Monday, December 15, 2008

THE BIG HALF-MARATHON, otherwise known as the only exciting thing in my life right now

Finally the day of the big half-marathon came! After a sleepless night and lots of butterflies in my stomach, my alarm rang at 6 a.m. to get ready for the big event. I rolled out of bed and started the clothes layering process for our run in the 28 degree weather (though it did warm up to the 30s by the time we started). My "team" (the friends I have been training with for months now) showed up a few minutes later and we drove up to the Charlotte Convention Center to check in and get ready for the race.

We were overwhelmed at all the people there to run the race especially the people we called "professionals" - the ones wearing tight spandex pants, also the old wrinkled men were professionals and the people already wearing t-shirts and shorts. Needless to say, I didn't look like a professional. It's ok though because I was there just to finish. The starting line was different than I expected, because there were so many people running the race, it was basically just a big crowd of people waiting to start running, we barely heard the shotgun and then finally we were off!

Alison kept us to a speedy pace for a couple of miles and then I started getting a bit of a sideache so Michelle and I let her go ahead and kept to a slower pace that I could handle - no pride here, I just wanted to finish without having to stop and walk. Then at about mile 4 something really fun happened, we were running on one side of a busy street that was closed down for the race and I heard two of my friends scream my name. They were driving to come cheer us on and were stuck in the traffic. That was a much-needed boost, especially since someone turned to me and said, did you know them? I felt like such a celebrity.

Then those same friends kept showing up at different mile markers along the way to cheer us on. I appreciated that SO much, it totally kept me excited and going. Also Austin and the kids made big signs and came to cheer me on - that was motivating too.

I truly enjoyed the entire race until about the last .2 mile when I just couldn't believe it wasn't done yet! Then I crossed the finish line and stopped on my wobbly legs and enjoyed a band and free food and drinks. Then my family and friends congratulated me so I felt special and the rest of the day I took naps and ate lots of chocolate and dreamed of my next race (probably in April and I know Tricia, Heather and Molly are dying to join in!)

Thanks for my cheerleaders and my team who made this such a fantastic and life-changing experience!



Cooper all bundled up to come watch the race.

Will and the sign he made for me.

The sign Austin and Cooper made - notice Cooper wrote, "I hope you can do it."

The first of 27 layers to try to keep warm.

"The Team" minus Jolin






14 comments:

Jessica said...

Shanda, in that first pic you look practically anorexic!!! :)

Jenn-Lee said...

That is so exciting Shanda! I am so happy for you! Wow! I am sure you trained hard for that. You deserved all the cheering on. How fun t o have such great support. Congrats again!

Jess said...

Wow Shanda---that's AWESOME! Not many people can say they've completed the big 13.1. I hope your recovery is going well. Yay for you!!!!

Jolley's said...

Yeah!! I was hoping you'd have some good pics, mine didn't turn out so great. That really was so much fun and I'm so glad that you kicked my booty all "season" long on those early morning Saturday runs to keep me motivated. You did AWESOME!! I'm super proud of you!

Molly said...

Yay! Good for you! Really, I'm very impressed. You've definitely inspired me. And you look fantastic.

Carrie said...

Congrats and BRRRR!

Erin said...

I am so proud of you! What an accomplishment! Perhaps in the next life you can convince me to join you! For now... running is madness! ; ) You look amazing! You are absolutly gorgeous! Outside too!

arinandevasmom said...

That was SOOOO great! My favorite of all your posts ever! You did it! Congratulations! And Will is hands down the cutest and sweetest little boy on the planet. That sign is darling. I was surprised at my first 1/2 too at how far back from the starting line I was. Crazy how many people show up to run these things!

Embers said...

ha i heard about that! Sounds like you had fun, congrats! running...jogging... anything but walking... isn't really my thing.

George & Britt said...

Congratulations! That's so exciting! So, are you hooked now :)

Sean and Candace said...

You do Rock Shanda! Congratulations!

Sarah McBride said...

I am just so inspired by you guys!
I totally am going to make that one of my goals...someday

Audrey said...

man Shanda, you rock!! sorry I missed it. hope you guys have a great Christmas.

Brumbaugh Family said...

Shanda, that is so awesome you did that. Thanks for the Christmas card. If you want to send me your e-mail I'll send you a invite to our blog. lloyd_em_brmbgh@hotmail.com