Mission Accomplished!

All my stress dreams were for naught.

I did it, in 2 hours 36 minutes! I honestly thought I would have to walk during the last 5k, but I was wrong. My tired legs kept churning, except for a 30 second break on one last nasty hill.

That’s still a long time to be out running, and it was a bit lonely. It was not a chipped race, and my Runkeeper actually told me I ran 13.47 at an 11:40 pace. There just weren’t many people running the half-marathon today; it’s a big school fundraiser and full of families doing the 1 mile and 5k, some braver 10k parents and the crazies like me attempt the half-marathon. Today was also the big Des Moines marathon and half-marathon, which Candy Ass ran (at a kick ass pace…she finished in 4 hrs 43!). She said there were thousands of half-marathoners. My official race results are not out, but I think there were under 100 of us. And only one porta-potty on the whole course! Can you imagine?

There were some fun people near me, one wearing a tutu and rainbow leggings, another in purple tye-dye capris and big slouchy purple socks. I was very happy to be in my performance fabric; I have no chafing, no blisters, no sores anywhere to show. In fact, I was surprised to see a guy in what looked like something out of “Heaven Can Wait.” That just dated me, didn’t it?

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Seriously, how can you run 13 miles without feeling hot, gross and gaining some major thigh chafing in that kind of gear? I guess they used to, but we’ve come a long way, right?

There were folks in tights, some in shorts, some with gloves, some with wool hats. We all must have really different body temps…I had to take my long-sleeved top off half-way.

I nailed my nutrition, and I have to say that the Tyr drinks work for me. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but it gives me more of a boost than G2 Gatorade. But it tastes awful! On my last 10-miler I tried the orange. It gave me more energy and I had less cramping, but for some creepy reason it made think of Jim Jones and the cyanide-laced Kool Aid he administered to his cult in the 70s. As a kid, that freaked me out for years. I kept thinking, “Didn’t it taste icky? Why did they drink it?” I stayed way away from Kool Aid for life. So this time I  got the tropical punch flavor as Running Wild was giving away free samples. This morning I took a sip and decided it tasted like cherry cough syrup. Ugh. Are you listening Tyr folks? Take the bitter out, please.

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Ballet Boy commented that maybe it would’ve been a good idea to try it beforehand. Of course he was right, but I decided it would be my “medicine” on the run and anytime I started feeling dizzy, queasy or low energy, I needed a sip. It worked! I still prefer it to lemon-lime Gatorade. The water station my brother was manning at mile 9 had the green stuff, and I almost spit it out. It tasted like toilet cleaner, not that I know what that would taste like.

All in all, I felt good, and was amazed that I could maintain an 11 minute pace for the first 10k. There were some low points, but never as much as my worst recent runs, and I got my first medal. Ballet Boy was there rooting for me at the finish. He filmed my finish and yelled, “Way to go mom on your first half-marathon!!” That made my day. He also ran the last mile with me.

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Rose getting the race report

But this whole run and saga is dedicated to my good buddy Rose, who has to retire from running. At almost 9 years old, she has been my running friend through my debuts, comebacks, and trials and errors. This fall she’s started limping after runs, and she did again after a long rest and then my last 2 miler this week. She will now be my walking buddy, and I will love her to death. She wanted a full recount of the race, and to hear about the rogue dog that cut through the race on a joy run with no owner at mile 10. She may have hampered a much-needed nap, but she is my bosom buddy and kindred spirit. Live on, Rose!

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