I Did It!!!

Hey guys!!!  Well......13.1 came and went!  It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  No really.  You probably are thinking she is nuts.  Running for 2.5 hours is anything but amazing.   But after 12 weeks of training and stressing, it was truly amazing.   Many of you have asked what it was like, so I decided to blog about it.  Why not.  I am still on a little runners high!

The day started for me at 4:30am.  Oooo.... before I start race day, let me tell you about Saturday.  Dad and Barbara came over Saturday morning and we went out to Historic Senoia for the day.  I'd been telling them for years that they'd LOVE it there.  And they did.  We shopped all the fun stores, ate a yummy lunch at the Redneck (complete with fried pickles) then headed home for a quiet evening at our house.  My pre-race dinner was a pile of noodles, plain grilled chicken and salad.  I also made a pumpkin cake by suggestion of buddy Tiffin which was a huge hit!  (and gluten free!)  I also drank so much water that day I could have floated through the race.  We all hit the bed at 9PM since 4:30am was a tad early, right?
Race day I was up at 4:30 and immediately hitting the water drinking.  I was not going to be dehydrated this day.  I also ate half a tiny bagel with natural peanut butter.  That's my long run fuel.  After carefully KT taping my knees and getting dressed I was ready to go!!  It was a cool Sunday morning, but not as cool as expected.  I'm still glad I wore the pink, it looks cool in the photos...hahaha....  It took 45 min to get to the drop off zone which was in Brookhaven.  They have a really nice new shopping area where the race started.  Dad dropped me off then went back the mile to park.  Thank goodness he did, because I had to find the porta potty before starting.  Turns out that line took 30 min to get through!!! 

After that it was time to get lined up.  As you can see in the photo above it was just me and 2,806 other people running the race.  Ha.   I was not in a front corral because I am a slow chick.  Instead they had flags indicating race finish times.  I had wanted to be in the 2:20 area but it was too packed, I couldn't fit.  So I lined up with the 2:30 group.  We were all very quiet waiting for the start signal.  It was a little eerie honestly.  I'd gone ahead and started my headphones to calm myself.  I wasn't really nervous anymore, just anxious to get started.  I guess you could say I was mentally preparing myself for what was ahead of me.  I definately said a long prayer.  After the national anthem and a prayer they counted down.  No gun shots.  I suppose in downtown Atlanta that's better.  Just sayin'.  It took literally 7 min. for me to get to the start line....and then I was still sorta walking until we hit the first curve.  And to my right was Dad, Mailey and Barbara screaming for me!!  I near about cried.  It was here.  Race day.  Holy cheesecracker I was about to run 13.1 miles!!!
We obviously started the race in the dark heading out of the parking lot, turning left onto Peachtree, past Oglethorpe, and into a neighborhood.  Having only run in 4 races total since age 19 I had to get used to running with so many people.  It buggered me that the walkers would be in a line socializing making it difficult to weasel around to keep running.  I had decided I was there to RUN the race, not walk.  So no matter what I was running.  The course was extremely hilly and curvy.  There weren't any hills as bad as the ones in my own neighborhood, but it was a constant incline and curvy.  Lots of curving, like a roller coaster.  I stopped at every water station along the course, but never had to use the porta potty, thank goodness.  I stopped to drink having never mastered the water drinking and running art.  That little stop always gave me the extra boost to keep going, so glad I did.  Plus water stations were FULL of very happy encouraging people.  I couldn't help but smile the entire time!!  The other fun thing was since we were running through all sorts of neighborhoods the families were literally out on their lawns in their PJ's with coffee cheering us on!!

Above was mile 5.  We had looped back around to the starting area.  On the left side I saw Dad, B and Mailey cheering me on with a poster that said "GO MOM...LOVE YOU!!"  I was SO happy to see them.  So I ran straight at them.  That's how Mailey got the great photo above.  It was the best feeling knowing they were there for me, waiting and cheering.  We then headed down Peachtree to Ashford Dunwoody Rd and wound the hills and turns for the last 8 miles.

