Monday, May 19, 2014

Half Marathon Recap

Z Step says, "Someday I run 13.1 miles!"

And.... We're back!!!  Have you missed us?  I have somehow gotten so busy, that Big Family Steps has ended up on the back burner since October.  I am so ashamed that I let it get to be this long.  But somehow life got in the way!  Life seemed to much slower in Okinawa.  Virginia is great, but definitely more fast paced than I would like.  I look forward to taking a step back and living a little slower again out in the desert.  With nothing to do within 1-2 hours, I think that will be pretty easy.  

Race Expo gear.  I didn't like the red shirt they were giving out.  So I bought myself these two shirts.  Love the colors and cuts of them.  The green is a bit big and it's an xs!

Speaking of fast paced- D Step and I just completed the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA.  D Step did it back in 2009, and I had said for years that I would eventually do it too.  This was my first Half Marathon race.  I've covered the distance before, but never in an official race.  And I proved to impress myself with it.  

Start and finish line

The race had about 6,000 runners (I think) and ran through many parts of Historic Fredericksburg.  My favorite part was probably in the 8th mile, when we got to run through my favorite area- downtown Fredericksburg.  There were people cheering us along the entire 13.1 miles, and lots of people dressed in colonial clothes in the downtown part.  There was dancing, singing, bands, and lots of great signs along the way.  

This was at the finish line!
Lots of people had signs along the way.  My two favorites were, "Smile if you're not wearing underwear" and a young guy wearing nothing but boxer briefs wearing a sign that said, "Run faster or I'll drop the sign."  There was a girl running who had a shirt that said, "Can I have your beer coupon?"  Seriously, how do people think this stuff up?  

It was pretty cool running under this American Flag!
One of the greatest things I saw along the race was an elderly veteran standing outside his home to cheer us on.  People were stopping to run up and shake his hand and thank him for his service.  It was beautiful.  He was so thrilled and couldn't stop smiling.  

The first 7 miles went smoothly.  Around mile 8, I began feeling some knee pain on my right side.  It's the same knee as I've had issues with before, and I think it's a hormonal issue.  I ran through it, but it definitely slowed me down at the end.  

The 11th mile is what I was most concerned with.  They call it "Hospital Hill" and it has an elevation of 375 feet.  I had run hills for weeks in my training on order to prepare me for it.  I was nervous my knee would give out, but I pushed through and Hospital Hill didn't seem to be nearly as bad as I anticipated.  
Mile 13!

I had slowed down in the 8th-11th mile in order to accommodate for my knee.  But once the hill was over, it didn't seem bad anymore.  I picked up the pace, and sprinted more in the last half mile.  I crossed the finish line at 1:51:38.  There were a bunch of Marines waiting to award medals, and photographers there to snap a few.  Unfortunately D Step and I got separated on hospital hill, so we weren't able to take a photo together at the finish line.  We did get together later for our celebratory beer.  

All in all, it was a great race.  Would I do it again?  Probably.  I must say, I think I prefer weights over running at this point.  I will be sticking it to those for awhile.  I definitely lost some very hard earned muscle in the process of training.  Something about lifting weights appeals most to me.  Being strong is pretty important to me.  And muscle burns fat!  Not to mention, I hate having to take over an hour or two once a week to run.  Then another hour to recover.  I'd rather bust out my entire workout in an hour and move on to spend time with my boys.  

I now vow to keep up with this blog again.  We have movers come this week, and will be hitting the road to CT in about a week.  After some time with family, we will be hitting the road for our 2 week long trek to California.  I hope to blog along the way about all the cool places we are going to!