Time for another running update. Last Sunday was the big day! I had been training for about 10 months to run in my first half marathon, and last week I checked it off my bucket list! The entire night before the race, I was anxious and did not sleep well. I tried to go to bed early, but ended up tossing and turning until around midnight. The race started at 7:00AM in Lincoln, NE. Since this is an hour away from my house, and since we were required to check in early, and since there were 10,000 people in this race, it was an early morning.
My friend Akanksha and I got up around 4:15 AM, ate peanut butter toast (for the energy, duh) and drove in a LIGHTNING STORM to Lincoln. The entire way we debated the level of crazy we were. Akanksha firmly stated that if it was even sprinkling when the race started she would wait in the car, drive home later, run 13.1 miles on her own, and call it good. I also did not want to run in the rain. However, this was my first time and I had been training forever. So I did not want to back out.
Luckily, the rain and lightning stopped right as we drove into Lincoln. Despite the threatening clouds, the morning turned out beautiful. It was the perfect morning for a nice long run. Wading through 10,000 people, we found our way to the starting line. The anthem played, the starting gun went off… and we then proceeded to wait for 30 minutes for the sea of people to slowly pass the start line. Once again, Akanksha asked how crazy a person has to be to stand in line for 30 minutes to run a half marathon.
Finally, it was our turn to start, and so we took off. From there on out, it went by in a blur. I do have to say, I have never seen such support for a race! It was amazing to see all the people who came out to support the runners. I wish I had a camera along with me (not sure how that would work) to capture the support, signs, and cheers from the crowds. There were literally people cheering along the ENTIRE race. Everyone had signs. Some were motivational… “You are stronger than you think, keep going!” Some supportive… “I don’t know you but I’m proud of you!” And some were just plain hilarious (and those were my favorite)…
Along with the supportive and entertaining signs, there were several bands, church choirs, and drum lines along the way. There was ever one guy holding a boombox, and an Elvis impersonator. Supporters had even pulled their cars over along the highway to cheer us on as we ran past. It was pretty amazing, and I think all the support really did help!
In the end, we ran into Memorial Football Stadium and crossed the finish line at the 50 yard line, with our pictures up on the big screen. Chad and Thaddaeus, (the husbands) were there to support us and take photos. They yelled from above as we ran into the stadium. Akanksha finished the race in 2 hour 7 minutes (she’s a speedster!).
I finished in 2 hours 16 minutes! I was really happy with that. It was my first time, and I was going for distance and not time. However, I was still really happy with my time!
In the end, I was so glad I did this run. I worked really hard to get to this point, and I was very proud to finish the race and be able to say I have done a half marathon. It was so much fun and such a great experience, that I think I will definitely have to sign up again next year! But I can’t say I have any desire to do the full marathon, only half crazy.