Sunday, March 11, 2012

Beck's Light Challenge: Half Marathon Recap

This post is a week late, but it's still important to recap this on here for myself. I've been completely MIA this week because of life, as I've mentioned a few times. I'm sorry about that. It's amazing how quickly time passes when you have a ton going on!

Anywho, after the 15k/5k last Saturday I had gone home to ice bath and make sure that I didn't do anything but rest. I knew I had a 6AM start to the half marathon on Sunday to complete the Beck's Light Challenge. I had no time goal at all for the half marathon; I just wanted to finish it so that I could get that medal and wear my jacket proudly.

I got up at 4:15 AM on Sunday to grab a super fast breakfast and head down to the Convention Center to meet up with Tori. The weather was forecast to be terrible in every sense of the word (30 MPH winds and thunderstorms), and she had mentioned she had a waterproof case for my phone that I could borrow. True to the forecast, the bottom of the sky fell out just as I walked into the convention center. The wind was terrible, and it was cold; it was a complete flip from the weather on Saturday that had been hot, humid, and miserable. 

The race managers did a fantastic job of stopping panic and worry and never making any announcement about canceling or pushing back the start time. They just came over speakers and told us to stay in the convention center until they mentioned otherwise. We did that, the rain moved on, and we were told to head out to the start. I honestly don't even know what time it started, but I'm thinking we were really close to that 6 AM goal time.

Luckily I had brought a trash bag, and I cut a hole in it for my head and arms and threw that over me to keep warm and dry; it was still sprinkling a little as we head outside. Right when we got to the starting line they played the national anthem, and we were off. I again crossed the starting line quite a while back from when the actual clock started (I think somewhere like 8 or 9 minutes back...).

I ran into my first and only problem of the whole weekend about a half mile into the race. We made a sharp turn onto a super narrow bridge, and we bottle necked so badly. There were a few times where we literally were stopped. Since I wasn't trying to PR it didn't matter, but if I had been trying to go for a certain time I know I would have gotten super anxious and mad. I was also in a bad position because I hadn't lined up in the front half of the group where I was supposed to. I was behind people who could have been trying to run 3 hour half marathons, so that was my only frustration.

I didn't look at my Garmin the first little while for distance because I was just sort of in for the long haul. I was enjoying the scenery along Davis Island and just thinking how lucky I am to be able to do something that I love so much. When I looked down to check my distance for the first time I had already hit 4 miles! I was trying to keep a slow and steady pace around 10:30 because I didn't know if my legs might fall off halfway through or really what would happen since I had run 12.4 the day before.

Holding up a 3 for the third race of the weekend!

Around mile 5 we crossed back over onto Bayshore, and from there it was the same out and back I had run for the 15k and the 5k before. This time for some reason I just really enjoyed it a lot more! It was really windy, but the rain had stopped. I took off the trash bag and eventually threw it to the side.

I soaked up my surroundings and just felt pride and excitement in what I was doing. My pace picked up and I let myself run faster. I held around a 9:45 for the rest of the race. I stopped once at a port-o-potty to go to the bathroom, but the line was too long so I ran for a little while until the next one with no line. I think that cost me a minute or two in the long run, but I was okay with it.

When we got to the turn around I was excited to be heading back towards the finish line, but downtown looked SO far away (you can see it from anywhere on Bayshore, and at that point it just looked so so teensy, and I couldn't believe I had to run all the way back). At that moment, all I could think of was getting my medal(s). I couldn't wait to get the awesome skull and cross bones for the half marathon I was running, but I ultimately wanted that Beck's Light Challenge one around my neck.

I can't remember miles 9-11. I know I ran them and didn't stop, but beyond that I don't remember a lot. I took out my phone to snap a few pictures for the last mile.

Not a bad view heading to the finish.

And the view I'd been running for all weekend!

There are also a few fun pictures of me taken by the marathonfoto people along the course.

 They caught me near the finish posing and then caught me when I had no idea. That was only a few yards from the finish I believe.

And then the finish line. I cried. I was so happy. And I finished officially in 2:14:28 (the clock time shown above is from when the starting gun went off...but remember I didn't cross the starting line for a long time after that. We wear chips on our bibs that track our own personal time.).

There are other details I know I've left that I walked through a few water stops or that I went to the bathroom in a port o potty next to own that was blown over by wind, but that's okay. In the end I had the most amazing weekend, and it was so personally fulfilling. I'll never forget it.

After the finish. All smiles.

And then...I headed straight home...took a shower...and put on the Beck's Light Challenge finisher's fleece I'd been waiting to wear!

I don't look cute...and I don't care. Sorry...

And as a quick update...I had a bridal shower this weekend and will share about it tomorrow. It was wonderful and lovely and I can't wait for you to see.


Miss Lace said...

That looks like a really fun marathon. Congratulations on such a big accomplishmen!

Lauren said...

Congrats on your big finish that is so awesome! :-)

melanie said...

you are my idol! (no joke...)


Wow! I am so inspired by all of your running. I have done a few events in the past but I have never been able to keep up the running after the event. I think your story might just give me the inspiration I need! Keep it up! I cannot wait to read more.


Wow! I am so inspired by all of your running. I have done a few events in the past but I have never been able to keep up the running after the event. I think your story might just give me the inspiration I need! Keep it up! I cannot wait to read more.

Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter said...

Congrats Again! Such an accomplishment. I had a great time chatting pre-race. Let's do it again soon!

Meghan said...

That is so amazing, Meghan! I love all of your pics, and the medals look good on you! You nailed it!

Jess said...

What an incredible accomplishment. I'm am so inspired by your race and am seriously considering tackling the Beck's Lite Challenge myself next year. And no worries about the delay in recaping, it took me a week to post my recap on my first 1/2 marathon too!

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...


lori said...

congrats!! you did amazing!

Kristin said...

Way to be! And the sky looks amazing in those pics!

KatSnF said...

nicely done girl! such crazy weather that weekend too!

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