Well, here goes. My second half marathon. Ever. And I had the pleasure of running it with my best girlfriend, Melodie. It was her first half.
For starters, race morning was a nail biter. Woke up at 0500 to severe thunderstorms tearing through the area. Thunder, lightning, sheets of rain and hail. Whooppee! I texted Mel, as she was wondering if the race would be canceled. I thought not, since the radar was showing that the storms would be passing through the area rather quickly. Drove over and picked her up and before we knew it we were out in Oconomowoc at the race venue.
The rain had stopped and I was determined to find my co-workers, who were also running the race, and my dad. (Matt & Marie were also first timers...see pic below) Found everyone, said our "good mornings!" and lined up for the race. We're not the fastest runners, so we lined up towards the back of the pack. The gun went off around 0705 and we were off!
First up was my dad, on the way out of the parking lot, snapping pics and yelling, "Sweet Muff!" Yeah, my cat was with us in spirit. :) Next up, again before we even made it out of the parking lot, was Mel's dad and sister, Maria, snapping more pics. (see below shots, courtesy of Wayne Zeman) Right turn out of the lot and HELLO HILL! Yep, not even 1 mile into the race and we were greeted by a lovely hill. Not to worry, we overcame with a vengeance. Next right turn included a fun, one-man band and his tambourine. Very fun to see at the beginning of the race. (especially considering neither of us was running with music, a feeling foreign to us both)
For the next mile we were passed by the front runners of the 5K race that started 15 minutes behind us. The best runner was "the groom" who passed us. (he had a sign on his back stating just that) We wondered where his future bride was. The next few miles were beautiful as we ran around Lac La Belle. What wasn't so beautiful was the storm damage/debris that we saw in everyone's yards. Trees and branches down everywhere. We even had to move to the opposite side of the street for a bit to allow for the WE Energies trucks on one side of the road. We passed one of our anesthesiologist's houses along with one of my co-worker's houses, but they had moved on along the route by the time we got there.
Met up with Mel's dad and Maria a few more times before we finally saw her hubby, JL, and 4 girls. That was around mile 6.5 I think. JL is a runner himself and was super proud of Mel for running! After that things got a little rough. Around miles 7-8 Mel busted out her iPhone and some tunes. Felt a little desolate only because we were running and didn't see anyone in front of us. (or behind us, for that matter) The tunes were rockin' and we kept rollin'. Mel's parents, sisters and JL and the girls met us again around mile 9 and were a refreshing sight! It's always so nice to have encouragement from people you know every now and again along the race route! :)
The last 4 miles were definitely 4 miles. Taxing to say the least. My right knee, my GOOD knee, was giving me intermittent pains, but I pushed through. The last water stop was the best! It was in a residential Oconomowoc neighborhood. There was a man in his driveway, kiddie corner to the water stop, playing his guitar and singing. It was awesome! I also found out later that a DailyMile friend of mine was volunteering AT that water station, but because we'd not met in person, I didn't know it was her!
A few walk breaks now and then and before we knew it, we were at mile 11. Then mile 12. And there was that friggin' hill again. Yep, same one we had to run UP at the beginning of the race. DANG! Sucked that it was at mile 12, but oh well, we pushed through! As we came into the parking lot, my right hammies were screamin'. YEOW! But I could see the finish line, so I gutted it out. Saw my co-workers, both the cheerleaders AND the runners, cheering me on as I approached the finish line and it was just the push I needed! I crossed the finish line smiling, happy that I finished. (and barely walked)
So here's to my second half marathon finish. Whoo hoo! And just think, in March I will be running one AFTER a 1.2 mi swim and 56 mi bike ride-YIKES! This is just the beginning.
And I'm totally stealing this from my friend Jenn...a random song that puts some "zip" in my training step!