We did it! The first half-marathon is in the books!
Although, it wasn’t ideal. The weather was great; it was overcast, which wound up being nice because we didn’t have the sun in our faces all day.
But, it wasn’t without trouble. I had prayed for no injuries, and I had hoped our time would be pretty good, overall. This was not to be, and my goal quickly went from “good time” to “I just want to finish.” Around 6.5 miles, I pulled up lame. My Achilles tendon was on fire, but I wanted to push through to finish. The longer we continued, the worse it got. David, being the sweetheart that he is, chose to walk-and-jog the rest of it by my side even when I had to stop at every mile marker to stretch and rub my ankle. At mile 9, I didn’t think I’d finish. We kept going, and we actually managed to jog the final 1.1 miles to the finish. (But let me tell you, that 1.1 miles felt like 5. I didn’t think we’d ever finish.) My time was awful, but since I still finished, even injured, I count it as a win in my book.
So it was done. Medal in hand, we fought through the crowd to grab a Gatorade and a banana apiece, and then found my dad. Dad finished his 5th Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon, but his sixth overall mini. We found Dad around mile 12, and he jogged back to the finish line to find us. Yes, you read that right, he had just finished his own mini and still had the energy to jog back to meet us slowpokes. Overall, though, it was still a lot of fun! I’ve already been looking for my next mini. Given my school schedule, it looks like I won’t be able to run this race again next spring. I am determined to continue running these and to do better than my time in this one (hopefully without injuries). It was fun, and seeing the sea of people out running was amazing–the only thing I’d seen like it was The Color Run 5K we ran last July.
One thing I did not anticipate: the edema. Oh my word, the edema. Holy crap. The edema in my hands was awful. They felt alien, mutant. I’m not quite sure why it was so bad during this race. Three hours after we finished, I could finally get my wedding band off my finger. I have never had edema in my hands that bad before.
Early in the run, I saw a shirt that said, “13.1: Only Half Crazy”. (I want one, now.) But seriously, I think the full marathon runners are crazy… 13.1 miles was more than enough for this girl (I remember being incredulous upon hearing we had to run the mile for PE class in junior high… I mean seriously, an entire mile?!?!), and they have my utmost respect and awe. Holy moly. I think I’ll stick with 13.1.
The people on the sidelines were another one of the great things about this race. One lady made a sign that read, “Way to go, random stranger!” Having someone cheer you on over the duration of the race really made it special and made it easier to find my second wind/push to the finish.
By far the best part of the run, for me anyway, was the moment of silence for the Boston Marathon Bombing victims. I didn’t see the booth at the runner’s expo to pick up a ribbon to wear, or else I’d have worn one. I saw plenty of t-shirts and stickers, and even a homemade sign or two remembering them. One of the best quotes I’d heard was, “Run ‘in memory of those who couldn’t finish this year and in defiance of those who would want us to live in fear.’” Quite, quite fitting. In no way, shape, or form did I feel fearful or unsafe during this run, and I hope the bombings do not deter anyone from running in the future, especially in Boston.