Thursday, June 7, 2012

The one with the Half Marathon

You knew it was coming. The POST Half Marathon Post.

I admit. If I were you, I'd be thinking right about now "ENOUGH WITH ALL THE HALF MARATHON TWEETS/FACEBOOK POSTS/ETC."

And part of me apologizes. The other part of me wants to blog about it.

So I'll meet you half way. I'll apologize, and then I'll blog about the Rock and Roll San Diego Half Marathon.  And then that will be it. :-)

After landing in San Diego, I was greeted by 68 degree weather, gorgeous views, and FAMILY!!!!  My aunt/uncle/cousin/sister picked me up from the airport and of course, Caralyn and I immediately began taking pictures. :-)

We walked around Little Italy for just a bit before making it to our reservations at an incredible place called Indigo Grill. It was unbelievably awesome. We started the night off with a bottle of Rock and Roll wine, pecan crusted Brie cheese, and great conversation.

We had all agreed we wanted to try to stay on East coast time as much as possible so that the morning of our run we would not feel as though we were waking up at 3:30am, but 6:30am. We headed to the hotel and settled in for the night.

Saturday morning we loaded up with a strong breakfast then went to the Rock and Roll Expo to pic up our race numbers, shirts, and packets. THIS is when I started to get REALLLLLY excited. The lady who handed me my packet said "You know about filling this informaton out, right?" I said "Nope! First 1/2 marathon!" She looked at me, saw my grin, and said "Ahhhh! You look so excited! I'm excited FOR YOU!" (yes, my bib has my twitter name on it.) :-)
We walked around the expo for a good part of the morning then headed to run some errands. We went to a running store where cousin, uncle, and sister got new pairs of shoes (not for the race, but just to have). Then we took a drive to La Jolla for some sight seeing, frozen yogurt, and pictures.

After our excursions we met up with the Carpenter family for our carb-loading Italian dinner. The Carpenters are friends of my aunt/uncle as they are working on a project for a movie . After dinner we headed back to the hotel. The time had come. One more sleep til the race :-) I laid out my things for the next morning and set my alarm clock for 3:30am.
When we all woke up Sunday morning we had several goals. Use the restroom (might be TMI, but whatever. It's the truth and needed before trying to run a long distance), make sure we have everything, and make it to the start line!
ready to go!
We get to the start line and here's where things got going! My uncle and cousin were running the full marathon while Caralyn and I were running the half. It wasn't until the LAST MINUTE that we met all of our goals (previously listed) and we were all relieved! :-) 

We were all in separate corrals and knew we would each be starting at different times. Here are a few pictures I snapped while waiting in line to start my run:

 The green light flashed and we were on our way.

The first mile was tricky as there were SO MANY people. but after that, things smoothed out, people spread out, and we were in the zone. I honestly didn't see any signs telling me how far I'd gone until mile 4. The first 4 miles were a blast. Running through the city, seeing so many people cheering, just the feeling of "I AM DOING THIS!"

After mile 4, we headed on to the interstate and I had to get my phone out to snap this picture:
People. This view was GORGEOUS! Seriously. So beautiful.

I felt great until mile 10. Honestly. I wasn't winded/tired at all the first 10 miles.

Then came the 11th mile. I honestly wanted to start crying. My body was exhausted, my legs were cramping, I was thinking "WHAT IN THE HECK!!!!" Honestly, I started telling myself "Eh, I'm ok with only ever running 10 miles. I don't need to do 13."

The stretch of miles 10-11.5 were the worst. At one point I felt the tears coming and I just was SO tired. as I rounded a corner I heard music blaring, cheerleaders were on the side cheering, and Kelly Clarkson's song "Stronger" was blasting. At this point, I realize, I CAN do this. Tears started rolling down my cheeks and I just pushed through. During the last 3 miles, my time slowed considerably and I just kept thinking "it doesn't matter. Just finish and don't walk.

Mile 12, medics were on the sidelines passing out popsicle sticks with globs of vasoline on them for people who'd been chafing. That would be me. My sports bra had done quite a number along the bottom part of the band. I just grabbed a stick and kept running while applying the vasoline. (one of my favorite signs held on the sidelines was this: Chafe now: Brag later)

I saw the sign for mile 12 and knew I was almost done. Our finish line was in Sea World and as we looped around to finish SO MANY PEOPLE were on the sidelines screaming/cheering/waving.  I couldn't really even enjoy them because all I wanted to scream BACK at them was "WHERE IS THE FREAKING FINISH LINE?!?!?!"

Because we looped into Sea World we had several corners to run. We couldn't just look ahead and see the finish. Sure enough- I see it- and keep telling myself "HOLD IT TOGETHER. DO NOT START CRYING." I just kept running. And then it happend. I crossed the line. I was done. I had just run 13.2 miles.

Of course stopping felt SOOO bizarre. My legs were like "um, what are you doing?!?!?!?!"

I got my medal, grabbed water, gatorade, a banana, and just wandered around looking at everyone, everything, and was in a daze. I may or may not have looked Zombie like. :-)

I didn't know where Caralyn was or anyone else so I just walked around. All I could think was "I want to sit down!" but there was no where to sit. So I just started looking for family. A random stroke of luck I ran into everyone and just started bawling!!!! We were all giving each other a sweaty mess of a hug. I felt a bit bad because everyone was congratulating ME, but in actuality, I should have been congratulating THEM! My uncle and cousin had just finished 26.2 MILES and Caralyn had set a new PR. But they just kept saying "Minda! YOU DID IT!!!"

That's what sent me over the edge. I needed that. I was so proud. Really.

But Uncle Steve, Michael, and Caralyn, if you read this: I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!

My uncle finished and qualified for the BOSTON MARATHON!!!


My friend Leticia had told me: whatever you do- wear that medal ALL DAY LONG. 

And believe me. I did. :-) 

I even wore it while taking my nap. 
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, napping, and eating. :-) We all headed back to our respective states on Monday morning and of course, first thing I did upon arrival in Tallahassee was get the sticker for my car. :-)

To those who cheered me on via social media....THANK YOU.
To Leticia who inspires me with every run she does, THANK YOU.
To Alexis who helped me train and encouraged me on a daily basis in the office and on the weekends while doing long runs with me.....YOU HAVE NO IDEA how incredibly grateful I am.

To my aunt mary/uncle steve who paid the way....literally..... Words aren't enough. You guys helped me achieve a goal I didn't ever think would become a reality. Thank you so much for helping to make my first half marathon so glamorous :-) Seriously- San Diego?!?! Amazing.


  1. So proud of you!
    Amazing job =)

  2. Such a fun story and journey! Love it! Yea, you did it! :)

  3. So happy and so, so proud of you girl. :)! What an amazing accomplishment! Welcome to the half-mary club!!

  4. Minda- How wonderful! I ran a half a few years ago and spend the last half of the race swearing off running forever. I cried a lot and just layed down on the dirty sidewalk. It took a toll on me physically and mentally. 3 years later I am now doing something that I never thought I would do, train for another half. Whiterock, December 2012! Congratulations on your 1/2 Minda! I know exactly what you were feeling!


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