Monday, September 20, 2010

September 18th, 2010 – Wounded Warrior Half Marathon

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

FINALLY!!!! I am among the <1% of Americans who have finished a Half Marathon and can truly call myself a “runner”! For the rest of my days, even if I never lace up another pair of Asics, I can refer to myself as a runner and no one can ever take that away from me! Praise the Lord!!!!

I won’t lie. It was hard, even torturous at times, but I persevered, didn’t get picked up by any military personnel for falling behind the course time limit and I finished the race!!! And I got the same medal the guy who finished first got! I heard he finished in 1:07. Ridiculous!!!

My goal was to finish within 3 hours and I finished in 2:45, so I am happy about that. There are several things I would do the same way and several things I would do differently.

The Same:
1) Wear Fila moisture wicking running pants. These were much better than the running shorts I had originally intended to wear. I used Body Glide, but there didn’t seem to be a need. These pants were great!

2) Wear Nike moisture wicking socks for women. These were perfect. Not a blister in sight and they were brand new when I put ‘em on. Typically, doing a race in new gear is a no-no.

3) Bring a light jacket for pre-race hoopla. It’s cold that early in the morning and I was there for at least an hour before the starter pistol was fired.

4) Bring my own water. It’s just a good idea.

5) Empty my bladder before the race begins.

6) For dinner the night before: pasta and water. That’s it.

7) For breakfast: a banana and water. That’s it!

8) Show up early.

9) Wear a sports watch

10) Wear music. This is strictly my personal preference.

11) Have my family there at the Finish. That was *so* great!!!!

12) Arrange to have someone drive me home.

13) Take pictures at the Finish Line

14) Have Pepto Bismol on hand. Sports Beans do the job but they dropped like the housing market in Southern California. Ack!

15) Take 600mg of Ibuprofen 30 minutes before the start.

16) Write a list and pack the night before.

17) Clear my schedule so I can crash when I get home.

1) I will train for the full 13.1 mile distance. I trained for 10 miles and that was great. I was told that training for 10 miles is sufficient for the Half Marathon. This is a FALLACY!!!! I hit the wall like never before at the 10 mile mark! My body began to cramp and my muscles were on the verge of seizure. It was terrible!!!! I had kept up a steady 12 minute mile pace up through mile 10. After that, I was being passed by senior citizens with obvious knee replacements!! Whoever said a Half Marathon is just a 5k with a 10-mile warm up is a terrible liar. I contend that after a 10-mile run, 3.1 miles is MUCH farther than 16,404 feet!!!! After that 10th mile it…. was…. miserable!!!!

2) I will not underestimate the importance of having support at the end of the race. While my family eventually made it to finish line, they didn’t make it there until a few minutes after I’d crossed it. I didn’t realize how much I needed someone until a very dear friend of mine met me at the end and ran that last quarter mile with me. Thanks Lloyd!!!!

Also, my good friend Sarah was there to see me cross the Finish Line, take a quick snapshot and greet me with water and a fresh apple. Thank you so much, Sarah!

3) I will focus less on taking pictures during the race. I know… I know! But it was my first Half and I wanted to be very present during the entire run. I’m not at all sorry that I have the experience fully documented but I lost precious minutes being sure to take snapshots of every mile marker and cool military warning sign. Next time I will run it more like a serious runner and less like a tourist.

4) I will not forget my post race shoes. I left my Crocs at home and I *really* wished I had them when it was all over.

5) I will have fewer Sports Beans. Ugh!

6) I really gotta get a Garmin. Using my iPhone for music and Runkeeper is really too taxing for it. I almost ran out of juice completely before the finish. And somehow my Runkeeper got paused for about a mile and and only clocked about 11 miles. When I got online to try and edit it, I added another 3 miles somehow and screwed it all up! Jeez!

All in all, it was a great experience. I am so glad I did it and I am forever indebted to Lloyd for seeing me through it. Love ya for it!

This is a pic of Lloyd and me at the end of the race. Lloyd is my hero. He finished 2nd in his class and 5th over all. Amazing!!!


  1. Congratulations runner! I never really understood the reasoning behind only training for 10 miles in a 13 mile race. It seems to me that if you train for 10 miles, when your body hits that 10 mile mark it thinks it's done. It's smart to make lists of things that worked and didn't work, so you can adjust for your next time. There's something special about crossing the finish line and holding the medal. Way to go.

  2. Thanks!

    @Frank - Thank you! You're right about that. I will never fall for that again. I gotta get back to training and train for the full distance. The next Half is next month. Yikes!