Saturday, April 18, 2009
SLC Marthon - 1/2 marathon - and yes I kicked it!!!
Holy sore knee's Batman! I am not gonna lie, but this post is going to be a bit of an upper for me, brace yourself.
I've been nervous and preparing for my first ever 1/2 Marathon, which for those of you that don't know is 13.1 miles. I chose to run the Salt Lake City Half Marathon.
I woke up, or rather, just got out of bed since I didn't really sleep, at 4:15 am. Cooked my oatmeal, got dressed, shoes on, hat, gum, sunglasses and bib. Chad picked me up at about 4:45, I grabbed my Monster and we headed for the Shark's house.
Got Shark's bike loaded up, everyone's gear in the truck and headed for the U's campus. Chad's an old pro at this, so he got a great parking spot and he and Tib started to get their gear unloaded, and bikes ready. We are joking around and pinning on our bibs when I realize my bib number.Seriously?! The mark of the beast? This is SO NOT BODING WELL!
As I am sitting in the back keeping warm, it suddenly dawns on me! I DON'T HAVE MY TIMING CHIP!! CaaaaRaaaaaaaP! What to do? There is no way I am calling Splenda, I left him with Sissy crying. Nope, not going there. Okay, Chad? Can I take your truck run home, get my chip and get back in time for my start?
Race home, praying all the way that every cop was downtown supporting this race. Run into the house, grab my chip, my lucky earrings and quickly pee. No way am I using a porta-potty.
Race back up to the U, crossing my fingers that they haven't shut the road down and I can park either in the same lot or close by so that Chad and Tib can find the truck when they get back. LUCKY ME - The parking spot gods are smiling on me! Quickly send a text to the Shark to let them know where I have parked the truck and where the keys are.
Begin heading for the start line. TONS of people! TONS! Starting to feel very intimidated! Now, I have a psychological NEED to be right at the start line. I realize that I will get passed, but for some reason, I HAVE to be right at the line. So I wrest my way in with the big dogs and keep moving to stay warm.
They let the hand bikers go first, they always inspire me by the way, and then our turn to move up to the chip pad and start line. He does a count down, the gun sounds, and we take off. Yup, getting passed. Totally okay with it! Just keep going. It's downhill so the start is a pretty quick one. I hit the first mile and the clock shows a 7:09 time. Wow, okay, if I keep this pace, I will be okay, but I am also realistic to know, it's a long run. Longer than I have EVER done, that will not be my average pace. I start patying attention to the folks who pass me, and believe it or not I start passing others here and there. Decide to keep a roadkill tally in my head.
For those non-runners - a roadkill is someone you pass up. Now if they pass you again, you can't count them. You have to pass them and stay ahead of them. Keep this in mind for later in the story.
Continue on, and really I am feeling fantastic! The course is beautiful, and while a little chilly by my standards, it is tolerable. In fact, before I even got off campus, my jacket had been tossed to the side of the road. Keep plugging along and enjoying the route. People are all along side the entire way. Holding signs, clapping, cheering and shouting words of encouragement. It really is an adrenalin rush! Hit the 6 mile mark, and realize okay, you've done a 10k now, assess how you are feeling. Mmm, actually pretty good! A little less than half way, you can do this.
Keep going and for the most part the course is either a slight down hill or flat at this point. And somewhere along the line I was told it the last 3 miles were flat so no problem.
When I did hit mile 6 I noticed the clock again 45 minutes and some change. Sweet, if I can keep this up, I should be able to reach my goal. Just keep going.
Mile 9 - Liberty Park. Run through the park, but now it's concrete and not asphalt. I can totally feel the difference and it's killing me. That was a loooooong mile. Finally out of the park, and back on asphalt and back to a slight downgrade.
Turn on State street heading north. Slight upgrade that continues getting a little more up with each intersection. FLAT MY ARSE!! This was horrible! My pace slowed way down, I was hurting! All I kept telling myself was to just keep moving. Stopping, or walking was NOT an option. At least I knew that once we hit South Temple, we'll turn and get off this mother-truckin hill!
Sure enough, albeit NOT soon enough, we hit South Temple and turn west headed straight towards Gateway. Slight down hill, I have time to make up so I lenghten my stride and pound it down. Turn the corner, now there are tons of people lined up along the course cheering every single runner on! Final turn into Gateway and I am now sprinting with the little bit of energy I have left.
Into the final chute. Hundreds of people are lined up and yelling, whistling and cheering. I pull out my ear buds to enjoy it all. I finally get close enough to see the clock and what the crap!??!???!?? 1:40 ?? HUH? Sprint a little faster.....Okay, I can see I need to be quick to keep it in the 1:40, cause now I see a 50 something seconds........
Finally hit my foot on the pad and my time as I crossed? 1:40:57. One hour, forty minutes and 57 seconds! I am ecstatic! I continue through the chute, grab a water bottle shoved at me and start looking for Splenda, Mom, John, MIL, Shark and Chad. No one. Continue walking through the chute now really starting to feel the pain in my legs.
All of a sudden I hear my name and the Shark comes flying at me like a bat outta hell! AAAAAAHHHHHH! We are screaming and yelling like a couple of banshees! I think Chad might have taken a step backwards and pretended he didn't know us for a minute or two.
I get caught up to date on how they did on the bike tour and I was not only very impressed but SO HAPPY for them. They finished a 26 mile bike tour in 1:43. AWESOME!
Start walking out of the way and wondering where mi familia is. Use Sharks phone to call and they had completely missed me. They didn't even know I was done. They were looking for me in blue and I was in pink. Oh well, Tib got some shots of me from behind. Thankfully, she is a techno wizard as well and added the arrow so you can actually see it's me.
She also was kind enough to get a pic of me with my medal at the finish line since Splenda still hadn't found us yet.
Finally, my fam found me, chastised me for not being in blue like they expected and we enjoyed some post race small talk. Sissy was particularly ornery, Chad and Tib needed to go get their bikes and get back to the truck and I was now starting to get cold. One last picture with my racing besties
Home to ice the knees, stretch and rest the muscles and then I got a call bringing a little fact to my attention. My bib number 6669, is my trainers birthdate. NO, it was NOT the mark of the beast and bad luck, instead it was the mark of the Purdy to whom I owe so much for helping me for the last year become so physically fit and able to do these kinds of things. Knowing that was just like pure icing on the cake!
So final results and tallies:
Half-Marathon Official Time - 1:40:58
4,125 total runners
I placed 310th overall.
2,544 total women
I placed 72nd overall.
192 in my age category
I placed 5th.
Am I pleased? HECK YEAH! Not only did I completely obliterate my goal of 2 hours, but in such a large race with so many elite runners and competitors, I held my own. I was there in the running with true athletes. I can't even begin to explain my high.
Last but not least:
Melissa's Roadkills? 31
Melissa as someone else's roadkill? - TMTC (too many to count)
And of course, Splenda taking the traditional picture at home with my baby Jordan and Jesus smiling in the background
Now to recover, get the sore muscles taken care of, the sore knees back to normal, and then begin training for the next big race.
Not gonna lie..... I LOVE RUNNING!