I have been a writer since, well, I could form letters and words together to form a sentence. I have poems, posts, and stories from over 20 years ago…
Yet I found this blog post tonight, and found it fitting in my goals here. It was the blog post I wrote when I completed my first (and only) 1/2 marathon in 2007.
Also note, my main picture is from this very race…
…goal number 1 of many on my “life list”…yes, I finished the 1/2 Marathon that I’ve been talking about for months now.
Many wondered why I chose to run the marathon so “out of the blue” so to speak. And I guess only I know why I chose to run this race when I did.
But let me bring you back to yesterday…just a quick overview of a beautiful day. I wish I could say I got a good nights sleep the night before, but I think my nerves got the best of me. Thank goodness for my undying need to prepare for everything, I set out my clothes, IPOD, shoes, pinned my number on my shirt, and even put my chip on my shoe the night before. I went to bed early, 9 p.m., which for those of you that know me – know this is VERY early for me…but tossed and turned all night in anticipation for the race.
Brian woke me promptly at 0445, and I got ready and came down stairs to have coffee and a breakfast bar and some Gatorade. The girls also were woken up (unhappily-poor Sophia is teething, LOL) and Brian swiftly made sure they were all taken care of so I could concentrate on “me.” Once my friend/neighbor April who was riding with us showed up at 0545, we piled in the car and headed downtown.
What a sight! Once we arrived there were thousands of people walking towards the Alamo, which was the starting point. Brian dropped us off and we quickly headed towards the bathrooms knowing full well the lines would be long and we wouldn’t want to fight them later. Then it was time to merge in with the crowd and wait for the gun to sound…and once it did, let me tell you…what a rush…it took a minute or so to actually cross the starting line because of the massive amounts of people, but once you did and saw all the people cheering for you, I can’t explain the feeling…it was truly amazing. The race had finally began! The first few miles I had a hard time finding my groove. April and I were still running together at this point, and we were running at about a 9 minute mile pace. I had a cramp in my shoulder, I was worried about the people passing me, and the pace we were going at was just a bit quick for the distance we had to go. But then we rounded the corner after mile 4 and I saw Brian holding Sophia, and Jordyn holding up a sign she made saying “Go Mom Go!” and I got tears in my eyes and a sudden burst of energy. It was awesome to see them, and it truly gave me the energy to keep going. At about mile 5 I stopped quickly to use the restroom, and then around mile 6 or 7 I just got a sudden burst of energy. I took off…I looked back at April, she smiled and waved, and I just booked…we were in a beautiful residential area and the scenery was breathtaking. I got lost in my “zone” and it was great…this is why I love to run…you just escape…I stayed there for a couple miles, going at about an 8 or 9 minute mile pace. April and I met back up for a while and we started to see the people headed back after the turn around. We started to get excited…only to realize the turn around was still a couple miles up, LOL…she stopped to use the bathroom, and I kept going…the turnaround was at around mile 9 I believe…and it was awesome to see her on my way back, we high fived and I kept going.
Mile 10 I hit my “Wall” and slowed down…I knew if I stopped it would be over so I kept running, but literally every muscle in my body hurt. I could barely lift my legs. I had talk myself through it…I had to remind myself why I chose to run this race…that I needed to complete this for ME, and no one else…that this was a dream of MINE, and only I could make it come true…
Mile 11…only 2.1 to go…water stop and some Gu (nasty stuff by the way) and I kept going…my feet felt like bricks but I didn’t care…I saw people walking and it literally appalled me. We only had 2 miles left!!! Run people…Run! And then we hit mile 12.
One mile to go…I could see the Alamo Dome…I picked up my pace even though I felt like my knee was going to give out. I saw the turn into the parking lot and I couldn’t help but to smile. And then it was my turn…I turned left into the parking lot…and I ripped off my headphones…I wasn’t going to miss this for the world…people were cheering on both sides and all of a sudden I didn’t feel any pain. My shoulders straightened, my pace picked up, and I ran with everything I had down into the tunnel…and then I heard my name being called…”Michelle Dragoo”…I FINISHED…
4 thoughts on “A post from the past…my first 1/2 marathon”
Sounds like you ran a great first HALF….my first was simply fun…just glad to be able to say I did it type of thing. Hubby and I ran it together just wanting to finish standing up not really caring about the time.We are running our second HALF on April 20th…an Earth Day Half…I am super excited and hoping just to beat the time from our first. 😉
your post brings back so many memories for me, Michelle……..but there's really nothing like that first big one! I still get goosebumps when I think about finishing my first 5K. And don't even get me started about how it's going to be when I'm charging down Boylston Street in 66 days!Sometimes, it's the memories of great accomplishments that can spur us on when we just don't feel it….at least that's how it works for me.See you out on the road!
Oh best of luck to your second half!!! I'll be cheering you on in spirit!!!
Thanks, Bill…it's so true, I remember training for that race, and imagining myself cross the finish line…often times just the thought would make my heart jump out of my chest, and get choked up even! Now, starting this journey again even with almost 5 years of age added and aches and pains, I still have that emotional drive to finish this!