Friday, July 16, 2010

My first 1/2 Marathon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I did my first "officially" half marathon! 13.1 miles!!!
It was the GO! STL in St. Louis Mo.
My time was 2:10:56
I was hoping for 2:10:00 and praying nothing less than 2:30:00
So i met my goal!
IT was very exciting! SO many people it was crazy. @ 12,800 people!
I started at the 8.45 pace line. I KNOW I wasn't going to run that but my girlfriends were there and they said it was so packed in past that point there wasn't any place to stand. That was at 6:30. The race didn't start for 30 more min. By the time it started we were packed in there.
The started I kept up with the 8.45 pacers (BIG MISTAKE!) for a mile or so. Then I dawned on me....I can't keep this pace or i won't make it. SO as you could guess droves of people began to pass me. I was feeling so defeated. For the rest of the race droves of groups would pass me. One pace setter group at a time.
I realized after the 9.35 pace group passed me; close to the end of the race ; that I can't let the 9:45 pass me or I won't make my time. Well my legs said WE DON'T CARE =-) It really didn't matter what my legs said my heart said I'm not gonna give up or in!
I ran almost the entire time. I walked at the water stations to drink.
OK who ever says downtown STL is not hilly has never ran it! I don't know how they managed to make the race all hills and only 3 or 4 down hills but they did. It seemed as if as soon as I would get to the top of a hill I'd think "WOO HOO! Down hill here I come" Then we would turn directions into another hill. Very creative people. I hope to never meet them =-)
I took 2 GU packs at 6 mile and 9 mile markers. I should have took 1 more. I ran out of steam at the 11 mile marker. I was headed up the hill and I almost go to the top and I HAD to take 3 steps my HR was 183. I took three steps and noticed the water station. MAN! I wish I would have seen that 3 steps ago. Oh well.... keep pushing on!
Last two miles girl... here we go. Only 2 miles, only 2 miles, only 2 miles. I kept telling my self. Well it has to be less than 2 miles now... how long have i told my self that... stop thinking ! RUN!
There it is ! Is that the finish line? I don't know. It has to be right? WRONG. Everyone is turning. Where is the finish line. It has to be close! I turn... no finish line. But I hear them announcing finishers. I am close. I turn again. THERE IT IS!!! The FINISH line! I haven't seen my family the entire race but the start. Where are they? I want to see them! Where are they. There is the finish line!!! I try to push more. I am almost there...."Tia" WERE ARE YOU???? "TIA!" I look to my right and there all I see is my husband! He is beaming with pride. HE LOVES ME no matter my time!
Last push... Arms up, smile, FINISH! I AM a half marathoner!
Now let me sit down!!! they won't let me sit. My legs start to tighten up fast. They are cramping. I can't stop, I get pushed threw this troth for at least 15 minutes. Where is my family? Well I don't get to see them for a little bit. I did get to sit down and reflect on my accomplishment for a while.
OK now the part that NO ONE TOLD ME NOT TO DO!
I went home straight home (20 minute car ride) and took an hour nap. When I went to get up I COULD BARLEY MOVE! I decided to sit down and prop my feet. I thought that would be best.
It wasn't! My husband said, "I think you deserve dinner out."
Well, I could barley move at this point. I began to walked with very stiff legs. My son said it looked like I had something stuck =P. That posture would stick with me for 3 days! Man a live did it stink!
So, I talk to my marathoner friends and they all said "NEVER rest to long or sit to long after a race. Try to keep moving for a few hours after the race." OK!!! GREAT ADVICE A LITTLE TO LATE =D They gave me great tips on every thing but never did they prepare me for after the race. Never did I think to even ask.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. It has inspired many of my family and friends to do a race and get better in shape. So well worth all it!
I am praising God that He helped me with all of it. The willingness to run it, the preparation it took to do it, and the will power it took to finish. I continuously prayed during the race for my body, my friends who were running and those whom seemed to need some help in the race.
It was a great experience.
Thanks for walking threw the journey with me.

