Monday, June 7, 2010

Hospital Hill Half Marathon...

...I SURVIVED!!! I beat my goal of under three hours and was super close to 2:45, I finished in 2 hours 46 minutes and 42 seconds. In hindsight, I think I really could have gotten in under 2:45 but I feel awesome, had a great time and I'm not going to dwell on the coulda, shoulda, wouldas.

This was me at 5am waiting for everyone to get there and trying to shake the nerves.
I have too many pictures and too much to say so I have dedicated all my posts this week to the half. I hope I don't bore you to death but this is a huge achievement to me and I want to be sure I gather all my thoughts and document it "just right." Here is my race report from Daily Mile:

I was up at 4am eating my breakfast and trying not to freak out. Matt asked me a million times if I had everything and then we finally got on the road. I guess I was expecting more people to be freaking out like me so when we didn't see any other cars/people, I REALLY started stressing!!! We finally saw barricades and figured we must be in the right spot so we parked and started walking towards the race. I looked at Matt and in a shaky voice told him, "I don't want to do this anymore. I think I'm going to cry." Matt looked at me like I was insane and told me it wasn't option of NOT doing it, I WAS doing it.

After repeatedly telling Matt to look for Sherrie in pink, pigtails and a black Nike hat, we found each other. Start counting because I'm going to repeat this many times-thank GOD for Sherrie! No way could I have done this without her!!! After a quick pottie break, we found our way to the 2:50 pace group and the race soon started.

We just started running and the 2:50 was a little slow and before we knew it we were with the 2:40 pace team. We stayed with them all the way through at least the halfway mark. They were AWESOME!!!

Our husbands, Matt and Henry, did a great job finding us multiple times on the course and giving us extra water. At one point, Sherrie saw Henry and said, "Did you get a coffee?" Henry nodded and said, "And a sausage biscuit and Matt got a sausage burrito." Uh-oh Matt-busted! We'll discuss that later after the race...

About mile 8 though, I was hurting, my right hip hurt, my whole right side just hurt...I was hitting my wall. We fell behind at that point from the 2:40 group but kept on truckin'. Sherrie did a great job giving me tips and asking how I was feeling. Right before this, I was suddenly SO thirsty! I didn't see a water station OR our husbands anywhere in sight and I was desperately needing agua like STAT! We FINALLY got to a water station and Sherrie told me to take two cups, I did that for the rest of the water stations and it was a HUGE help. We also ran into Greg, the American flag carrying ultra marathoner, who was very supportive as well and tried giving me a few tips to help stretch out the hip.

We walked a lot of the last couple miles because I just wanted to finish and was so tired. One older lady kept walking and passing us and chatting, she was super cute and told us that she'd just completed her 85th marathon!?! What an awesome accomplishment!

Right before mile 13, the 2:50 pace group caught us so we started running. When I saw the finally turn, I looked at Sherrie and told her, "Okay, I'm ready if you are...," she agreed and we took off!!! With about a tenth of a mile left, I was so overwhelmed and could feel the tears coming on because I was about to finish my FIRST HALF MARATHON!!! As I was concentrating on the finish line, I suddenly saw a couple florescent signs being held by my awesome friends who'd come to cheer me on. I gave them a big smile and that smile got even bigger as I crossed the finish line! I guess it was just meant for me to start the day wanting to cry and ending it on the same note but for totally opposite reasons.

So there you have it folks, I did it, I finished my first half marathon. I pushed myself to my limits and did something I didn't think I ever could. This is something that I'll be talking about for months to come because it feels awesome and not too many people can say that they've ran 13.1 miles at one time!!!

Going into the race, I was so nervous, anxious and even a little intimidated but the more I ran, I realized that running is for everyone. You have people out there of all shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds, reasons for running so there's really nothing to be intimidated about. Everyone is there with the same goal in mind to finish their race and to do it the best they can.

I'll finish with a thank you. Thank you to all my friends out there...you're faith, encouragement and support are what got me here today. And Sherrie-I know I told you like a million times but there's NO way I could have done this today without you. You are amazing and words cannot truly express how much I appreciate you staying by my side today. THANK YOU!!!

I CONQUERED THE HILL!!!

8 comments :

Slamdunk said...

Hey congrats on your accomplishment. You look much happier than I would have t 0500 on a Saturday.

Kristal said...

So awesome Alyssa!! One thing I love about running is how supportive runners are of each other. I mean, how cool is it that an ultra runner gave a first time halfer tips on stretching?! I love that.

Congrats on your huge accomplishment!!

Jacklyn said...

YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! Congrats! I'm so happy for you! You've caught the bug now ;) Can't wait to read the rest of the week.

Meredith said...

Congrats!!!

Krystie said...

SO proud of you! This will just push you to do more of what you love!

I still can't run to save my life. I'm still on the second week of couch to 5k because apparently running more then 1 minute my lungs start hyperventilating.I think it might be an asthma thing, but I haven't seen a DR yet.

Again girl, big huge congrats to you!

d.a.r. said...

So proud of you, congratulations!!! What a HUGE accomplishment!

Stephany said...

What an awesome accomplishment! I'm so proud of you...go ahead and spend the entire month of June reliving this because this is a HUGE achievement!

Faith said...

Congrats and great job on finishing! You rock!