I did it!!
I finished a half marathon!
We made a whole weekend out of it and had our first mini vacay as a family of 6.
We started out Friday by a visit to Disneyland, and the kids were super excited since they had no idea where we were taking them on our trip. About lunch time we took a little break and decided to check out the Health and Fitness Expo at the hotel to pick up our race packets.
The two big kids ran the 200 meter kids race Saturday morning and had so much fun! We're trying really hard to get them interested in staying active, especially since I had such a sedentary childhood. I don't want my kids to struggle with their weight as much as I have.
Sunday morning my alarm went off at 4am in order to get ready for the race! Husband was amazing and kept me company while I was getting ready. I took some Clif shot bloks before I left, and as I walked to the race from our hotel (1.4 miles) I ate a banana and some almonds. I lined up in my corral where the wait began.
Because I was placed in such a late corral, I don't think that we actually crossed the start line until about 6:20, even though the race started at 5:45. As I started out, I couldn't believe that I was actually doing it! I felt great, had a great pace (for me) and was enjoying all of the scenery as we started out in Downtown Disney and headed in to Disney's California Adventure. At about mile 2, I had to make a stop (see above caffeinated shot bloks), which kind of bummed me out because I really felt like I had found my groove. But I easily picked back up where I left off. We continued to run through the parks, coming out of the castle and through the rest of Disneyland. As I made my way on to the streets of Anaheim and started to hear my name called! I looked over and my good friend Amanda was on the street corner cheering me on with the cutest sign! I was shocked and so touched to see her, and it gave me a little bit of extra encouragement to keep going.
As I continued through the race, my Husband, in laws and two big kids met up with me at different spots with super cute signs to cheer me on. I couldn't believe his dedication, considering how much work it was for him, with all of the street closures and dragging two small children around with him. It seriously meant the world for me to have his support through the whole race.
At about mile 8 my iPod stopped working. I couldn't get the music to play and I gave up, so it was just me and the pavement. There were tons of people around me, but they were all running with other people and seemed pretty focused.
And then my back started BURNING. My low back felt like it was ON FIRE. It hurt so bad I felt like crying. I started to walk thinking that I could just give myself a little break and then resume, but then everything started to hurt. We walked through Angel Stadium (where I saw my very pregnant friend, Christina and her entire family cheering for me) and all I kept thinking was that it had to get better. I had seen people using Biofreeze, so I tried it on my back. It did help temporarily, but the burning came back with a vengeance.
The end of the race is actually a blur. Anything after mile 11 I can barely remember. I spent most of the time just trying to put one foot in front of the other and finish within the time limit. I remember thinking that it actually felt better to run than it did to walk, but I couldn't catch my breath while I was running. I remember feeling lightheaded and nauseous and just wishing that I could lay down for just a minute.
As I approached the finish line, my mom and aunt and my two littlest kids were standing there cheering me on, which was just the boost I needed to cross the finish line!
I ended up laying down in the air conditioned medical tent for a while with some ice on my back and a Powerade in hand, but recovered fairly quickly and hitched a ride back to the hotel to join my family.
I am so grateful for all of my friends and family that were there every step of the way to cheer me on. I got so many encouraging text messages and emails and I'm humbled that so many people took the time to think of me.
We spent the next couple of days as a family at Disneyland, just enjoying each other and spending some quality time together.
In the back of my mind, my time is haunting me. You see, I had a goal of just finishing in the time limit, which was 3:30 (yes, I know that's slow) and I missed it. By 11 minutes. My time was 3:41. Super bummed and disappointed with myself. I feel like maybe I could have pushed myself harder. Or something. And then I read an article about being happy with any accomplishment, even if it's just showing up. So I'm trying to focus on the fact that not only did I show up, but I finished.
I'm still haunted.
So I got home.
And signed on to the computer.
And may or may not have signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando in February.
Time to get to work!!!