Above I was just about to cross the finish line.  With a giant cheese grin on my face.  This was it!!!  The announcers were calling our names as we crossed, music was booming,  families were yelling....it was truly a sweeeeet moment.  As I crossed the finish line I started to cry.  Then quickly realized it was causing me to wheeze, so I had to gather myself and stop that silliness!  I have to say it was one of the absolute happiest moments of my life.  Like crazy happy moment.  All my hard work had finally paid off.  I had done it!!!!  And within 2.5 hrs.  There were 500 people behind me too.  I didn't finish last.  Woohoooo!!
My family was proud too.  I could see it in their eyes and their jumping up and down as I was crossing the line.  As you can see I'm missing my boys.....William had a baseball tournament.  I called Billy immediately and he was like "Well????Did you do it??"  I was like of course and in 2.5 hrs!!!  He was so happy for me.  Amber said he ran over to her to share the news and was about jumping up and down with excitement.  Aww.....
So....what does a runner do after running 13.1 miles?  Well, we walked the mile back to the car stopping at Dunkin' Donuts for coffee and a curler for me!  Then we headed home for me to shower off the 13.1 miles off my body and get to William's second baseball game.  Of course I wore my bling.  William and his team were like, "Whooooaaaa Mrs. Jenni that is so cool." William was like, yeah my Mom just ran a marathon.  She is so cool.  I may have slept in the bling....maybe.  And I will be wearing it to school tomorrow.  We had Monday and today off which was sweet since my buttocks has not enjoyed walking.  It's funny to me that this was the muscle that was the most sore.  You'd have thought it'd be my thighs, right? 

I spent the entire afternoon on the porch enjoying movies, wine and a dozen or so of the pretzel turtles below.

I've been eating everything in sight for 2 days.  My strict diet last week I guess caught up with me and I am wanting to eat any and everything in sight.  Hilarious.  I might be gaining some of those 2 GAP sizes back quicker than anticipated. 

Overall I couldn't be happier with my experience.  From the training, race packet pick up to race day, the Allstate 13.1 was a great experience.  What's next you ask?  Well, I've got a 15K January 13th.  My Dad was so pumped after my race that he's signed up for the 15K with me.  That'll be a really special day.  And Mailey's got the bug too.  She'll be doing the 5K.  A whole marathon.....well I've not said no.  But I've also not said yes.  It's on the bucket list.  So it'll probably happen next year.  I need more time for training.  And I want to find a good one somewhere cool.  Like New York.  It's flat there right?

Man.....what an amazing experience.  I am still in awe that I did this.  Really.  Sigh.......I've got to take about a week off from running to heal from the inside out.  But then I imagine I'll be right back to my old schedule.  It's cheap therapy.  And great for calorie burning.  BTW Saturday I burned 1250 calories.  Yeah, that's an awesome thing to see.  Can we say Zesto nachos?  hehehehe.....

Well...off to spend the rest of our off day playing around town and perhaps a movie.  Hope you had an amazing weekend too!


Felicia said...

Well done, i'm delighted for you!

Courtney said...

Congrats! The Nashville half and Houston half are also very fun races. I am not certain, but you probably need to qualify to get to NYC and Chicago, so I would research that. Houston runs on a lottery system, sign up for that in Jan has passed but if you do a full you can try to get in next June. You will need at least 6 months to train, if not more. I was glad I did the marathon but it was at the same time, pretty terrible. I don't mean to be debie downer on that but it is a reality. I definitely did not think "this is amazing" when it was over like I did with the halfs! Anywho, great job and definitely check out other races! Fun to check out different cities. I will be doing a half again as soon as baby gets here and I am recovered!

4heidi said...

Never doubted that you would do it! So glad it was fun.

Dianne said...

Congrats! So glad you had fun... I just love that you are always smiling in your photos! Love Maily's hat too! BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my new painting.

Unknown said...

Wow..you go girl. I knew you could do it,after all the work you did to get yourself there. Congrats! Can't wait to see you do again. I get excited when I walk a mile or two.Can't even imagine running.
Take care Deb

kimhicksartist.blogspot.com said...

Congrats girl! I did the Vegas half a few years back with six girlfriends so much fun. I laughed as people ask me why I run and I also say it is cheap therapy. So neat how your family has the running bug now.....

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