Today is Sunday Runday! Also, RACE DAY. It’s been way too long since I posted (sorry…life happens and I don’t have time to write about it.) BUT I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and why not start with a post after my first half marathon of the year?! HOORAY! Although, it was a rough month of training and it led to a ton of pre-race day anxiety. For whatever reason, I’ve had this really odd stomach bug that made my stomach spasm randomly and made me not want to eat ANYTHING. So odd. My energy level was totally fine, no other symptoms. So needless to say, between traveling for work and dealing with this stomach issue, training was rough. That’s the last thing you want to have happen the last few weeks leading up to the race.
That being said, Saturday was packet pick-up and it heightened my anxiety to an all-time high. I couldn’t even eat normally so how the hell was I going to get through 13.1 miles? Challenge accepted. It helped that the hubs had my back for this one. He actually got up at 4:30am with me. He’s definitely not a morning person, so major hubs points were earned.
Stomach issues aside, at least the weather was absolutely perfect. Overcast, slightly cool with a light breeze…and of course…an epic playlist queued up. Everything from Beyonce to Metallica.
Even though I was battling some pretty bad stomach issues, I didn’t stray from my race day routine. This includes:
- Carb-load with pasta enriched with protein topped with turkey meatballs for dinner (yum).
- Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more.
- Mix up that playlist for some fresh tunes.
- Charge the Garmin and wireless earbuds. (I’ve had to run a half in silence…no…it’s not fun.)
- Prep the peanut butter and toast for race morning.
- Hit that bathroom before heading to the corral!! (You’ll be sorry).
- Stash toilet paper in your gear check bag (again if you don’t, you will definitely be sorry).
- Have a hydration plan throughout the race. (map out water stops or have it on you).
As everyone got into their corral, it looked like it was about to rain, luckily for us…it didn’t. Phew.
Once we got started, I have to say those first couple of miles felt like they took FOREVER. And if you’re a runner, you know that those beginner miles are always lying little bitches. Stay focused, it will get better.
At least it did get better for a little bit. I mean, while you have Bruno Mars blasting through your ear buds and you’re enjoying the view of Chicago’s beautiful skyline…how can it not? Well at around mile 8, my stomach started to spasm again like it had been for the past week. (Queue internal scream). I slowed the pace a little and luckily, it started to settle. This race was a challenge and with each mile marker, I knew I was that much closer to victory…and that damn medal.
Although my stomach was acting up, I never stopped once. I hydrated with water and Gatorade…and crossed that finish line strong. Hollllaaa!!! VICTORY.
Crossing that finish line is something that all runners crave. The line that separates them from meeting their goals. When it’s crossed, it’s that euphoric feeling of “holy shit I was in so much pain and now…this feeling of finishing 13.1 miles and this shiny medal makes it all worth it.”
I met up with my running bestie afterward and of course took several, mandatory post-race pics.
Another awesome thing about finishing a half marathon is that you can eat whatever the helllll you want for the rest of the day. I mean come on, when my Garmin says I burned 2,005 calories….you better believe this girl is not going to turn down some yummy food.
Also, I look forward to secretly wearing my OOFOS sandals at work tomorrow. #dontcare #tryandstopme.
Recovery mode, engage.