Sunday, June 29, 2014

I Guess I'm Only Half Crazy Now...13.1 Done That!

Flat Emily for my half, I love bibs with my name on it!
Saturday the 14th I finally ran my first half marathon, the Rock N Sole Half in Milwaukee. My friend Kelly from work decided to participate in the half with me, it would be her first also. I got up at 4:15am that morning and headed over the Kelly's house, we would car pool from there in her car up to Milwaukee. The drive up was pretty smooth until we got about 1 mile from the parking area, where traffic was dead stop. Of course I had to use the bathroom really bad! Kelly pulled some fast maneuvers and got us out of traffic and to a close parking lot. We were able to go in the Italian Center to use the bathroom, thank goodness for a real bathroom!
After that we decided to make our way to the start area, the race started promptly at 7am. They had photo people everywhere, which was really fun. My goal was to finish in less than 3:15:00, I was so nervous I would be picked up my the slow bus. I just did not want to slip to 3:30:00.
Love the building for lease sign in the background!
I am hoping we get a coupon for the photos soon as I really want to buy them. We took one more trip to the facilities, where Kelly had a quick panic moment where we thought her ear bud went missing. I found it and saved the day!
 Finding the corrals was easy, I was in M and Kelly in L. Thankfully my corral was not the last! I met some nice ladies at the start who warned me about mile 9 and assured  GU and was really to go! It only took us 5 minutes to get from our corral to the start once the gun went off. I had some phone issues but then everything seemed to fall into place.
Once we started going I found myself getting a little chocked up, I guess I was just emotional from the race! We headed out on the course and I felt good. There were lots of bands playing on the course and tons of people. It was nice because the 10k people and the half people were together for the first 5 miles or so. I just took my time, running the first 2 miles. I enjoyed the sites and the experience.
Mile 3 is when we started the long, steep climb up the Hoan bridge. I just stuck to the strict run/walk combo I programed into my phone and made my way up. Once I made it up it was a nice quick steady decent where I ran the whole way down. It way great experiencing the bridge, but I was so glad it was done! Once we were over, the 10kers split and headed towards the end. The half continued up to the north. I finally had to stop and use a porto potty, thankfully with the 10k crew gone that really thinned out the crowd. I was in and out in 15 seconds I think. I took a GU and went on my way.
After that I kept heading up the road when I finally got to the last huge hill which was mile 8. I had to walk up it. I started getting some bad toe pain in my right foot about mile 7. My toes felt broke but I continued on. After making it over mile 8.5 some people yelled "It's all downhill!". I was like yeah right, but they were actually right. Miles 9-11 were pretty much downhill and other than the toe pain, were pretty enjoyable. Mile 10 I looked at my watch and saw I was about 2 hours in and I thought to myself  hey I am going to be under 3 hours for sure! The sites of Lake Michigan were just beautiful! The weather was gorgeous with temps starting in the high 50s and climbed to about the high 60s with a great breeze. Around mile 11 I filled up one of my water bottles from an aid station and only took water to pour on my head after that.
Mile 12 was all along a path along the water and beach. There were lots of people and musicians. It was a little deceiving and hard to see the finish but there were signs telling you how much distance was left. I rounded a corner to the SummerFest fair ground and through the finish. I had done it and I felt great, minus the toe pain! I finished in 2:44:49, I was so happy!
I'm a half marathoner!

 I found Kelly almost immediately after the race and we had a few more pictures taken.

Close up of medals, we got the one on the right

 I called Justin and found him and L. They were both very proud of my accomplishment. We walked around some to keep the legs moving and then sat down a bit.
Kelly finish only a few minutes before me

Awesome new medal!
Once we finally changed and headed on our way, I put on my new Pro Compression socks. We went to Denny's for lunch and then to Walmart for grocery shopping. I totally forgot I left my car at Kelly's so we had to go get it at 5pm. I found her mowing the lawn, crazy lady! I went home and took a Epson salt bath and relaxed. I hurt some but not as bad as I thought. Oh and so much for the finishers tees, all they had was xl and 2xl left.
All in all I loved the half distance and would love to do it again. I loved this course and hope to run this one again in 2016. Well in fact I am running another half this year. I signed up for my second half in late September. I am looking to train harder and shave minutes off my time.

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