4:20 a.m. came very early, but I was excited and jumped up and got ready. I needed to leave the house by 5:15 a.m. and wanted plenty of time to wake up, eat, and take care of bizz…
Which, speaking of, do not eat that pasta I mentioned last night. My stomach was rumbling all night, and even this morning (and there was nothing I could do about it if you know what I mean. I know, TMI). I was so scared I was going to get sick, or worse, have to use the port-o-potty. Luckily once I started running I had zero stomach issues.
We arrived downtown and found parking off of Leeland and La Branch. It was probably 10 blocks away, but it was free!
I was impresed with how efficient the volunteers were. We were able to check our bag with no problem (and pick it up, get our finishers shirts, and medals with no wait). I decided to wear my light blue pullover and a tank underneath, and wore regular cropped tights instead of the Under Armor. I wore a big fleece on top and then just stuffed it in my bag.
I lined up in my corral and was suddenly claustrophobic. We were body to body against each other. We stood like that for about 20 mins until we started moving to the start line. It took 5 mins from the time our gun went off until I actually activated my d-chip.
I was beaming for the first 6 mi. I am not lying. I was waving at everyone, lip synching to my music, bopping my head. I thanked everyone with a huge smile that cheered for me. I congratulated people for having witty signs or being dressed in a fun costume. Around mi 5 I ate my Berry Goo. That’s a mouthful! I definitely noticed such a difference in terms of my energy. My last 10K race I ran so hard but lost it the last half mi. Energy was not a probably today. I also made sure to take a few sips of Gatorade at the stations, but I was scared my body was going to freak out since I never drink it or use Goo. I chased it with a few sips of water.
Around mi 8 is when I started hurting. My calves were in knots. I stopped a few times to stretch, but was just so excited to be close to the 10 mi mark (I knew once I got there I would be excited to finish). I was also in my favorite area of Houston and passed one of my favorite Greek restaurants, Niko Niko’s, so I just tried to ride the high to mile 10. Once I got there I heard someone calling my first and last name and saw my friend Frank. So fun to see someone you know! He was watching the race. I also saw my friend Stephanie and miles 4, 6, and 10.
When I got to mi 11 I was in rough shape. My legs were dying. My calves were still in knots, and seemed to get worse with each step. However, walking was even worse! Besides that, my hamstrings started getting tight. I didn’t even get to see mi 12, but 12-13 were hellish. I was doing more walking than I wanted, and I knew I needed to just run. I had about half mi left and saw the finish line. There was a point that I thought I was going to have to walk the finish line, but I started running and gained a bit of speed and crossed it! I was so happy TO BE DONE!
I finished in 2:43:15. My original goal was 2:30, but I really had stopped my training, so I set a new goal of finishing under 2:45:00. Those last 3 miles ate up a lot of time. My pace before that was what I usually run, but I added a lot of time by stretching and walking so much. I’m just happy to have crossed in one piece!
As soon as I walked inside I was in pain. It took about 2 hours of walking, sitting, stretching until I felt somewhat comfortable again. I was also greeted by my friend Kevin and his girlfriend. Kevin had been keeping track of both me and my friend running the full on his phone, and was waiting for me when I walked in. Let me tell you how great that was! He ran the 5K since the other races were full and came in tenth overall with a time of 18:27! He is such a speed racer! Kevin is running his first full in Austin and I’m so glad we’ll be there to support him like he supported us today!
I passed on the hot food they were giving out. Think: walking into HEB and just grabbing and eating whatever you want. That’s what they had. Everything! Once my legs started feeling better my stomach started feeling weird again. I think it was the sugar from the Gatorade. My body was over it. I ate about three Girls Scout cookies (the little 100 cal pack), and half of a mini ice cream. Don’t worry, I had quesadillas with guacamole when I got home!
My legs feel OK right now as I lay here, but when I get up they hurt around my knees (which is weird since my knees didn’t hurt today). I also noticed that my toenails on one foot feel weird…I’m preparing myself for a black toenail.
Overall I'm really pleased, and look forward to doing this race again next year. I'm also looking forward to my next half marathon (in less than a month!) and the new challenges it will present: Hills!!!
Now to take a nap, and yes, I’m still wearing my finisher shirt!