May 12, 2014

I Did It

I can now say that I successfully finished a Half Marathon!  I am still giddy when I think about it.  I had two goals, to run the whole 13.1 miles without walking, and to try and run it in 2:30, and I did both!  My actual time was 2:32, I'll take it!

We drove down on Friday after work, got to Fargo around 5:30.  We decided to eat supper first, I thought every restaurant would be packed, but we found an Applebee's with a 15 minute wait.  I ordered the Shrimp Scampi Pasta, which was delish!  I had been a nervous wreck all week about this race and had lost 2 pounds, haha!  I ate as much as I could and enjoyed a cold beer to help me relax.

After we ate we went down to the Civic Center to get my packet.  They had an expo with different vendors, Rachel and I walked around while Brad and the girls made me posters for race day.

Then we went our hotel.  Our ghetto motel.  Ugh, I had reserved a room and a place that looked ice online, but was a DIVE.  Seriously, it was a shit hole, rundown, people standing out in front with no shirts.  I was sick.  Brad went in and they let him cancel our reservation.  Thank you God!  My friend Jennifer who was running the 10K called to see if we had gotten to Fargo and I told her about our crap motel.  They were staying at the Holiday Inn and had one room left!  The room was perfect, one king bed, a pullout sleeper and then they brought up a rollaway bed too.  Oh, and it had a jacuzzi!  The girls hopped in for a bit, but it was already 9:30 by this time.

We all got settled in and I think I was sleeping by 11:30 (I knew I wouldn't sleep).  I woke up thinking it was almost time to get up only to see that it was 1:30, ugh.  I think I fell back to sleep around 2:15-2:30 and then was wide awake at 4:15.  Too many nerves!


I was going to be meeting Jennifer at 5:45 to catch the shuttle bus down to our areas.  They had 2 separate villages, one for the marathon and 10k'ers and one for the half people.  I was a little apprehensive because I was going to be there by myself.  I did know one other person who was running it, but didn't know if I would get a hole of her.

I made myself a sunbetter sandwhich that I ate around 5:30, then brought a banana with to eat once I got to the village.  I had prayed a lot throughout the week that I would meet someone there that I could hang with/chat with to calm my nerves.  Once we were at the village, I used the porto pottie one last time, and then at 6:30 we started our trek to the starting bridge which was about 4 blocks away.  Did I mention it was cold?  Like 35 degrees cold.  I was glad that I brought my black pullover which is just a tad thicker than my pink Under Armour one.  Some of these poor ladies were in tank tops and freezing!

On my way to the starting line I met the nicest gal who was also running her first half!  We hung out and it was SO nice to just chat about stuff to keep us from thinking our impending death.  I have to say that the phone calls/texts from my family and friends Friday and Saturday morning were so motivating for me!


This is where we eventually walked up to to begin the race.  I wish I would have taken a pic of how many people were lined up, this is when we first got there before lining up in our chutes.  I loved how excited and chatty people were!  

The gun went off at 8:00, and it probably took a good 5 minutes before we actually started running.  I was so freezing cold that I really didn't even feel my feet for the first 2 miles.  I had to pee at the starting line, so I knew I would stop and go at the first set of porto potties available.  That was at mile 2 along with water and Powerade.  I started with water, and then would drink Powerade at every other drink station.  Towards the end, I would drink both.  I ran through the water stations, just ran slow and perfected my drinking.  At the first water station, I had successfully dumped the entire cup down my shirt, haha!

I got into a good rhythm and was surprised at how quickly the first 5 miles felt.  I did feel like a schlump the first couple miles because it literally felt like EVERYONE was passing me up, but I knew I had to keep a slower pace if I wanted to reach my goal of running the whole thing.

Around mile 8 things started to hurt....my knee, my heel, but I pushed throught it.


As I was coming down the hill at mile 8, I saw my dad standing there with Brad and the girls.  I had NO idea he was going to be there.


Insert ugly cry.  Seriously, I couldn't stop the tears, it meant SO much to have him there.  I stopped quick to hug him and the family and kept on truckin.  That gave me the motivation to keep going.  I had lost my 2:30 pace group and I knew I wanted to try REALLY hard to catch up to them.  I hit the 10 mile marker still feeling ok, so I decided to bump it up to try and catch up with them.  I finally caught up at mile 11 and passed them.  At mile 12 I knew I had to slow down a bit, my stomach started to get queasy.  Mile 12.5 and 13 were the toughest miles, my body was shutting down and I seriously was scoping to see where I could throw up.  My mind told me I couldn't do it and I honestly thought I would have to walk.  There was a group of ladies in front of me and one of them was yelling at the others saying that they've made it this far and they could do it, it was almost over.  That kept me going!  Well, that and the fact that there would be no place to puke unless I did it on a spectator.  Not cool.

I crossed the finish line and walked like I had been riding a horse for hours.  Instantly my calves were ON FIRE.  Seriously, it was like someone had a blow torch burning them.  I found the fam and then cried and hugged some more, and then realized that I had just reached my 2 goals, I ran the ENTIRE 13.1 miles without walking, AND my time was 2:32!!!!  I felt amazing!  Well mentally, not physically.  We found a spot to sit and I needed help to get back up, my poor calves...

They had some inflatables for kids, so Brad took Rachel and Alayna and Dad, Emma and I sat on a bench, it felt so good to just sit.  I took some ibuprofin right away and within about 20 minutes,  burning pain subsided.  We decided to get some grub since I had just burned about 3000 calories.  I wanted a big fat juicy burger and a tall beer!  We went to Buffalo Wild Wings and it tasted like heaven.  Unfortunately my stomach wasn't totally having it so I finished half my burger and not even half my beer.  So sad.

We dropped Dad off at his truck after lunch and headed home.  I was still on cloud nine, I just couldn't believe that I ran the WHOLE course!  When I started running a few years ago, I couldn't run 5 minutes without stopping and feeling like I was going to die.


We got home and I hopped in the tub right away.  Hot water and epsom salts, felt so good!  I parked my booty in the recliner and ordered pizza for supper.  Hell yes I ate my calories back!  Once the girls went to bed, Brad and I sat in the hot tub for about an hour and a half, I had completely shriveled by then, but I didn't care.

Brad asked me right after the race if I wanted to do another half and I immediately said NO FREAKIN WAY!  Well, today I just checked out another half marathon in September.  Woot woot!

I would have to say this experience is right up there with getting married and giving birth.  It was AMAZING!  I am so proud of reaching my goals and can't wait to do it again!

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4 comments:

Liz @ Fitness Blondie said...

Cara, first off you are absolutely beautiful! The pictures of you running are monumental and awesome. Kudos to you for running in 35 degree weather in the morning though, geez. I enjoy jogging but I don't know about it being that cold - that's dedication. I love that your dad surprised you and I hope you enjoyed that well deserved pizza!!! You are SO inspiring!

Cara Zimmer said...

Thanks so much Liz!

Emmy said...

Congratulations! This was such a beautiful race recap. Are races emotional, or what?! I seriously teared up 18,000 times during my last half!

Cara Zimmer said...

Thanks Emmy! Yes, it was CRAZY emotional, but so fun and inspiring! Although not sure I could run again this weekend like you did, lol!!