My First Half Marathon…and more…

My training for this? Poor.

I’ve been “training” (running 6-8 miles a week…maybe. Ok, so I pretty much took off July. It was hot!) since May. The training was enough to keep me in shape. I am down to the dress size I wore since freshman year of high school.

On second thought, I shouldn’t brag about that.

Still, I am bad at running,

but better than I thought I would be.

Last week, I decided to take my training seriously. I was vacationing near Temperance river, and took a nice 8 mile jog along Hwy 61. Yes, grasshoppers were rampant. Seriously. Think of the dirty kid in the Charlie Brown comics, Pig Pen–only instead of clouds of dust, clouds of grasshoppers.

Imagine the dirt as grasshoppers.

So, the grasshoppers and I hobbled our way along the highway, making it to the North Shore Market, turning around, and running to Temperance River, where I met some friends trying to catch up to me on my tan.

From there, we hiked to a swimming hole, swam, ate, then hiked the Superior trail another 2 miles (up and down hill) and another 1/2 mile back to campsite. A great workout.

And then, it was back to my poor training.

Yesterday I worked 8 hours straight, sculpting back-to-school haircuts. Then I went straight to my best friend’s bachelorette party. Fortunately, there were some yummy snacks left over. After stylings a couple more heads of hair for “going out,” we were ready.

Jessica is an amazing hostess. Not only did she take time to make snacks, she picked up a massive crown for Julie (YES!), baby crowns for us, along with glow-in-the-dark hoop clip-on earrings, and bachelorette banners–pink. Add that to some blue eyeshadow, pink dress, and extensions. What do you get? Barbie, apparently. Me and 6 other Barbies,

and Dolly Parton.

What? we had to make the big crown blend in!

Also, Jessica got reservations at the Melting Pot! Despite that one of my dear friends worked there in high school, I had never been. We dipped away in cheese and chocolate until 9. However, the cheese and chocolate, along with what we were dipping, were gone within 10 minutes of hitting the table. I also tried a lemon, ginger spritzer…thing. I thought it was tasty. The other Annie at the table thought it tasted like chlorine. I did drink about 3 glasses of water, but it was a long time between fill-ups.

My boyfriend was a dear. He picked me up from Melting Pot (since we had all carpooled) and brought me to Caribou for some oatmeal..which I was too tired to eat. And, I love Caribou coffee, but the oatmeal there is a little too sweet and syrupy. Then I got to my car and drove home to hit the hay!

So I slept 5 hours after being in heels most of the day. I’m smart.

At 5:15am, I rose. The day of the race was here! I found out that it was meant to be (despite that my Ipod maxed out and didn’t transfer my carefully crafted playlists). My mom was sweet enough to cook me an egg, and pour me a tall glass of orange juice. I took multi-vitamins with iron (never race without them!) and drove away.

As I approached the lake, I felt like the Canaanite woman. The sunrise was a bright orange and pink with purple–my favorite color combinations! I knew that God was with me–and would be for the entire race. I knew that God would strengthen me, that I would run the whole race. Not because of who I was–how I approached him or how I trained for this run, but because of who God is–his mercy and compassion for me.

Minneapolis is stunning in the morning, and the weather? Perfect.

I planned on running a 12 min mile. I have never ran more than 8 miles this summer, and never more than 10 in my life. I am a lazy runner, who jogs only to relax and stay productive while enjoying music.

The best part of the race? Finding a pace buddy, a running soul mate (for the race). It’s like finding a bird in Avatar…only not.

Not at all. (See picture).

How to find a running partner? You just know.

Finally at mile 7, I found him. Or he found me. Bob ran in blue with headphones and a hat.

“I liked the downhill part best!” He told me. I had been jogging near him for two miles as I listened to Sara Groves “Add to the Beauty” album. I jogged ahead of Bob at upbeat songs, and slowed down for songs without a strong beat (majority of my music). Bob kept up.

“Oh hey, your favorite part,” I told him at the next hill. Then we began talking. Bob has ran 9 13.1 races, starting at age 54, after he quit smoking. He is now 64, and plans on running half marathons in 25 states. His aunt began running in her fifties, too. She has ran ultrathons (50 mile races) and won the Boston Marathon Award three times in a row in her age bracket! Needless to say, we had great conversation, keeping each other motivated. His son was running too, and caught up with us around mile 9.

His family was cheering him at the sidelines. He told them I was setting the pace for him, I told them he was setting the pace for me. I wish I had a picture with him! Bob was cool!

So the race went quickly! I loved it–it was relaxing and got more challenging around 12.3 miles.

The real challenge hit at 2 hours and 37 minutes, ten minutes after I had finished. My knees began to lock.

Ben met me and we left….remembered I had a gear check which included my keys, so went back, then found the World Vision tent and ate some pizza and ice cream–yay! He let me come over to crash his couch. He massaged my feet–what a guy! And let me sleep for three and a half hours! That’s a longer nap than after skydiving. Of course it wasn’t just adrenaline shock–it was sheer exhaustion.

I transferred home to crash on the couch with ice packs on my knees and my mom made me rice for dinner–what I had been craving for three days! (I ate fast food at 3pm, too).

So now that I’ve showered, I am feeling hopeful, even though my knees are pretty darn sore.

Now you know all about my first half marathon–and I doubt it will be my last (even though I’m limping).

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About Faye

I blog for 5 sites.
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