better: adrenaline levels, course scenery, spectators, weather, piles of free food at the end.
worse: whoever decided to put a freaking GIANT hill straight up state street at the end of the course, and not stretching out enough post-race.
the race started at 7 a.m. so we woke up at 5 and drove to SLC. the starting line was at the university of utah and b dropped me off -- the sun was just barely coming up and it was cloudy/drizzling but surprisingly warm. it was so motivating to see all the other runners getting ready and to know that it was finally MY RACE DAY. i was excited!
i met up with aimee and we waited for the race to start. there were so. many. people -- 5,000+ runners, marathon & halfers included. once they blew the start whistle, it took us eight minutes just to get to the actual starting line. ha! i will never forget standing under the bridge surrounded by so many runners getting pumped up to go.
we started out slow to warm up, and my bff erica (who conveniently lives across the street from the starting line) showed up and ran a block with us. then aimee and i split up and i was on my own!
the first five miles totally breezed by. i even skipped the first water station because i was feeling so good. i loved people watching and checking out the course and running through residential neighborhoods and parks. there were people all along our course cheering, with kids giving us high fives and men banging cowbells and little old women holding up signs. b and jack stationed themselves at two different points along the route and i got SO excited to see them. jack was just sitting in his stroller staring at all the crazy people running by and it made me smile to see him.
then the adrenaline started wearing off a bit and i knew i still had a long way to go. i kept up my pace but made sure to grab water along the way. i walked as i drank (and then felt guilty throwing my empty cup on the ground but hey, all the other runners did it) but then started back up quickly. my rockin playlist kept me company and i charged forward.
after sugar house and liberty park and parts of downtown and the grand america, we ran up state street to temple square and holy crap was that a steep hill. i chose the slc marathon because it was mostly downhill and flat...this hill was a little surprise. i stopped for a potty break and then hauled A up the hill trying to get past it as quick as possible. by now my legs were feeling pretty tight but i knew i had less than three miles to go.
ran past temple square and straight down to the gateway and then around the gateway and to the finish line! b and my in laws were there cheering but i still had my earphones in so i didnt hear them :( lesson for next time. i got past the finish line feeling so happy i had done it! and then even more happy because someone handed me a medal and then other people started handing me free cookies and chocolate milk and bananas. yum!
i saw aimee cross the finish line and we celebrated together, and then i found b and went back to my little family (although jack burst into tears as soon as i got there, ha). the hardest part of my day was probably carrying my 21-pound baby back to the car because he only wanted ME. i sacrificed for you, jack.
anyway, here are my official stats:
race time: 2:06:39
rank: #2002 out of 4444
pace time: 9:40
age division: #199/501
since this was my first race, i wanted to take it easy and mostly just finish. my goal was to run it at a 10 minute mile (which would have gotten me done in 2 hours 11-ish minutes) so i beat that goal! i think if i had not taken the potty break and had paid better attention to my time (i didn't run with a watch) i could have beaten 2 hours. so i guess i'll just have to run another one and do better next time!
this morning i could barely move, my legs were killllling me. should have stretched better at the finish line but i was just so excited to see aimee and b. overall it was a fantastic experience and i loved it! hooray for running.
and i just have to give b a major shout out. he has been SO supportive of this whole thing, telling me i could do it when i got discouraged, watching jack while i trained, cheering for me along the course and being at the finish line. he also ordered jack a onesie to wear yesterday that said "my mom ran 13.1 miles, what did your mom do?" and booked me a surprise massage for last night [which of course was much needed]. he is the best and i am so lucky to have him.
then yesterday afternoon we went to the utah spring football game and THAT was a mistake. ugh. i was tired, jack was tired, b was grumpy and i learned you should really plan on doing absolutely nothing except sit on the couch after a half marathon. i'm glad b can take advantage of being there for his team for a little while longer while we're still in utah, but shoot. next time he can do it on his own. came home, got my massage and went to bed early -- race day was a success!