I finished the Iron Horse Half Marathon. Rather, I survived it.
I don't know if I can put my body through this again. I just don't know. Once upon a time, I was considering a marathon...just thinking about it, looked at a few races, nothing definite. I don't know if I could do that, if my body doesn't like me after 13.1 miles, it would surely HATE me after 26.2, right?
Anyway, back to the race.
Lady who was watching the kids was late. I was worried that I wouldn't make it in time for pictures, I'd make it in plenty of time for the race itself...but was worried about the picture. Go figure. I sent Jaime a text asking if I could bum some energy gels from her, didn't think I'd have time to stop at the store, but she had already left the house. I ran into Kroger and ran right out. I got to Midway only 5 minutes later than I had originally wanted. Parked at the college and walked down Stephens Street. Tried not to have PTSD about the school (got my nursing degree there). Kept trying to call Jaime. She didn't answer. Tried to think of any other numbers I had. Jenny, I had Jenny's number. Called her. Got to the meeting place. Group picture. Went the bathroom.
We all walked to the race start like a posse, it was pretty awesome looking at the picture. Got there, we took more pictures. I turned my Garmin on. It didn't work. I freakishly pull out my phone and start downloading RunKeeper to my phone. I had to have SOME kind of record of this. It didn't fully download and start until about 2-3tenths into the race. But it was better than nothing.
In some ways this felt like a remake of RTB. I start out with a running buddy, then part way through...I get hurt and have to tell them to keep going without me. I don't know what I would have done without LaTanya. She is pretty damn amazing. The first 5-6 miles were pretty easy. We kept trying to keep our pace under a 14 min/mile so as not to get kicked off the course at mile 7. However, the pacer never seemed to appear. Others swear they saw her, but I never did. When we got to the turn around at mile 4, my friend Jodi was there with her husband and kids. She dragged them out of the house just to come see me for a few minutes. That meant the world to me.
At mile 6.5, there was the Strider station, we'd passed them going out...but didn't talk much. Keith stopped me and asked how I was doing. I answered rough. My knee was starting to hurt a little. More sore than outright pain. We got to mile 7 without being kicked off the course. It was after this I really started to struggle and the distance between me and LaTanya got larger. I told her to go on without me, she refused...said she wouldn't leave me. Finally about mile 9 after we hit the LexRunLadies station (and the porta potty where I peed myself before I could even sit. damn), we started out again together, but I hurt too much. At mile 10.5 I saw my friend Leah, she was manning a different water station. She gave me a bottle of water. Right after that, I saw Ann! She told me I was almost to the turn around. Then I saw Casey who told me just two more turns after we joked about amputating my knee and her below the waist. Got to love a fellow nurse. Made it to the turn around, joked with the lady who was standing there. Kept on going. Saw someone running toward me and it was Leah again. She ran with me about a half mile before she had to go back to her water station. at mile 11, I really wanted to just give up...but kept telling myself, "only 2 more miles, only 2 more miles." I honestly don't know how I made it to the last part. I told myself when I hit the main entrance of Midway College, I would start running again since I knew it was about 2/10 of a mile from the finish. When I got to the entrance, I saw more people running toward me. It was Jenny and Brooke! They came to find me after LaTanya had finished and told me I was having knee problems. They ran back with me. There was a guy with a Greek Festival shirt on, at the beginning of the race I told LaTanya that I was going to beat him. He started to get ahead of me. Once we hit the turn to the finish, I booked it and sprinted to the finish.
Krissie, Nathan, Jaime, Steve, Kelly, DJ, and whoever else was still hanging around made a human tunnel for me to run through. It was amazing.
Compared to RunTheBluegrass where there really wasn't anyone at the finish for me (Krissie and Nathan were cheering at the end), and Jenny waited just for me to finish. To have my buddies, waiting over 1-1.5 hrs to see me finish. I wanted to bawl. It took everything in me not to bawl.
I finished. I survived. I even PR'd. Final time 3:23:32. Finished 999 out of 1001. Not dead last, but pretty freaking close.