Monday, May 21, 2012

Divas Half Marathon Race Recap

I am officially a half marathoner! It's almost surreal that I can say that. Although my body hurts enough to make it very real!

I woke up at 2 am on race day, not because that was when I needed to be up, but my bladder woke me up & my mind started racing so I couldn't go back to sleep. Then Ladybug (almost 5 years old) was up coughing from a lovely cold, so there was no chance that I could get any more sleep.

My pre-race anxiety was heightened by the fact that my phone decided to bite the dust on Saturday night. It wouldn't charge. I'm over-due for an upgrade, but I had decided to wait until after the race so I wouldn't have to fumble with a new phone. So I not only was without GPS to monitor my pace, but I couldn't text my family when I was done. It's amazing how dependent we can be on those little devices.
Wearing pink & purple, like a true diva!

A little bit after 4 am, I got up to start getting ready. I got dressed & made my pre-race smoothie to drink on the way to the race. I kept it simple since my tummy was doing flip-flops from the anxiety: coconut milk, Chia seeds, banana, spinach, & a spoonful of peanut butter.

I left a little after 5:00 to pick up my running-mom friend, Yvette. She blames me for getting her into to running, but she has long legs & is built for running. So I think she would have discovered running with or without me. It was nice to have someone to chat with during the 30 minute drive.

We arrived in North Myrtle Beach with plenty of time to spare, found a great parking space, wandered to the starting area, & had time to use the porta-potties. As we waited, we meet two other running mamas who had driven in from Atlanta & Charlotte. When it came time for us to line up with our pace groups, Yvette moved up & I stayed back with Tina & Val.

Not having my GPS turned out to be a blessing because I could just enjoy the race without worrying about pace. I was able to stay with new friends Tina & Val until I had to make a pit stop around 7.5 miles. Their company made the first seven miles fly by. When I stopped, I told them I would try to catch up but I never did. I hope they had a great race.

Around that time, I felt blisters forming on my right foot. It was more comfortable to jog than to walk, so my walk breaks turned into jog breaks. I still felt really good, we had plenty of shade, & I was keeping to my fuel/hydration plan.

Mile 9 was when we came out into full sun & things started to get rough. I just don't do well running in full sun. I would grab two cups of water at each station, drink part of one & dump the rest on me. My stomach started feeling yucky because of the heart too & I didn't have much to eat from this point.

Miles 9-11 were the toughest part of the course. Part of mile 10 was out on the highway, in the full sun with lots of traffic whizzing by. I started doing a lot more walking than I had planned. After turning off the highway, the course went thru a partially completed subdivision. One couple was outside their house to cheer us on, & the gentleman had his garden hose out to give us a quick cool off as we ran by. What a blessing!

In mile 11, a woman who had already finished was running the course backward, giving everyone high-fives & saying, "You are stronger than you think!" That gave me the oomph that I needed to keep going. I knew I wouldn't quit, but the heat was really taking it's toll on me.

In mile 12 we started to see more spectators as the course turned back onto Ocean Boulevard. I was walking as fast as I could, adding in short run intervals. At this point, the blisters were pretty bad & my piriformis started barking at me. I dumped more water on myself at the last water station & set my sights on finishing strong.

About four blocks from the finish, there was a station to pick up a tiara & pink feather boa. Once I got those on, I was determined to run as hard as I could. I knew my A goal of 3 hours was gone, but I wanted to finish strong. Right before the finish line, we turned from Ocean Boulevard onto Main Street. The crowd was awesome, & I started to get choked up. I had to really focus on my breathing so I wouldn't start hyper-ventilating. I did it! I finished a half-marathon!!! Official time: 3:24:18

Huge bling!
There were half-clothed fireman at the finish to give us our medals. We also got a red rose & a glass of champagne (and a bottle of water). Once I got my picture taken, I grabbed some food and started to wander toward my car. My friend Yvette was going home with her family who drove over to see her finish, so I was driving home alone. At this point, I really missed my phone. I wanted to text & tweet so I could share my accomplishment. I was ready to get home, so I quickly took of my running shoes to survey the blisters & don my flip-flops for the drive home. The blisters were bad but not as bad as I thought.

When I pulled onto our street, Hubby & Ladybug were waiting outside for me, clapping & cheering, & I got choked up again. LB immediately took ownership of my tiara & pink boa, as I knew she would. She is definitely a future diva. After I showered & stretched some more, we went out for a celebratory lunch.
Diva Heather (after a shower!)

Although I feel disappointed that I walked more than I had planned, I am very proud that I finished strong. I'll definitely do another half marathon, but I think I'll wait a little while. And kudos to the Run Like a Diva team - you put on a great race!

Thank you for your amazing support & encouragement throughout my training! I learned a lot about myself, I know that I am stronger than I thought I was, and I'm proud to call myself a diva!


  1. So proud of you girl!!! I've never attempted a half marathon, but you are so inspiring, I might have to give it a try!

  2. That is SO awesome! You are totally inspiring me to get back at it... and just do something to work up to that goal! So proud of you!!!

  3. Go Heather!! You are an inspiration to aspiring runners. Great job on your half marathon. One question, where is the tiara and boa pic?? I would love to see it :)

    1. Shannon, I added a pic with my tiara & feather boa! Just for you!

  4. Great job pushing through to a strong finish!!!!! Congratulations, Half Marathoner!!!

  5. Great job mama! I'm sorry I didn't see you there... it did get hot, and I struggled the last 2 miles but it's another one in the books! Are you registered for next year yet???

  6. Woohoo!! Awesome! I've loved reading about all your training and now your race recap! You are awesome and such an inspiration!

  7. Congratulations!! You did a great job & you're such an inspiration!

  8. Congratulations to you!! Seriously, that is amazing. I run 5K's and always joke to my friends that run farther that I would drive and meet them at the finish. :)

    What an awesome accomplishment!

  9. That is SO FREAKING COOL! Way to go!!!

  10. I have tears streaming down my face! You are amazing! I am so excited for you, and proud!!! YOU DID IT!!!!!! So awesome!!! (man I wish I could stop crying.....)You are inspiring me. Thank you! And CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

  11. What an inspiration you are!! Way to go!!

  12. congratulations! You are an inspiration and an amazing woman.
    You never know how many lives you touch and the good you do.