This is not my favorite picture at all but Delete Happy Stephen deleted my favorite picture of me after finishing the half.
I was so incredibly nervous the morning of the half. During the night, I woke up every hour or half hour to check the clock and make sure I hadn't overslept. I woke up at 4:30, changed into my running clothes, and headed downstairs to Starbucks for oatmeal and coffee. We were staying at the Luxor and while there are 3 Starbucks there, only one is open before 8 am. The Luxor was also one of the marathon hotels...there was a massive line of at least 30 people. I realized that by the time I got my coffee and oatmeal I would have no time to digest it before the race started so I went back upstairs to the room and had an instant oatmeal packet with peanut butter and coffee made with hot tap water and a coffee bag. (Whenever we travel I always take a few instant oatmeal packets, travel containers of peanut butter, and coffee bags just in case.) While it wasn't the best oatmeal or coffee, it did give me the fuel and energy I needed.
The race was starting from behind Mandalay Bay (which is right next to the Luxor). Stephen walked with me part of the way to the start line (there was a lot of congestion closer to the start line so he went back to the room). He was trying to talk to me and ask me questions but I was so nervous I was nearly in tears...just typing about how nervous I was makes me almost cry still! I made it to the starting line about 10 minutes before the race started. There weren't any pace markers (signs saying "10 minute mile", etc where the participants group themselves according to pace) which I found to be odd so I tried to stay towards the back. When the marathon started fireworks went off for about 10 minutes.
I knew that at the beginning of the race there would be a lot of congestion so I decided the day before to run a few miles without any walk breaks just so I didn't have anyone slam into the back of me. Once I started running I felt really good so I told myself I would run without stopping until the half way point and after that I could do my 4:1's if I wanted to. At Mile 5 I grabbed water and at mile 6 I walked for about 30 seconds so I could text Stephen and let him know where I was. At the halfway point, I was still feeling good so I kept on running. Mile 7--more water. Close to Mile 8 I started feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom. It wasn't urgent but it really hurts to run when you have to pee so I stopped and used the port-a-potty...waiting in line, etc. took 8 minutes. At Mile 9 I grabbed Gatorade. When I hit Mile 10 I really started to feel fatigued so I started doing 4:1's until Mile 12. I took a short walk break (~1 minute) somewhere between Miles 12 and 13. After that break, I ran the rest of the way. Near the finish line, there were lots of people cheering and I almost cried again. Once I saw the finish line, I just ran as fast as I could. Stephen had sent me a text saying that he was near the finish line so I looked and looked for him as I was running but never saw him and he never saw me finish which he was really upset about.
In the finishing corral, I grabbed my medal, couple of bottles of water, a Gatorade, and 2 cookies. Then I tried to find Stephen...finally we met up and he took some pictures of me with my medal. We headed back to the room. I left Stephen at the Sports Book at Mandalay Bay and I went to take a shower. After showering I met up with Stephen and we watched some Sunday football. About 2 hours after being there, I was extremely tired so we went back to the room and I slept for an hour or so and woke up feeling fantastic. My legs were sore the next day but only when I had been sitting for a while.
I can't wait to do it again!! I'm deciding which race I want to do next and what length. I'm so addicted now!!
Division (Females 24-29)--548/940
*The "out of" number includes both marathon and half marathon participants. There isn't information about how I did compared to just half marathon participants.
Also, does anyone know what the "Age Grade" means? I've googled it with no luck.
I haven't gone on a run since the half but I've been getting up early to use the elliptical. I planned on running today at lunch but it's pouring outside and tomorrow doesn't look much better.