Official time 2:26:25

May 21, 2010

So where do I begin?  On Sunday Chelsea and I ran our first half marathon and I'm having a hard time finding the words to describe the amazing feeling that I had and still have about this accomplishment.

The night before the race I think we fell asleep by 9:45.  I remember waking at one point in the evening thinking "Oh no, I'm exhausted don't let it be time to get up".  Thank goodness it was only 11:30pm!  But it continued like that the rest of the evening, it seemed every hour I woke again and checked the clock and got a drink of water (wanting to be as hydrated as I could be), and I was awake at 5am when we got the wake up call, Chelsea's alarm went off and Ben called.

Time to get ready...

Breakfast consisted of a 1/2 of a bagel with peanut butter and I almost had to force myself to eat that. Funny thing... I didn't even want coffee and that's usually the first thing I run for on any given morning?

We got ourselves dressed, filled our belts with beans and gels and headed out the doors to the line up.  While walking over to the start line I couldn't get over the crowd of runners that already filled downtown.  and I don't know if it was excitement or nerves or both but we decided we should get in that long line to use the bathroom before getting in line.... and so we did.

All the while my mind is going thinking I need a picture of this to scrapbook, its an amazing moment, an amazing scene.  But for now I need to just live in the moment and hope the snapshot in my mind will hold so I can describe it later.

IMG_1549
 taken the night before

Waiting in line we talked to more people who had run several halfs and we all were concerned for the slow moving line and time to line up for the marathon.  Then we were off to line up and at first we jogged over to the start line and then quickly realized it was not going to be easy to get in this line.  The crowd was just as thick on the sidewalk as it was lined for the race.... we gently pushed our way through to get farther and farther back in line.  There were pace teams holding up numbers and when we saw a pace that Chelsea maintained she stopped there, I kept going as my pace is slower, but worry set in with leaving her packed in such a crowd of people, with the fear of being trampled (as these girls commented to us the night before)

Once I moved farther down the line it was still filled with people, but not quite as thick.  I found a spot, adjusted my ipod and got it ready to go.  The announcer was loud and the music was exciting.... with Cleveland Rocks playing I hear the starting of the race...

And yet, I'm not moving... not going anywhere for a few minutes.  That's how many people there are.... we started out walking not running!  I even questioned at one time that I might be in line for the 10k and verified with runners around me that we were all running the half.  The clocks and my chip time show that it was over 4 minutes to get to the start and begin running!  But once I did....

It was amazing!  Starting down E9th street towards the rock and roll hall of fame, the street litered with shirts and gloves that people disposed of once they began running.  I had heard of throw aways just the week before, and was now witnessing them up close and personally by stepping around or over them.  All the clothing that people wear to keep warm before the race and shed as they begin running.  I had over dressed for two 5K's and wasn't going to make that mistake with the half so I chose to go with less than more.

While I was running I was so into the moment, seeing the movement of people all around me and as far ahead as possible made me realize what a memorable event I was a part of.  To think I was I heavy smoker just over 7 years ago and here I am running half marathons... my eyes welled with tears! Crossing the bridge was another snapshot I want to remember!  As far as I could see there was a sea of people.  Another moment that I wish I had my camera!

Through the small towns of Tremont and Ohio City you couldn't help but smile.  The people of the town lined the streets with signs and horns and music blasting and cheering everyone on.  I read one sign and cracked up it said "stop reading this and get running" and of course picked up my pace after reading...

The first 3 miles I had held onto my own water bottle and even once it was empty I couldn't just throw it down, I held on until there was a water station and I saw a garbage can nearby.  Of course the garbage can was just as over flowing as the street which was now a sea of orange from all the discarded cups.  But my aim was for toward the garbage can and then continue moving.

Going up the highway you saw people dressed as Ernie and Bert... there to cheer you on.  So many happy moments I will never forget.  And through the entire race I tried to keep a smile on my face because this truly was a beautiful moment!

61671-1431-014t  

During this picture the woman ahead of me saw the cameras and cheered with both hands up in the air.  I couldn't help but smile

I truly cannot wait for the next half marathon.  Now I just need to decide if its Akron or Columbus... but let the training begin!

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