Saturday morning I kissed the hubs good-bye and headed out of town with Christy and her mom. We were headed to St. Pete where we would compete in the:
It would be Christy, her mom and my FIRST Half Marathon.
We stopped in Tampa to pick up the lovely Christina from the airport and headed out to the race expo. We picked up our race packets and personalized bibs (I LOVED the personalized bibs lol). We didn't stay at the expo too long -- there were a lot of vendors wanting me to spend money I didn't have on some stuff that I could make myself.
We made our way towards the hotel, but before getting there stopped for lunch -- hello Chick-fil-a. We picked up a couple things at Target -- can you believe I forgot my toothbrush at home?! What the heck!! We had pre-purchased tickets to see Harry Potter at 5:50. We had an hour or so until then and decided to see if they would trade the tickets for an earlier time...so we went to the 4:20 showing!!
I really enjoyed the movie. I don't know that I would take my 5 year old to see it (if I had one) but there were children that young in the movie. I guess I kind of feel like with something like this, if the child can't read and comprehend the language/storyline, they don't need to see it. But, hey, to each their own.
We went back to the hotel after dinner where we all painted our nails the color Sunrise, Sunset. It's kinda orangey but I really like the color =)
We attempted bed early...I tossed and turned for several hours before residing myself to the couch. There I used a pillowcase and a shirt as a blanket haha! I actually got some sleep though. Not NEARLY the amount I would have liked when competing in a half marathon.
Morning came quickly and we were up, fed and headed out by 6 am to get to the start line. We got there JUST in time -- as in 8 minutes to start. NOT how I wanted to kick off the morning but we were there in time. J and Christy's husband made it to the race and we were able to find them before the start. That was so nice -- it really is amazing to have a supportive and loving husband.
For the first 5 miles I just could NOT find a rhythm. I knew our pace was fast but somehow we couldn't manage to slow down. I think my competitive nature was in control and my speed stemmed from the fact that I was being passed by people. I know, that's not the point.
I saw J at the end of Mile 7 and the beginning of Mile 9, where I grabbed a quick kiss. That helped me get to Mile 10...and I had to slow down. My goal at this point was to run the entire race. Thankfully I had my girl Christina to help push me forward. Mile was probably the most fun -- not because it was any easier, but because we ran around Tropicana Field -- as in INSIDE on the playing field. That was pretty cool and gave me a different view of the stadium. Mile 13 was easier as it was on a decline and the last quarter mile was motivational. There were so many fans cheering and clapping and I was able to finish strong. My finishing time was 2:31:02. Right around where I had hoped to finish -- 2.5 hours for my first half. I'm pretty proud of that.
I barely walked -- only through a couple water stations. During the final mile, I remember thinking "I don't know that I want to run a Full Marathon". My mind may change later but as of now, running a half works for me =)
I mentioned earlier that our bibs were personalized -- yes they had our names on it! I LOVED it! People could encourage your personally and that seemed to help keep me going, along with Christina.
We each received a medal at the end and it had a charm that you could remove. A lot of ladies were putting them on bracelets and necklaces. I made mine into a key chain! I love it!
Christy had a great finish especially with her lack of training due to a broken toe about 2.5 months ago. She came in well under her target time, as did her mom.