Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Baltimore Under Armour Half Marathon... UPDATED


Wow... you know... this whole race thing is amazing to me. I've spent so much time waiting for this race, agonizing over this race, worrying about this race, that now that it's done, I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. :P Actually that's not true, I know what I want to do with myself. I want to lay on the couch and heal up, and then get back to CF. :P

I was really super worried about this race. I had no doubt that I would finish, but I really didn't want to walk. I wanted to run the whole thing. And you know what? I fell JUST shy of that goal. My first 7 miles actually felt pretty good. My knees were bugging me a bit, but I fell into a pace and just kept at it. I forgot my watch so I have NO clue what that pace was (Brilliant I know!) but I just sort of fell into it. Along the course people were commenting on my shirt and I had a lot of other people say that it was their first time too, which was pretty cool. I could have picked a flatter course for my first time, but eh, hindsight is always 20/20 right? :P

Around miles 8 and 9 I started to slow quite a bit. What bothered me, wasn't that I was slowing because I felt the pace was too fast, it was that my knees really started to bug me. Quite frankly, they were throbbing. I had anticipated that miles 8 and 9 were going to be my sticking point, and they sort of were, because I also started to cramp up in my calves, so I had to pull off the course and stretch for a little bit just so I could keep going. I slowed my pace considerably but was able to keep running. My REAL sticking point came later.

The people along the race route were great supporters, but man by the end, I was so tired of them saying "It's all downhill after this" I wanted to hit them. Because they kept saying it, and then I kept seeing ANOTHER freakin' hill. Yar! Anyhoo, they were great, but to be honest, I also slapped hands with some pretty scary Balitmorians who looked like they hadn't quite made it home after a heavy night of drinking yet. Either that, or they were getting an early start on college game day! :P Anyhoo, after I hit the mile 10 marker, I really started to feel like I could really finish this thing. Until that point, my knees were hurting so bad that it really felt like it was in question. I kept my pace slow and stayed to the side trying to stay out of other people's way. People who were going waaaaay faster than I was. But then again, a lot of those people had a goal time and were out to push themselves. My goal was just to get to the pretty balloons at the finish line. :P

As I came down the final slope into mile 11 my knees were throbbing. I had taken medicine before the race, and back on mile 8 and I was feeling it. They hurt like a mother. So I had to back the pace off to basically a light jog. It bothered me that the reason I had to slow down had nothing to do with my breathing or my pace, but had more to do with my body. It was very frustrating. I really wanted to quit. On mile 11, I wanted to throw in the towel. But I couldn't let myself do that. 2 miles seemed so far, but was so short when I considered how far I'd already come. I REFUSED to let myself quit. I forced myself to slow down and walk. So between miles 11 and 12 I did my only walking of the race basically (water stations not withstanding since I couldn't run through those). I walked maybe and I mean MAYBE a quarter mile. It wasn't consecutive either. I would walk a little and then run again. I would walk a little and then run again. I was just trying to give my knees a bit of a break.

Once I saw the marker for mile 12, I started to feel like I was really going to finish (again). I was really going go to do this. The final mile was flat and I was never so happy NOT to see another hill. :P It's a bit deceiving though because the street is straight and there are people lining the sides to cheer you in, but then you go into Camden Yards and you're all by yourself because spectators aren't allowed in. So just when you feel like you're going to finish and you feel this surge of adrenaline, it sort of dies a little when you're all alone again. You see the kids fun run banner so you know you're close to the end, but you're still NOT there. But then, you exit Camden Yards, and come around the corner, and you can hear the announcer.

An annoying loud man has never in my life sounded so good. And then just like that, as you round the corner you can see the final crowds. You can see the final mile markers telling you that there is just .1 left to go. You can see the balloons. You can hear the announcer and every emotion that you have fought during that race seems worth it. You are proud of yourself because you know you did what you set out to do. You are proud of yourself for accomplishing a goal. You are proud of yourself for not giving up. You are proud of yourself because this whole thing was about you and showing yourself what you can do. You are proud of yourself because you were right all along. You DO have heart. You DO have guts. You DO have pride. And more than anything, you DO have strength.

As I started to come into that final homestretch, I nearly started to cry. My eyes welled up and I had the biggest feeling of pride and relief. But it's sort of hard to run with a giant lump in your throat, so I had to knock that off, and keep running for the last .1 mile. I got my medal, and my sister and I plus her boyfriend who also ran the half, all got our pictures taken at the finish line. I can't wait to see the pictures. More importantly, I can't wait to see my chip time. All in all, there were 7500 half marathoners yesterday and 20000 runners in total, including the relay and 5K. That's quite a few times to keep track of. The tracking page is not up yet on the marathon site, but will hopefully be up later today or tomorrow and I can find out what my time was exactly. I know it was close to my goal time, but we'll see. As I crossed it was roughly 2:39 and some change. But the half-marathoners started in waves, supposedly separated by 5 minutes. If this is true, then I should be just under my goal because I was in wave 3 (10 minutes behind the official start of the race and the clock). Not only is that 10 minutes from the first wave to the second, I also was a little bit towards the middle of my pack, which should allow me another few seconds if not a minute of lag time until I chipped in. If the times are off, well, I may not have hit my goal time, but I was pretty close, and you know what, I'll take it! :) So, here's to accomplishing a goal. I earned this one! :) I AM A FINISHER IN THE BALTIMORE UNDER ARMOUR HALF MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
****UPDATE****
They finally posted up the chip times. My official chip time... wait for it... wait for it... wait for it!!!!!!! 2:26:36!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOT! That's right within my goal time! I was aiming for somewhere between 2:20 and 2:30. I also finished 1837 out of 3673 women, and was 468 out of 898 women. It doesn't get much more in the middle than that!!! :P My mile pace averaged out to 11:12. I wanted to stay within the 10 something miles, but I'll take it. In my goal time, and right smack in the middle of the ladies. Not a bad showing. Maybe next year.... ;) Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

11 comments:

Cara said...

Congrats Katie - you finished!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNEW you would!

Jerry Hill said...

Congrat's Katie!
Ice and more Ice.

BlessedBy3JDCs said...

Hi Katie,

That is so awesome that you completed this! You did a great job, and this is just a start. Rest up.

Tami said...

Alright Katie! Way to go -- you're one tough cookie.

Matt Komar said...

Well done Katie. A day later I am happy I did it. I can walk now and even went to class this morning even though I was not allowed to do the WOD but participated in skill work. I finished the race unofficially in 1:52. Wow the hills were brutal and the end with running through Camden Yard is a stupid mirage, I thought Camden was the end and wasted my energy to get there and realized there was another 500 m left.

Katie said...

thanks Matt. 152 is awesome!!!! Great job finishing. Remember, that's the *inspirational finish* they were discussing in the race packet! LOL...

Justa said...

Congratulations, Katie!!!

Proof that you don't have to finish first to be a champion!!!!

Tanya said...

Next stop...a full marathon! After all you're halfway there!! Good job progressing from your 5K this spring to the half this fall! I too am going to get back into CF after I heal.

Katie said...

Seriously Tanya? How much crack did you smoke? I am NOT and I repeat NOT running a full... how crazy do you think I am? (Be careful how you answer that question.... ) :P

Jen said...

Congrats on a job well done.

Darcy 'D2' said...

Congrats, good job I knew you'd get'r done :)