TIA's 1st Triathlon :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We headed for the Triathlon the night before. It was a 3 hour drive to get to the Triathlon. My hips and knees don’t do well in car rides. This time was no different. Our son and his girlfriend came to cheer us on.
We went to picked up our packet of info and ate at 7:30pm I always eat by 6. I was starving! We then drove the bike course. I was so confused. It was not an easy course to follow. They had road markings but not at some critical points. I began to get concerned. Then we looked at the run course yet another confusing course.

Side Note: There was a lot of turn a round points in the race. I can’t stand turn a rounds. They slow me down so much I can’t keep my rhythm very well. OK so I’ll chalk that one down to inexperience and lack of training.

My husband assured me that I wouldn’t get lost but if it made me feel good that I could take the map but that he was sure I wouldn’t need it. So, I didn’t take that map. Well… he was correct I didn’t need it. There were a lot of helpers on the course and I was in the middle of the pack. More about my ride later…

Triathlon started at 7:45 with a gun shot that made me head to the bathroom because I had to pee (TMI? LOL) It was so loud everyone jumped. Even after being warned it was coming and after hearing it go off for the Biathlons.

The swim was a staggered start. I got in the 9-10 min line. I warned everyone around me that was a great possibility that I might hit them in the pool if I have to pass them and I apologized a head of time. They all assured me not to be concerned.

WELL… I jumped in the pool OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH I screamed. Our son said many people found it humorous. NOT ME! The water was ridiculously cold. They just filled the outdoor pool 1 week earlier and it rained two days strait. At best the water was 60 degrees. It shocked my whole system. I couldn’t breath! I began to panic! It was awful. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was horrified. All this training all the preparation and I can’t breath to swim. I stood up 3 or four times so much that that the swimmer behind me has caught up. I look at her and said, “I am panicking” she said, “Breath, you can do it” (I LOVE HER! Don’t know her, but love her!) I tried again and again and again. Now I am at 100 meters. I stop let her go and take a deep breath. In I go. I am headed to the next 50 meters. I am getting used to the pool’s chill. I can do this. I can do this, I can do this! Quickly I realize I can’t!  I swim anyway. Lord, help me do this! Guess what He was waiting, I should have asked earlier. Just as if I lost 100lbs right then and there. I began to feel what was going on. I found my rhythm. I passed one person, then another and another and yet anther! THANK you Lord, thank you Lord.
Most of all thank you Lord for getting “me” out of my head.

Unfortunately, I clobbered every one of those poor people on the way. Every time I hit someone I would stop, turn around and apologized to them then swim on. This happen 4 times. I bet I wasted a minute or more doing this. Our son took pictures of me passing then stopping and apologizing. FUNNY! Chalk that on up to being a newbie.

I get to the end 400 meters 10 minutes, even with all my mistakes. I got a big smile! I’m headed to T1.

Long run to T1 but not a bad time for my first transition. The fastest T1 time was .54 seconds. Off I go on the bike. I am loving it and smiling big. I cheered everyone I seen. Everyone. I was so excited and proud of everyone. I thanked all the volunteers, police officers, and spectators as I passed. I was so in the moment! I get to the point where the hills are coming. I smile big cuz’ I know I am strong on the hills. I am good at the hills. I can’t wait to do the hills. I pass 3 people while encouraging and cheering them. I grab my water bottle take a few big drinks, smile and look at the hill a head and say, “Bring it.”

OK a little cocky God reminds me when I drop my water bottle and have to head back to get it. Passing the wrong way to retrieve my water bottle, I smile at all those whom I have just passed and say, “Everything happens for a reason.” I knew someone was praying for me that very moment! Cuz’ I would have gotten mad at myself and discouraged but I didn’t. I got my water bottle and headed back up the hill. Again, I saying “bring it.” Cuz’ I know Who is on my side.

I get to the half way point, around 7 miles, and eat some beans I had taped to my bike. Take that off made my number slide down and start scratching my legs. I am ready to pull my number off my bike. It is so irritated. I remember I have tape on my beans. Yes. I tape my number and I don’t think about it again. YES!

I finish strong racing to the end with 3 other cyclist all women. We feed off each other, cheering each other to go harder faster. It is so exhilarating! I am really pushing it.
Then the down hill comes. I get so scared at down hills. I grab my breaks the ladies yell and I get disappointed in myself for not trusting that I won’t fall because now I have a steep hill to climb to the 2nd transition area, T2.

