Sunday, May 26, 2013

Emily Libbert: Half Marathon Finisher! YAY!

Well its been awhile. So long that I almost forgot I had a blog, but my SIL, Kelly Kampeter reminded me I have one when she told me she was looking forward to my post about the little half-marathon I completed yesterday. I'm actually pretty glad she said that because I don't want to forget the day. I feel so accomplished for completing it that I want to "jot down" some of my memories. First a quick goal update:

Total miles for the year: 165.41
Total jogged for the year: 108.2
Toning time for the year: 8.75 (hope to put more focus on this now that the half is over, and I'm ahead on my miles for awhile).
Books read: 136 (a little behind with our crazy, busy schedule lately... bedtime has been coming later and later).
Master's classes: 2 completed (6 hours total) and currently taking 2 classes at once. AUGH! These sessions can sure pass by quickly!

Along with my goals, I'm now back to calorie counting. I let myself gain back 5-6 lbs and I was starting to not like my body again. Fired back up on MFP. Also working on drinking more water. I'm hoping the water helps flush out my system and get rid of some of the bad things I continue to eat. Food is my weakness! I have found that the more water you drink, the more water you crave. That's a good thing!

Ok... now for the half-marathon update. Well training hadn't been going so well the past several weeks. The longest trip I got in was 8.11 miles and that was back on April 6! Since then I've had some shorter trips. Many of which included pushing a jogging stroller with two kiddos. I don't get much running in that way. so needless to say I was extremely worried that I wouldn't even be able to cross the finish line without becoming too exhausted and someone having to come get me! For real!

Race day: Alarm went off at 4:00. I laid in bed for about 10 minutes checking Facebook and the weather and then the weather again and again. It looked like there was a little rain in the area of the race, but that it would clear off long enough for the race and then might rain later in the afternoon. HA. Finally got out of bed and got ready in a dark and quiet house. The rest of the fam was sleeping away soundly (for the most part). Headed out the door by 4:40 a.m. and met up with the girls (Kelly, Liz and Gina) in Westphalia. We picked up Emily along the way. I was very nervous all morning. Nerves hadn't hit me until that morning, which is probably a good thing. I also had gotten a nice text from my Aunt who was also running the race. She has such an inspirational story. She lost over 100 lbs since last year in February and was scheduled to run the half-marathon with us! So excited for her! We got to Columbia a little after 6:00 and started getting ready by the car. We got our chips on our shoes, numbers on our shirts, and stood around in the frigid morning air. It was in the upper 40s/lower 50s and at that time not raining, but definitely not sunny. We took some before pictures, made a bathroom stop, and then lined up. The excitement was building as we lined up and all the women were getting their devices ready to calculate miles and their music ready to go. They were playing some songs and we were all kinda dancing and smiling. Finally... the countdown and the race began. My original goal was to run at least the first 4 miles (it had been awhile since I had ran). I made it 4.5 and ran most of it with Emily Logan. At that point, we reached a hill and I ended up getting some water at the "fueling" station and then walked up the hill. I only walked 2/10ths of a mile and then started jogging again. About the time we got to the halfway point, there were some pretty ominous looking clouds approaching and thunder was in the background. We traveled through a beautiful scenic trail and then through and along some city streets. Along the way there were volunteers at the water stations and some supporters scattered all throughout the race. I loved looking at and reading the signs and hearing all of the supporters cheering for us, even if they didn't know us! It was such a neat atmosphere. Once we approached half-way I was starting to wear down a little. I couldn't believe we were ONLY halfway and had already gone 6.5 miles. The end seemed so far away and I thought about quitting. The only bad thing was that there was no way back other than to run/walk. Ha! So I pushed on up this little hill and that big one and down some little hills as well. We wound our way through the streets, the city trail, and the MKT trail. This was all a part of Columbia that I never knew was there. I still don't really know where all we were. I was just following the path. :) At about the 8 mile mark, it started to sprinkle and by the 9 mile mark, it started to pour. It slowed down a little while later, but the thunder and lightning set it and we were in for a downpour by the 11 mile marker. At this point I was purely exhausted, sick of wiping rain from my face/eyes/everything and just ready to be done. I knew that I had to finish, though. There was no other choice. My goal was to only have walked 1 mile of the entire race, but toward the end, my legs just couldn't go anymore in the pouring rain. My final total was about 1.25 miles walked and the rest were jogged/ran. I was getting angry and wondering why it had to rain of all days on this race day that so many of us women had looked forward to. I ended up walking/jogging the last 2 miles to finish it out. Once I got to only about a half a mile left, I thought I would be able to finish it out jogging and pushed and pushed, but my legs were about to give in and my shoes and socks were soaked (along with the rest of me). At that point, I just wanted to be done (and then there's that crack of lightning that shared the daylights out of me and another runner), though so that's what got me through. I could hear the finish line ahead and ended up jogging the last 3/10ths of a mile just to finish. That was about the time the rain finally slowed to a stop. I came around the corner and saw the finish line. I was looking for familiar faces, but didn't see any waiting for me at that point. I heard them call my name as I crossed the "fake" finish line and threw my hands up as if to say, "I did it." Still no familiar faces, but crossed across the line, got my chip cut off my shoe, grabbed a bottle of water and "walked it out" around the corner. Finally I saw part of my group standing around the corner after grabbing my metal and wine glass. All I wanted at that point was a drink, some food, and a warm, dry bed!

My finishing time was 2 hours, 33 minutes, and 24 seconds. Not too bad for a momma of two, full time teacher, and Master's student. I was very pleased with that time. I was hoping to finish in under 3 hours and closer to 2 1/2 would have been great, so I was very happy with my time. I just wish the rain wouldn't have ruined the ending. People were cold and wet and not sticking around to cheer others on to the finish which was a little disappointing after coming that far. I imagined the finish line to be more crowded with more people cheering me on.
I can't say yet whether or not I'll do another one. The rain nearly ruined the joy. I am proud of my accomplishment though, and glad that I pushed myself to try something so tough to do.
(This was a brief synopsis of the race. There are a few missing pieces, but time has run out. I'm just glad to have blogged this much. Hopefully this is the start of more great accomplishments headed my way! Thanks for reading!)
 My Aunt Cheryl and I before the race. We were lined up at the starting line at this point. So proud of her. She is such an inspiration to so many. 
 My final watch totals.13.24 miles. 1664 calories burned during the trip (woo whooo!) 
The blister I got from my shoes. I think mostly from them being sopping wet by the end. Not gonna lie, it's a little painful at times. 

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