It is done! :)
On Saturday, bright and early (ok, just early) - I got up at 515am. I ate a whole wheat bagel with pb and honey on one side and pb/preserves on the other side. Got dressed, put my chip on my shoe, pinned my bib to my shirt, and hitched a ride with the parental Dawkinses to the Laura and David's house. Our whole group finally got there and we headed out to Iroquois to the start line.
By 730 it was already 75 degrees - wow it was going to be warm. (If that tells you anything, the men's marathon winner from this year finished 20 minutes slower than last year's winner.) It was in the 80s by the time I finished!
But, we were off. I ran most of the race with a new friend (and Gator fan) Emily. We ran and powerwalked. I found out from her that the two (running and power walking) use two different sets of muscles. I found it hard to keep up with her running distance and she found it hard to keep up me at the speed of power walking.
My first mile was 10.5 - the fastest I've done by 1 minute. I think I came out of the gate a little fast though.
I finished in 3 hours 7 seconds.
Here are my thoughts from my first half marathon:
1. About mile 12, I realized (while listening to the second time of All Because of Jesus on my iPod) that if I didn't finish this in 3 hours flat, God was not going to love me any less, and I wasn't a better person, more worthy of love, if I did. It would be ok in the end. In the words of Franscesca Bottecilli (or however you spell her name): Perfection is my enemy.
2. Running with friends is great. I had my cell with me and receiving texts the entire time and sending them out was a great source of encouragement for me. Having Laura, the parental dawkinses, and others at the finish line was so encouraging as well. They all finished the half faster than me, but we were still waiting on David and Reid's marathon to finish.
3. It was very neat to see marathon runners finishing with half marathoners and patting them on the back, encouraging them to keep going.
4. I was crying when older women would finish the half, or when 7mth pregnant ladies would finish the half, or when relay teams would hold hands and finish all together. Running is such a community sport - in the broader sense of the term.
5. My stomach didn't fare too well the rest of the day.
6. I need to prepare my quad muscles - strengthen them. I will be doing that more before my next half.
7. Train hard, run harder - I didn't do this and I need to do better at it - without injury - for which I'm so glad and thankful.
8. I will never be a pretty runner.
9. I need to work on toning my arms.
10. When looking at these pictures you would never think I've lost 40 lbs - can I lose another 40?
10b. I love this running skort - its an Adidas one and I got it for a really good sale price at Kohls (I love Kohls). So this may be something I run in a for a while for races! Especially when it is this hot!
11. I love to run! or power walk or interval. Its good exercise! :)
11b. Can't wait for the Zoo 5k in less than 2 weeks!
12. I'm thankful for these friends and the many in FL and NC who are such an encouragement to me!