Just as a little peek into my life this week (3 days until wedding day-- and counting!), here is my "wedding to-do list" for the day:
- Call Subway to set up a sub order for the bridal party (lunch) on Saturday
- Visit Copy Max and make 110 copies of the wedding program
- Assemble said wedding programs (which includes folding hole punching and ribbon tying-- which I am planning to take place in front of the TV, with a glass of wine :)
- Go to the grocery store, to pick up final items for welcome bags and the wedding day
- Go to Hallmark (there are 3 very important cards that I need to get!)
- Write nice notes to my readers and soloists (to distribute at the rehearsal dinner tomorrow)
- Walk at lunch?
- Paint my fingernails and toenails :)
- Call my BCF (best c-bus friend) Emily to calm some pre-wedding nerves and give her some "day of details"
- TONS of laundry (lol... need to wash all the super cute lingerie I got at the bachelorette party....)
Meh. Do-able. I believe I will also need to take some vitamin C, as sleep is at a premium this week, and 2 people in my office (and since I work in a small office this accounts for 25% of the population) have colds.
All right: now that I have all the weddingy stuff covered, I am free to discuss something that I have been excited about for (going on) 3 weeks straight.
At 7:30am on Sunday, August 30, I had the opportunity to check an item off my "fitness list", and run a half marathon before I got married. To make the experience even better-- I had the chance to run it with my very best friend, Saundra.
I can't lie: I was so anxious before hand-- I think I might have gotten about 4 hours of sleep the night before (which could not be solely blamed on J's snoring, haha). I had not completed my training to my satisfaction (read: my running was very sporadic... and long runs did not meet the mileage I had dutifully planned out in March)-- and I was worried that I would not be able to make it the full 13.1 miles- Gah! I had never even walked 13.1 miles before, and I expected to run it?! J, for his part, played the "supportive fiance" role perfectly. He reassured me (I think about once very 5 minutes by the time we got to Saturday, because I needed it!) that I could do it, and cooked me a pre-race carbo-loading dinner (read: spaghetti) the night before. Still I worried.
Now, to be honest, I am a girl who always gets anxious before races-- even when they are the "fun, everyone gets a prize for finishing" kind. I think this may be a misdirected expression of my competitive nature, inherited from my father (which I never knew I had gotten from him until this past Sunday at a 10k-- wow, you should have seen him go!!) Hopefully in the future I will be able to learn how to channel my nerves and use them for good-- but for now (as in high school cross country competitions) the anxiety is rather paralyzing. So, thank heavens for Saundra, who encouraged me to do this in the first place-- and kept me dedicated to racing even when I didn't feel completely prepared -I honestly don't think I would have had the courage to to this by myself.
On race day, I was up at 6 (I was really lucky because the race start was just down the road from J's apartment!! That meant I got another hour more of *much needed* sleep!) and nervously munching on handfuls of Kashi H2H (I am very interested in testing different pre-run/pre-race foods, like PB+banana on a bagel-- but I knew the cereal would sit well, and the H2H was bound to have a little more staying power than my go-to of cheerios.) Luckily for me, the kitty was up with me (probably very curious as to why anyone would be up that early on a Sunday!), so I had a little fuzzy friend to talk to and pet while I waited to be picked up.
Saun and I got to the race about 30 minutes ahead of time and got ready to run; pinning on our race numbers, figuring out how to attach the chips to our shoes (anyone else in favor of a universal timing chip?!), and sipping small cups of hot (and STRONG) coffee from Caribou :)-- which was absolutely amazing, as I did not get up in time to make my own (also, it was much appreciated because I think it was about 50 degrees when we started-- perfect running weather; COLD standing around weather ...)
And then, at about 7:40 (it was supposed to be 7:30 ... imho, I think the porta-john line was what held up the start ...) we were off! Now, I'm not going to lie to you-- whereas most runner will say "the first few miles flew by"... I'm not sure that happened for me. It wasn't a struggle, but I definitely was very present in each moment, and I remember those beginning miles! Saundra and I talked ourselves through the first 5 miles, easily :) (Although for the most part, it is terrible to have your best friend live in a different city, it does ensure that you have miles worth of life to discuss on your long runs:) Mile 5-7 I definitely felt though, and that's where it got a little mentally tough for me. I was able to stay with Saun until mile 7, when I stopped and walked a little bit to get rid of a cramp.
From there on out, it was just me. Haha, and unfortunately (fortunately?) for you, from there on out my commentary is non existent. I have no idea what I was thinking about to help get me through (I can't even say that I was moving toward a goal of pancakes, although Jon had promised them to me for a lunch/brunch, provided I lived through the race and had any sort of appetite :) I do know that never once did I feel like I couldn't do it-- I knew I could, and that was a great feeling. I think just knowing that I was out there and that I would finish was what kept me moving forward.
And so it was, at 2:27:05, I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon. I actually never (ever) broadcast my finishing times for races (bc I am rather slow and steady)-- but I am so proud of this. I think perhaps my favorite moments of the race were coming into the last 400 yards. I could see J.and Saundra's family (including her wonderful little sisters, who made us signs) cheering me on, and Saun. hopped out and ran with me up to the mat. What a wonderful feeling. I remember being a little surprised at myself that I didn't cry (I was so happy and "full of emotion" feeling!)-- but I think I might have been too tired for that :) After we got our shirts and medals, we headed into the pavilion and grabbed some post-race snackies, including peanut butter sandwiches and watermelon (which was phenomenal... I don't think I've ever wanted watermelon as much as I did in that moment before the first bite!)
... And after that, I hurt for the rest of the day :) ...and most of the next. But honestly? I was ready to sign up for another half the minute I crossed the finish line-- and the feeling hasn't died yet (October 18 = Columbus Half!! Another race with Saundra!!) I have never felt so accomplished and good about myself as I did after this race, and so I tentatively proclaim the 1/2 marathon to be my favorite racing distance :) I'm looking forward to setting a new PR in a few weeks. (...Stay tuned... I'll keep you updated!)
Okay...I've probably "talked" enough for today (thank you, those who are still with me!!)-Perhaps if I would post more than once every few weeks I wouldn't be so long winded :)
Anyway, happy Wednesday, bloggies! Over half way to the weekend!!