I was so unbelievably excited. I have run at the Cowtown for the past 2 years, and this would be my third. I ran my first 5K in 2012, my first 10K in 2013 and this would be my first half. I registered pretty much as soon as registration opened. And then I got stuck. Real life overtook my workout regime and I knew I wasn't going to be near ready for this race. But I also wasn't going to forfeit the $80 I paid to do it either! One way or another, I was going to complete this race.
All week I have been excited and nervous. I haven't been able to run the past couple weeks, and I had *only* gotten back up to running 5 miles at a time. But I figured my adrenaline and excitement would carry me for a little while, and I was hoping to at least run the first half and then run/walk the second.
This was the scene from where I parked. Traffic was pretty sucky so I only got there about 20 minutes before start time. But hey, less time to wait around. I was super stoked at this point.
My corral started off at 7:15. The first few miles were lots of turns and running through Trinity Park and some neighborhoods. It was neat to see all the people out cheering. I felt pretty good for those first few miles. Then at mile 3, I stopped to get some water and felt a burst of energy when I started again. Hey, this walking for a bit helps! Onward I went.
Around mile 5-6 I was looking for my parents and Jenna. They were supposed to be somewhere along there to cheer for me. I never found them and later on, I found out they thought they had missed me so they left. I hadn't gotten there yet. I was going much slower than they (and I) had thought I would be but I kept trudging along.
Just after mile 6 we entered the Stockyards. I love the Stockyards. It's such an iconic part of Fort Worth.
I didn't take this picture, obviously. But if runners had been in this picture, we would have been coming toward you, down the hill. It was neat to run through there but cobblestone is hard to run on!
After this, I started feeling it. I would run for a little while, and then walk. And my walking kept getting longer and longer. By now, I was stopping at every water station to get something to drink and also walking a lot between stations too.
Then the infamous mile 9. A long, gradual hill. I had already decided that forget trying to run up that. But this view was at the top. Another great view!
Then the race ran through downtown, through Sundance Square. The next picture shows how it would have looked if the runners had been coming towards the camera. Another great place to run but I was hurting by this point. My knees, which had been bothering me all week, really weren't bad but my foot was really feeling it. I was pretty much just walking at this point! I was excited though because I saw the 3:00 pacer right in front of me, but they started jogging again and I couldn't keep up.
And I pretty much walked from here on out. Occasionally I would jog a little but I was feeling it. About mile 11, not only was I feeling it in my foot but my calves were really tight and I was wondering if I was going to start cramping. One foot in front of the other. Just kept going.
Right before the finish, I saw my parents and Jenna. They did find me! Jenna was yelling "Go Mommy!", my dad was high fiving me and as I said, "This has sucked!" my mom said, "Only 2 more turns to go!" Thank goodness.
And I finished. I didn't feel the elation I had with my 5Ks or 10Ks, but I felt relief. I was just happy to be done, and I got my medal.
Hobbled to my car and as I was sitting in line trying to get out of the parking garage, I went on Facebook and saw all the posts, comments and encouragement from my friends. Now the elation was starting. I had finished a half marathon! Dude! That's a LONG way.
We went out to eat (of course!) and I remembered my decal that I had bought from the expo yesterday. I have NEVER put a sticker on my car before but this one was definitely going on.
And that's the story of my first half. Right now, 6 hours after I finished, I'm sore and hobbling, but happy. It wasn't near the race I had wanted to run, but considering my life in the past few months, I'm DAMN proud to have done it. And heck, it gives me something to improve on as I eye my next one (most likely the Fort Worth half marathon in November).
13.1. Done. And I'm thrilled.