Thursday, May 5, 2011

13.1 Miles - done!

Last winter, I decided to run a half-marathon.  Actually, at first I decided to leap right in and sign up for the full marathon, but luckily, that idea was seen for the insanity it truly was prior to clicking the register button.  So I settled on 13.1 miles.  And I had big plans to train train train, and to run a blazing time, and become a "real" runner.

So I printed out training schedules and bought cold weather running gear and got some new tennies - Newtons, natch.

I brushed off the Bodybugg, and thought this would be it.  The time I truly got into shape and became an elite athlete.  Well, it was about this time that Ryan and I decided to start trying to start a family of our own.  And little voices in my head said things like "well, obviously you'll get pregnant right away, so I mean can you REALLY run a half-marathon 5 months preggo??  NO."  So I put off training and secretly decided that I'd probably just blow it off.  Well, months went by and no babies decided to inhabit my womb, so it came to be April and I came to be mildly unprepared for the race, to say the least.

I wish I could say that it was at this time that I poured my heart into training and ran every day to get ready for the half-marathon.  But I didn't.  I thought about it, if that counts, but no real training happened.  Until the Redbud Classic day rolled around.  I had signed up for it earlier as well (the 10K), and I decided this would be the way to jump start my two weeks prior to the half-marathon.  So I showed up for the RBC and it was blazing hot.  The distance was a little over 6 miles, and I struggled.  I kid you not, I was DEAD LAST in the Redbud Classic.  Look it up.  NO ONE finished slower than me.  So obviously I was well prepared for the half-marathon(!!!).  Just remember, I was still convinced down to my core that I would not truly be participating in the race.

But by this time, my friend Maghen decided she would drive down from STL and run it with me.  She was staying at my house the night before, so I figured that would be the extra push I needed to actually run the thing.  And it turns out, it was!

Here we are, getting ready to head out.

It was a good thing she made me go, because the morning of the race was nightmarish, weather-wise. A giant cold front pushed into Oklahoma at about 5:30 am (race started at 6:30), and brought rain and even a little hail with it.  I jokingly (but not really) suggested that we skip it--no one would ever know--no one would blame us if they did know--etc.  But Maghen really stuck with it, and she dragged me to the starting line, where the marathon was promptly rain-delayed.  Yay.  So we huddled under a little awning area with maybe a hundred new friends and waited for the new start time to come around.  When we finally left our cozy area, the start was called and we still weren't in the corral.  Not to worry though, since there were thousands of people that had to cross the starting line, it didn't much matter.  We didn't wind up crossing the start line for about 25 minutes after the people at the front started the race.  It was still raining at this time, and the waterproof jacket I was wearing turned out to be a windbreaker ONLY, offering absolutely no rain protection.  So I was soaked and freezing!

Here we are waiting in the corral...

A guy in front of me as we approached the start line ripped off a black trash bag he was wearing, and with Maghen's encouragement, I snatched it up greedily!  Put that sucker on and I swear to you, it was the thing I was most grateful for during the run. 

 Other things I was grateful for include: 

  1. My trash bag (I didn't want it to NOT get the #1 spot)
  2. My hat!  A stroke of genius, I grabbed a hat right before we left for the race
  3. The gloves that Ryan brought me in Mile 10, as we jogged LITERALLY 1/2 a block from my warm, comfortable house
  4. Gu that the nice race people provided for us
  5. The sport beans that Maghen gave me before the race
  6. The Under Armor Cold Weather leggings I had purchased months earlier and never worn
  7. This weird blue gorilla on Gorilla Hill

Still, with no training to speak of, I jogged 13.1 miles.  I kind of felt like I just went in and "winged" the Bar Exam, or something ridiculous like that.  I mean, I finished in about 3.5 hours.  Let's not kid - I wasn't breaking any land-speed records, but I did finish it.  And I finished WAY ahead of some other people.  When Ryan came to pick me up after the race, he found me walking along Harvey back toward our house in Mesta Park.  And we had to wait for gaps in the runners since the race ran thru our neighborhood.  And some of the people that we were waiting on were people running the half-marathon!  I didn't come in last!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a memorable experience, and I will definitely do it again.  That it commemorates the OKC bombing makes me glad I didn't blow it off.  I mean, I despise that there ever was an event so tragic that needs commemorating, you know?  But it's almost the least I could do.  After walking around the memorial last year, it was really moving.  And I do remember it. And I was there.  And I do hate that it happened.

I'm sure I will run another half-marathon and eventually a full.  Next time, however, I WILL train and hopefully it will be nicer weather.  Maybe I'll do the Route 66 half-marathon in Tulsa in November.  Then again, maybe I won't be able to...(this is foreshadowing.  Not that I'm actually pregnant, but that I will probably actually run the half-marathon in November, and I will probably not train for it either.  Just to clear that up.).

Here's me - the 6,795th person to cross the finish line after running the half-marathon!

And back at my house after the race:

My bib:

My finisher's medal:

And of course, Kiki wearing my medal:


  1. Congratulations on your finish! I wish I'd known you were running in the Red Bud - I would have run with you. Likewise, it was so blasted hot that day, I thought I'd never survive (and thought it would be hot the day of the OKC marathon). I ran the Relay and it was hands down the coldest thing I've ever done. Rough.

  2. Man, it WAS hot for the Redbud! We should be running buddies!

  3. Yay for you Jenn! That is wonderful. Hope to run the half one day myself in OKC.