I did it!!! On Saturday June 4th, 2011 I ran my 1st half marathon with Team Challenge and it was one of the BEST days of my life:)!!!
In true blogger fashion I’ve decided to recap the entire experience for you all since so many of you donated to my race and made it possible for me to experience such an amazing event in my life.
Thursday morning my momma and I hit the road at 9:00am. We only stopped a few times and made good time getting to Holiday Inn Dulles, VA around 3pm.
During the day on Friday my mom and I checked out the local outlet mall, ate lunch at Panera bread and then headed to Leesburg to check out the town. My mom was on a mission buy some Yuengling beer since they don’t sell it in Ohio, so that became her priority. She was successful and then we headed back to hotel.
At 3pm we had to meet my team again. We all headed to Landsdowe resort to pick up our race packets and to check out the race expo. We hung out at the resort until our inspirational pasta party started.
The pasta party was AWESOME and so organized. There was over 300 people there representing numerous Team Challenge teams around the country. They announced that this season of teams raised over 2.3 million dollars for the CCFA. The top fundraiser was a 21 year-old guy who raised $133,000!!! My final amount was $2580.00:)!!! They also had an 8 year-old little boy suffering from Crohn’s get up and give an amazing and inspiring speech. The dinner really reminded me of why I was there!
Saturday morning, I was up bright and early at 4:10am!!! I got dressed, had a banana and a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast and then headed to the lobby to meet my team. I was READY!!! And this suprise was on my hotel door…
We boarded the bus at 5:15am to head to the race. It was a 35 minute minute drive and it was BEAUTIFUL OUT:)!!!
Mile 1-5: The first five miles went REALLY well. I was rocking out to my music and ran with my amazing coach Heather. The scenery was beautiful and I was really taking in the crowds. Heather turned back to help other team members right at mile 5 so then I was on my own.
Mile 5-7: I really fell into my zone. I was keeping a great pace to finish at my 2:20 goal. Again, the crowds were amazing and I loved looking at the beautiful scenery. At mile 6.5, I decided it was time to try to fuel so I ate a couple pretzels and 2 swedish fish. I gagged as I was trying to fuel and run so that wasn’t fun. At this point I had stopped at every water station so I still felt really good.
Mile 7-9: At mile 7, I spotted our team endurance manager, Carissa, so it was nice to see a familiar face. She ran with me for a minute so that was a nice distraction. Miles 7-9 were on a dirt road that was lined with canopy trees. Although it was nice to be in the shade for a couple miles, I found this part to be boring. I really preferred being on the wide open road looking at the hills and horse farms. But all was good because at mile 9 I got to see my momma!!!
Mile 9-11.5: After seeing my mom, I got a short second wind. It was so nice to see her and I kept telling myself that I only had 4.10 miles left. At mile 11, I ran with coach Jay for a bit and exhaustion started to set in.
Mile 11.5-13.1: It was HOT and the sun was shining. My legs were tired and I was thirsty. The last mile and a half were the hardest miles of my life. And were all UPHILL that no one told us about. Every part of me wanted to stop and walk but I keep reminding myself that this was what I worked so hard for the last 4 months and the race was so much bigger than myself. As I got closer to the finish line I could hear my mom screaming my name and I pushed my way through the finish line.
My goal was to run the race in 2:20 and I finished in 2:20:16 and that was good enough for me:)!!! I immediately got my medal, water and laid on the ground. I was so overheated, I thought I was going to throw up or pass out!
Sorry Momma! I’m so glad I got to share this experience with you and love you SO much:)!!! All in all the race was everything and more that I thought it was be and I am incredibly proud of myself for taking on and accomplishing such an amazing goal (fundraising and running). I have to give a big shout out to Team Challenge. It was an amazing experience and organization. And last but not least I have to give a bigger shout out to my amazing team and my coaches Heather and Jay. You both are AMAZING awesome people and I thank you both for your support and guidance you both have earned a friend for life!!!
Now it’s time to spend some time with my hubby who I missed SO much and to get a good night sleep! This weekend was amazing:)!!!