I look up there is my husband, Joe. He is on the run and he looks good. I am encouraged to see him. I cheer him on, I am so proud of him. I suck it up and push up the hill and see my son and his girlfriend there to cheer me on. I push a little harder and give a loud yell out. He gives one back  He loves me. Love is strong. I push up that hill to T2.

T2 went much faster, great time. During T2 a women asked what way we should go. I point and run this way. I hear my son yell, “NO, the other way.” I correct myself and start running the other way. I start to run down the hill. Again I hate down hills. The lady is running with me know. She says, “I am 38 years old and have 3 kids. How old are you?” I reply, “ I’m 37.” She say,“ High Five” I give it! She continues, “Look at us 3 kids later and look how good we look.” I giggle. I don’t have 3 kids I have 2 but all the same. WE continue to run together for a few more yards.

WHAT! I forgot my number. I panic! I ask the lady running with me, “I forgot my number will they disqualify me?” She says don’t worry about it. Yeah right. I do, a lot. I don’t stop thinking about it. I ask every volunteer I see. The same thing I asked her. No one knew the answer.

Up the step hill we go to a turn about. I get to the top pushing it all the way up. I look at my heart rate. This has to come down or I won’t finish. It did after taking 3 steps. I smiled, started to run and knew I would finish!

“Water?” I hear. I reach my hand out, of course I don’t stop running and you guessed it I choked. I forgot, walk and drink. No biggie I think, just keep moving. I keep moving and cheering everyone I see. I would say…’ This is it.~ You can do it.~ You’re doing great. Keep it up.~ Get after it~ Your at the end.”

I start down the hill turn and yep you guessed it. What goes down must come up. I see a big hill. I think no big deal I am good on hills. Then I realize maybe not after I swam and biked a few miles. I should have eaten some GU! Oh well, push on the first mile is always the hardest I think.

I see the first mile marker. YES, time to pick up my pace. But wait, what in the world am I running on? Grass and gravel? What I have more hills to go up? I am trying to get a faster pace. I pass one person. That made me feel good, but I just didn’t have the energy to run my pace. I just ran and cheered. I thought one foot in fort of the other and I am NOT going to stop. If I can’t do pace then I will just do!

I’m still asking every volunteer if I am going to be disqualified. Finally I get an decent answer around mile 1.5 from a volunteer. She says “ I don’t know but you have your number on your arm and your chip on your leg. Don’t worry about it.” Okay I say. I still think about it a few more times. What if…

I push back tears. It is all becoming so real, I am about to be a triathlete or am I? Tia don’t think run! I see a few people a head of me walking. Cheer them on. I say “We are almost done. Push it!” I run and think about what I just said to the other athletes. I am abut done. Push it!

I came around the corner the finishing hill. Where are they, where are they, where are they? I don’t see them. I pray my husband is okay. I know he has to be done. Lord let Joe be okay. I see people with signs clapping and cheering me on. They don’t know me but they are proud of me just the same. I know Joe is okay. Just run to the finish line, Tia. They will be at the top of the hill. I cheer all the volunteers and supporters.

There is love at the top of the hill! Get there! Go faster, faster, faster. I see them! They are waiting for me. I see them! I hear them! LOVE ~ PUSH IT! I push it! LOVE at the end! My husband is there he finished. He is a triathlete. I am proud of him. My son… Angie! I run hard. I cross the finish line, I am a triathlete. We are triathlete! We did this, together. God is good!
Hugs all around! They are all proud of me, I am proud of me and them. I feel the love. I am loved. I AM A TRIATHALETE!
Yes, you read correctly. I completed my very first triathlon and I was completive to boot

These are my times.
Swim 10:02 T1 1:43
Bike 43:02 (Rate 18.1) T2 1:05
Run 29:34 (Pace 9:31) TIME: 1:25:25

I got 3rd in my age group and 13 over all in women.

Thanks for going on this journey with me! I will am planing on doing many more.
Thanks for all your prayers.
And if you read this entire blog, you are amazing!
Thanks for all your support!