What a GREAT race!!
I woke up on time and got busy getting dressed. I ate a couple of sweet potato wedges with almond butter on the way to the race, but I was too nervous to eat much.
I think one of the reasons I was so nervous is that this race is the first one since my return to running after more than year of health problems, and nothing to do with diabetes. This time last year, I was having a lot of problems that prevented me from running or even walking for long periods of time if a bathroom wasn’t close by. I was not absorbing vitamins or nutrients from food. I was really sick but thought it was just stress induced IBS and things would get better when summer arrived. After we found out it was Celiac disease, things got better but I was starting over COMPLETELY with running. About the time I was getting some base back, October hit with a simple sinus infection and I never got better. December 31, 2012 I was still nursing a broken rib that had also separated from the cartilage. I was not running at all. But I started over in January and I’ve had a GREAT couple of months.
Now it’s 3 months later and I’m attempting a half-marathon…after only 3 months of training starting from walking 30 minutes. What was I thinking?
My sister and nephew surprised me Friday afternoon by driving down from TN so they could join Mom in cheering me on. We didn’t know how bad the crowds would be so we parked close to the starting line and enjoyed looking around the art museum and waiting for bathrooms. After we finally all lined up, I didn’t expect to see them until after the race. I waved to them and got ready.
Isn’t this the cutest face?
The crowd before.
The singing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Yes, we still do that in the South. Thank goodness.
We got going and I was about 1.5 minutes behind the clock start. We had a huge crowd for Jackson, MS! After I crossed the starting mat and started my Garmin, I noticed a little floating sign ahead that I realized was a pacer. I’m terrible at math and apparently at common sense.
The time on the pacer was 3 minutes slower than the time I had trained. And it didn’t come close to matching what I was currently running trying to catch the pacer. After I used up all the gas in my tank by mile 3, I was in full panic wondering what was going on. My Garmin never paced slower than than the pacer, whom I still had not caught up with. And then I realized that the pacer started closer to the start line and my start time was a two minutes slower. No wonder.
Mile 4 was the first rest stop and guess who I saw!?!? My family decided to get in the car, lose a great parking spot, to meet me at the aid station. I was so surprised and so happy to see them.
Miles 5-8 were much better in that I forgot about time and just enjoyed running and racing again. I met my goal of 5 miles in 1 hour. I was solidly on track for a PR but I tried not to get all worked up about it.
Then I realized that Jackson, Ms has hills. Like long sloping hills. I usually like to run the hills just to get them over with faster. Not with these things. They lasted FOREVER. I walked some, ran some, cursed some, almost cried on one hill when I thought it would never end.
The aid stations were fantastic. Each one had plenty of gels and water/gatorade. They also had a sound system with music and people shouting encouragement.
Miles 8-10…death crawl. I saw my family again at an aid station before the 10 mile mark and told them I didn’t think I would make it under 3. But, when I hit the 2 hour mark I was at 9.6 miles. I was just a little behind pace.
Mile 12 I sent a text to Mom that I was on the last mile.
Finish: 2:48. That is 23 minutes faster than this time last year. I was ecstatic!! I really feel like I’ve turned a corner and ready to put the past year or so behind me. I know what causes the crippling digestive problems, I know what fuels running best, now I just need to keep it up. I have a date with Twisted Ankle in a few weeks!
Friday 9th of May 2014
I am running/trotting the Biggest Loser half marathon in Buffalo this August, so I was really excited to read from someone who had already done one. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Tuesday 30th of July 2013
Thanks for the great recap of this race series... I am participating in the Seattle Biggest Loser Half on Oct 13th... so this was fun to see how this one went and most of all to see your medal that you received... it has been difficult to find a picture of the finisher medal online. Congrats on your finish!
Tuesday 3rd of September 2013
I love reading race reports so I can have some idea about what I might expect. Thanks for reading!