Monday, May 6, 2013

Heels and Hills, My First Half Marathon

Preface: This is a much longer post than I thought it would be, but I hope you will take time to read it.

Yesterday, I ran and finished my very first half marathon a total of 13.1 miles!! It truly is one of the greatest accomplishments on my life!!

Our journey to my half marathon started on Saturday, where nothing went according to plan. I worked my Weight Watchers meeting, graduation, and finally got home after 3:00pm. I ate some lunch and Jon packed the car, so that we could get on the road. We had to drive to Irving, Texas, where we had a room for the night, before my half marathon.

We made it into the city of Irving without any problems. We were all tired, hungry, and had to pee, but we didn't want to stop until we got to our hotel room. We accidentally took the wrong exit, which is when everything went wrong! We heard an awful noise and Jon told me that the tire was flat. He took to very next exit and pulled over on the off ramp. As it turned out, we hit/ran over something that blew out our rear left tire and damaged the front left tire.

Jon, Olivia, and I waited on the side of the road for over an hour. The gentlemen from AAA finally showed up to tow our car to a tire shop. Two AAA guys came to help us so that we would not have to call and pay for a cab. Praise the Lord for their kindness!

We were taken to a sketchy looking tire shop, where we got two new tires put on our car. The manager was a man from Pakistan and he kept saying what a nice family we were. I hope and pray that the Lord helps his wife to get pregnant so that they can have a baby of their own someday.

We finally got to our hotel, had dinner, and got Olivia to bed.

As I said before, none of this was apart of my plan, but God took care of us! He was with us on the side of the road with a flat and He will provide the money that we need for tires. I had been so nervous about my half marathon, but it all faded in the light of our flat tire situation.

I was so tired from our flat tire ordeal that I slept better than I thought I would that night.

Sunday morning, I woke up about 6:00am, so that I could eat a little something before heading down to the race to get my packet. I ate my 1/2 bagel with peanut butter breakfast and spent time reading my Bible and in prayer. I prayed for each part of my body by name, my feet, ankles, legs, etc. I knew that I could not finish this half marathon without the Lord's help, so in that hotel room I called on Him to be my strength where I was weak!

We headed down to the race site, got a parking spot, and walked to the race start line. I picked up my packet and shirt, then attached my bib to my shirt. I had about a 20 minute wait before my race began at 7:30am.

Me before my race began at 7:15am

While I was running my race, Jon and Olivia hung out at the race site and car waiting for me to get back. They truly are my biggest fans and I could not have finished this race without their love and support!!

Jon and Olivia waiting at the start line cheering me on!

My only goal for this half marathon was to try to finish without stopping to walk. Before the race began, Jon told me to join a pace group, because the guys would help me to stay on track throughout the race. I choose the 3 hour group, because I knew that I could not run much faster than that for 13.1 miles. This was the best decision I made that morning!

The race started and the excitement of it all was overwhelming! I was able to keep up with the 3 hour group and actually run a little bit ahead of them. For most of the race, I was in between the 2 hour 50 minute group and my own 3 hour group.

The first 11 miles or so went really well! Of course my feet would hurt a little bit here and there, but because I have been training for the last 8 weeks, I was able to run the first 11 miles with little to no problem. The longest run that I had completed in training was 10 miles, so I was confident that the beginning part of my race would go really well.

All throughout my run, as a part of my body would begin to hurt, I would pray to the Lord that He would touch my body and take away the pain. I called on Him for strength more times than I can count! However, during my 11th mile I got a side cramp! I had to stop and walk for about a 1/4 mile. The entire time I was praying that God would touch my cramp and help the pain to subside until I finished my race.

Thankfully, my pain went away and I started to run again. I jogged very slowly, because I was nervous about my side pain would come back.

By this time, I was in my 12th and final mile! I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to stop and just walk the rest of the way.

Mentally, I was trying to stay focused and not get discouraged. I kept thinking about Jon and Olivia waiting for me at the finish line. I thought about my Weight Watchers members and blog friends. I thought about how far I have come, since before I joined Weight Watchers! Who would have ever thought that I would be running 13.1 miles! I also thought about wearing my finishers medal around my neck and how good that would feel!

However, the 3 hour pace group caught up to me, because I had slowed down so much. They were the motivation I needed to keep going! I joined their group and ran my heart out! They said we only had about a 1/2 mile left. I thought about how many times I had run a 1/2 mile in the last 8 weeks and I knew that I could do it!

My side started to hurt again, so I prayed and pushed through it!

We had one final hill before we were back on the street and headed for the finish line! I was tired, worn out, and wanted to stop and lay down, but I kept going putting one foot in front of the other.

