My First Half (Half a Story)

Just a mere month ago I completed my first ever half marathon!

WHAT!?!?!

Yes, that’s right. This little fat girl ran (OK, ran/jog/walked) 13.1 miles!!! The fact that I was able to finish the race is the best part to me, but I can’t give you a sappy little post; oh no, I am going to regale you all with the story that lead up to my beautiful moment.

Let me start with saying, I have wanted to run a marathon for at least the last 3 years now. There is something about pushing your body to carry you 26.2 miles that seems beautiful, amazing, and slightly psychotic. It had me!

Over the last two years I have signed up for a few 5 K’s and loved the experience. Although I HATE working out, I really don’t mind running. It is like once I start I don’t care. You work past the pain and you just go. There are days where my body craves a run, and I am telling you , this body ain’t running material.

Well about 8 months ago my friend from work texted me and said that registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland was open. My heart leaped at the thought. I remember seeing my friends the previous year post pictures and thought how cool would that be? Plus you get this bitchin’ medal!

How freakin’ sweet is that puppy? I am not even a huge Tinker Bell fan but it was too bad ass to pass up!

Not only did she ask me, but she happened to ask me right after I got engaged. I thought to myself, you know what, this is perfect motivation to start getting in shape for my wedding. So I cried a little as I forked out the $150 registration fee and signed myself up.

There were many moments after my registration where I thought, “what a freakin’ idiot. Who signs up for this?” And in truth I did not train at all! I was a horrible first half marathon runner. The months leading up to the race I was teaching 4 classes, working part time at another job, planing a wedding, and attempting to live life. I was lucky if I went running once every 2 weeks.

In November, in an attempt to gear myself for the big day in January I signed up for a Turkey Trot 10K. Jacob and I have 3 Thanksgiving dinners we have to eat in one day (divorced parents), so I chalked it up to justification for the binge eating we were about to do.

(Not me pictured, just me being a creeper using a visual)

Now, again, I am not the best of planners for these events. The night before my Turkey Trot I went out drinking….and we drank a lot…..now I am not going to say I was hung over the day of my run, but I was definitely not properly hydrated. The night before my cousin had a breakdown, we went through Del Taco. I think every poor decision one could make before a big run I made. But damn it all if I didn’t still show up on time!

Here I am at this 10K, don’t know the course, but ready to attempt it.

Whelp, I can this, I am proud I finished. I mostly walked the course because I did not realize that 3.5 miles were all uphill – a very steep hill. I also got shin splints because my new running shoes were too thin on the soles (way to go trying a new shoe for a big run). For me the thing that kept me going were these two thoughts, “Lord, don’t let me finish dead last, and actually, just let me finish.”

There was a grandmother type person that was consistently near me, so I used her as my pace marker. I thought, “If that grandma can do it, so can I.” I pushed myself and finished in about an hour and twenty minutes. I was happy to have finished and it made me realize, “Oh shit, there is a lot to do for that Tinker Bell Half!”

The amount of pain and soreness I felt over the next three days after the race was something I had never felt. My Aunt and Uncle’s house has two large steps to the front door, they felt like Everest to me. I would hobble like an arthritic person attempting to get up and down them into the house.  My hips were what hurt the most. Having done yoga for a long period of time, I know I hold a lot of pressure and stress in my hips. After the run, that was the first thing that hurt, but boy did they feel opened.

Now one would think with the experience from my Turkey Trot I would gear up and be running every day leading up to the half marathon, right? Oh no, no, no. This girl, she did not. She did nothing of the sort. In fact, if anything I worked out less. It was the holidays, who exercises during the holidays!?

I will tell you this, the only thing I was truly prepped for in terms of the run was my gear. I knew what I was wearing, and had packed it and re-packed it several times. I was wearing my black Nike tech capris, my Tinker Bell tutu bought on discount after Halloween, my old Nike Structures, a highlighter yellow slouchy long sleeved top from Victoria’s Secret Pink brand, my New Balance running waist band for my phone and I was OBSESSING over getting a matching green sparkle headband from Sparkly Soul Inc.

I had happened to see Sparkly Soul Inc feature on Instagram. One of the bloggers I follow had posted a picture of her Sparkly Soul headband and I went on the sight and fell in love. I told EVERYONE about them. In fact, I hinted so much that my cousin ended up buying me the apple green headband to match my run outfit for Christmas! I was ready to rock it in my super cute outfit. Who cares that I hadn’t been training.

Then the half marathon weekend was finally here. My friend Tifa (or Brother as we call one another…long work related story) walked me through the runners expo. O-M-G! A runner’s expo should really just be called a runner’s shopping paradise! If I wasn’t scrimping pennies for my wedding I would have bought so much! There were these awesome running skirts from Sparkle Skirts! The ones my friend endorses and I loved were the Sparkle Tech. If you click the link it will take you straight there.

What is so amazing about these skirts are that they are 1) Disney themed (but have regular print as well) 2) Made from high quality material 3) They have these bitchin’ running shorts underneath. Now, I personally do not like running in shorts because of chaffing issues, but my friend swears by them. She says that they don’t chaff or ride up on her. If they weren’t on the pricier end I would have bought one!!!

The other booth/products I fell in love with was Raw Threads tee-shirts. I may still go back and order some shirts to run in because they were so wonderful. They make their shirts from organic cotton and bamboo, making these shirts extra soft! Not only that, but all the shirts had great detail work on the backs. I am a sucker for double sided running tee’s, even more so when they have cute sayings!

After being walked around all the sweet booths and seeing so many women gearing up for a huge run I felt even more excited and nervous! It was going to be an event I would remember.

The following day, Saturday leading up to the race was nerve racking. I wanted to make sure to do everything right. I ate a baked potato for lunch with grilled chicken, broccoli and cheese. Then for dinner my fiance and friends took me out to have pasta. We went to our favorite Italian restaurant and I ordered a penne past with olive oil, garlic and chicken. While everyone else downed wine, I stuck to my water. I had to pre-hydrate for the long haul in the morning.

One of my very good friends had offered to let me stay at his apartment, which was just 2 miles from Disneyland. The run was slated to start at 5 AM, so my goal was to be in bed by 10. I got to his house at 10 and was in bed by 1030. I had my 2 bananas packed, my orange sliced, my Luna bar packed and 1 giant Gatorade and water for after. I was ready.

All right dear friends, if you want to know how it all went for the run, stay tuned for my next post and I will give you the juicy details of all 13.1 miles.

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