bit before this. Running for a bit, walking for a bit... trying to give my hip a break, nothing helped. My body started cramping so bad. I was in so much pain. Everything was cramping, I wanted to curl up on the ground cry. (lack of fuel) I walked pretty much for the rest of the race. By mile 9 I had a definite limp in my walk. My Mom, being the wonderful mother she is, didn't mention it until I did and even then all she said was, "I see that." She asked me about horses, my time training them, what I loved about them, which horse was my favorite to train. I talked about my little mustang gelding, Wildfire. She helped me so much.

My goofy bubbly mother, the picture doesn't do the color of the tree justice.

Once I had hit half way there was no way I was going to stop.

I'm too competitive.

But I seriously considered quitting.

Mile 10 we had our last "aid station" where an angel was waiting for us. My mom, the overly comfortable in any situation woman (love that about her), told the lady there about the pain I was in, how we had run out of Gu Chomps a few miles back and I was cramping up. I was fighting the urge to cry as my mother told this wonderful woman about my condition. Remember I learned early on that crying would make my lungs close off. The lady listened intently and when my mom was finished talking she politely asked this angel if she had anything I could use for fuel. This angel explained she didn't have anything that the race had given her to hand out, but she was going to go raid her husbands private stash for me. She came back with a huge bag full of different fuels. She suggested one that would go down and into my system fast and I downed two of them. She asked us to take more and we did. I asked if there was anyway I could repay her for her kindness. Fuel, especially the stuff she let us have, isn't cheep. She smiled kindly, sadly, and sympathetically to me and told me, "Just finish the race."

Another Photo Moment, yes, my face always goes bright red when I run.

I'm tearing up just thinking about that wonderful woman.

I stopped cramping. I was able to focus again. I still couldn't run, it hurt to much just to walk. But I did. I walked. When I could see the finish line I started running again. I didn't realize how bad I looked until I saw the video a family member took of me running by them to the finish line. I looked miserable. I was in so much pain. Everyone who was at the finish line was clapping, which was my family that last of the race helpers, and another family. The Hubs ran the last few feet with me and the second I passed that finish line I grabbed him and sobbed into his chest. In the video you can see me clutching the back of his jacket. He asked me if I was okay and I said, "no". I was hurting. I still couldn't cry, my chest started collapsing, but I wanted to. I just wanted to cry. Afterwards I could barely walk for a couple days. I couldn't lift my leg to climb into the car or go up our stairs. It took about a week for the pain to leave, but it was worth it.

The race people were very nice. They had me laughing within a couple of minutes. They congratulated me and said they were very impressed. I wasn't the last runner. I beat my mom. There was one other runner behind us, and I didn't see him walk once. I don't know if he did. But because I had walked so much I was worried he had quit at mile four, which was the last time we had seen him. I was hoping he hadn't. Just as we were leaving he came around the corner. He was the last runner, but he did it. He completed the half marathon. He wasn't in the best shape, he was a little heavier, but he did it. I was very proud of him.

All in all it was a great experience. I had a lot of fun with my Mom, taking pictures (as I'm sure you can tell), and talking about everything. I learned a lot about myself too as I crossed that finish line. Something that only another marathoner would understand. When you've trained and competed in a half marathon... you cross that finish line and (at least for me) learn what kind of person you are. It's a feeling of accomplishment, and relief. It's so hard to explain, but even though I was in so much pain... it was wonderful.

The sun was shining right in our eyes in this one, my eyes are WAY sensitive to light so I was trying really hard to keep them open. Haha.
Now, less then a month after, I have already decided I want to do another one. Partly because I know I can run the whole thing! I'm angry that I had to walk most of this one. I want to beat my PR of 3 1/2 hours. Plus, I really want to run the Disneyland Half. ;) I love Disney. I won't do another hard one like that. I'll be sure to study the course before hand and choose them carefully, but I will do another one. I know that. The next one I have planned will be in a couple years when Spunky is ready to do it with me. I don't know if I will do one before then. We will see. :)

For those of you considering a Half, please note: Not everyone goes through what I did. I was lacking fuel and my hip has issues and the race I did was a challenging one. If you are considering a half marathon, DO IT! You wont regret it. I was in that much pain and I do NOT, for even one second, regret it.

13.1 Miles Completed!!!

Until Next Time,

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you! Of course I'll run the Disneyland Half Marathon with you in a few years!