I turned the corner and only had 0.1 miles left! When I caught sight of Jon and Olivia waiting for me the full weight of all the I have accomplished hit me. I wanted to stop and cry, but I knew that I needed to get across the finish line first!

I crossed the finished line, just behind my 3 hour pace friends!

My official time 02:59:30 that is 13:42 minutes per mile!! Wow!!

Me after I crossed the finish line and received my first finishers medal.

This is my finishers medal! Isn't it beautiful!? I am so thankful to have this as a reminder of all that I have accomplished!! I have changed my life and am changing my legacy, so that as Olivia grows up and walks in my footsteps they will be healthy ones!!

My Heels and Hills Half Marathon Finishers Medal!

Before, I joined Weight Watchers I never once dreamed that I would become a runner! I loved to sit on the couch, watch movies, and eat. Who knew that there was an athlete hiding under all that fat, shame, and hopelessness. 

I want you all to know that you should never ever give up on yourselves, because you can do it! You can lose your weight, run your own marathon, or whatever else you dream about! Remember that When things get hard, pray and call on the Lord, like I did, and He will be your source of strength during those hard times! You are worth so much more than you realize!

Me sporting my new shirt and medal!


The Skinny on Staci said...

Congrats to you on all that running, trusting in the Lord, and finishing the race! I know you feel amazing. :)

Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats said...

Congratulations!!! What's a great accomplishment! You should feel so proud of yourself :)

Kendra said...

congratulations!! be proud of yourself and you will be amazed at what u do in the future. I'm running my 2nd half marathon this summer :) it's an incredible feeling but something after that 10 mile mark...whew, it starts to hurt!

Melissa Bo said...

Congratulations! =)

Im glad that everything went so well!
( sorry to hear about the flat tire situation..but Im glad no one was hurt! )

Pam said...

What an awesome accomplishment! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your journey with us.

:) Pam

-J.Darling said...

I use that strategy too. I also use the "think about something that doesn't hurt" strategy. Some of my triathlons made that tough! By the time the run came, I was thinking, "Well, my eyelashes feel really good right now." ;)

Amerigo Vespucci said...

Congradulations. You look very beautiful in your t-shirt and medal (and after such a race!) Thank you for your example and encouragement of prayer and how to pray.

Frances Kendrick said...

I just wanted to take the time to tell you congratulations on running your first 1/2 marathon. You are truly an inspiration, but some of us can only dream of doing something like that!

Happy Monday!

Notions from Nonny
Healthier Lifestyle with Nonny

JG said...

Great job! That is a fantastic accomplishment!

Kathleen @ Kath Ink said...

Congratulations!! It is a huge accomplishment to finish a half-marathon. Way to go!

Robyn said...

Wow congrats! What a great accomplishment- and what a fun girly theme for the race!! p.s. your baby looks totes adorable!!!

Caren said...

Congratulations! God is so faithful, isn't He?

Fiona jesse Giffords said...

Congrats, you have done great job. I am hoping to see you soon on some other marathon which will boost your energy level.

Contessa said...

Well done! Congratulations.

Jennifer said...

Congrats on your 1st 1/2! You should be very proud of what you have accomplished!

I've been following along for a few months now and am inspired by your journey. I had my 4th child in November 2011 and since then have lost 132 pounds (almost 100lbs since August 2012). I started running in November 2012 and haven't looked back since. I keep thinking that I'll never run a 1/2, but than I think that some day I might just do it, because a year ago I never thought I'd run a minute, let alone a 5K. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Shannon Arnold said...

Thank you for this post today.
It warmed my heart to hear the Good News once again.

Congrats on finishing the race!

Angela said...

Congrats!! That is a huge accomplishment & you have every right to be proud! I've managed to run 2, I always say if I can do anyone can, plus I think it's all about the "bling" :)

LazyGirlGoesRunning said...

Wow-- so inspiring! 13.1 miles-- AMAZING! I have trouble keeping focused for even 4 miles, haha (Joke's on me though cause I went & signed up for a 10K in the fall!) Thanks for sharing yourself so openly :)

Anonymous said...

It makes me almost tear up reading this. I just rejioned weight watchers and started the couch to 5k program. I'm only in week 2 and it sometimes like I will never accomplish my goals, but I know that I can do all things in Christ. Congratulations on all you have accomplished, and thank you for giving hope to those behind you.

Stephanie Adams said...

Love your blog posts! So inspiring and Christ-focused!! Congrats on finishing that first half marathon...way to go!

Cintia Listenbee said...

Congratulations! What a great accomplishment! I pray that you have many more!!!


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