I suppose my whole weekend started on Friday the 19th. My running partners(Beth & Tonya) & I were driving the 2.5 hours to Fargo & spending the night.
After a carb loaded lunch we hit the road. We had been hydrating all day do there were a couple of stops along the way.
We pulled into West Fargo to a friend's house. She was such a wonderful host. She had it arranged so we each had our own room & bed. She made sure we each had fresh flowers in our rooms & gave us each a welcome basket full of good stuff for us & some candy too. ;)
We(including our host) were running the 5k that evening so we changed into running gear & headed to the expo to pick up our race packets & get the first run out of the way.
5k start time was 6:30. The temperature at start was around 95* & humid. Add to that 9500 excited people. Good times. I ran about half & walked the other half. The best part was the sprinklers homeowners along the route had turned on for us.
Official Time: 41:51
We grabbed water & got the heck out of there to find some food.
The rest of the evening was spent stretching & gabbing & packing bags for the next day.
Saturday morning we woke up early to start on our water & get some breakfast in our bellies. The weather was cloudy & cool. Perfect. We left with plenty of time to get to the Fargodome, check out bags, get stretched, visit the spiffy biff, & get to the start line. Cue the blinking sign telling marathon traffic to take 12th. And there we sat in traffic for an hour. We saw runners getting out of the vehicle they were in and run to the gas station to use the bathroom. :) As we saw the start time approaching I started having an anxiety attack. I rolled down my window and started trying to take deep breaths of the fresh air. Beth & Tonya were trying to talk me down. We saw the start time come & go while sitting there.
Finally we got parked & speed walked to the starting area. I got my bag checked & we stretched & went to the bathroom. They were starting to line up the marathon runners. We made our way to the front & talked to someone who just told us to go. Our chips wouldn't start until we crossed the line & the marathon course was different than the half.
We hugged each other & Beth & Tonya took off. They run about 11m/m. It was strange running all by myself. At the same time it was nice because that's how I'd done all my training runs. We didn't have to jockey for position & go around walkers.
By about the 1.5 mile mark I started catching the tail end of the field. The first person I passed was a disabled veteran using the assistance of crutches to walk. As I ran by I said thank you. That was the first cry of the morning.
At that point I started catching more people. I can't remember my exact stat on how many people I passed. After mile 2 we crossed the Red River & into Minnesota. Yep, we ran in 2 states that day. I was pretty happy to cross back into ND though. It was pretty boring on the east side of the river. As I came up on mile 4 I got a text from my sister asking what time I started. I tried to send her a text back using voice text. This is what I got:
"That 730 but Windows Vista started about 20 minutes late and I haven't a website that you contact my mama"
By now I was at mile 4 so I checked my time & I was doing great keeping my goal pace. Pace was still good when I passed the official time clock at the 10k mark. Then we headed into downtown Fargo.
Want to hear a huge brag of mine?? I ran the entire first 8 miles!!! That's huge for me. I did a mostly run/walk form of training. I walked at water stops & that was all. I feel like shouting that from the top of the Capitol building.
Here comes the bad part...around 8.5 miles I started walking. I think all of my adrenaline from the earlier panic attack wore off. :( Every time I tried to run after this point I was in pain & immediately out of breath. I just kept forcing myself to walk as fast as I could. I made a bargain with myself that I would run the last 5k. I made it about a half mile & couldn't do it. I had a big ball of something in my gut so I stopped & waited at a port a potty. While waiting I let a huge fart fly. I felt better. ;)
After that I still did a lot of walking. Some running here & there. I checked my time at 11 & saw I was still on track to hit my goal time but it would be very very VERY close. This part of the course was also very boring.
When I saw the Fargodome, that housed the finish line, I started wogging. I turned towards it & started running. I turned & saw the 13 mile marker, fist bumped it, started crying, & ran a little faster. I crossed this finish line knowing I missed my goal time but not by much.
I moved to the medal area & got my bling then moved into the food line. I grabbed a water, chocolate milk, half banana, & a piece of cheese pizza. I found a spot to set my stuff & attempted to eat. I managed to get the banana & half the milk down. I took 1 bite of the pizza & stopped. I wasn't hungry at all.
I met up with my friends for hugs & pics then I stretched. Beth was sitting with me & telling me how happy se was for me & she asked how I felt. My response was "I don't know." I wasn't happy or sad, just mentally & physically exhausted. I apologized to her but she understood.
We went back to the house to shower & decompress a bit. At lunch I forced myself to eat a burger. Then Tonya & I hit the road for home. We made sure we stopped a couple times to stretch. Even doing that I was hurting when I got home.
It's taken me most of the week to process the whole experience. I'm happy. I'm totally fine with my time & I'm proud of myself. I enjoy talking about it. I've inspired others around me to start running. I've had comments from people that have made me cry happy tears.
I don't think I'm a "multiple halfs per year" kind of girl but....I WILL do this again. :)
Official time: 3:04:52