Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Half-Marathon Part 1 - In which I arrive, shop, and eat.

It has been a few days now since my first ever half-marathon, and I have been hobbling around, trying not to fall asleep at any given moment, throwing myself back into reality, trying to come up with the words to adequately express my experience this past weekend. And failing I think. Whatever I say will fall short of really sharing the experience with you all. Not to mention that I don't know how to pare it all down! I can see now why bloggers break their half-marathon (or marathon) recaps down into several posts. It becomes a bit like watching a slide-show of someone's vacation - you as readers can only take so much at a time. Or at all. And yet there is a desire to share every little thing that happened, because, for me at least, this was something of a monumental weekend. So all of this has been holding me back, until this morning.

This morning I was able to see the professional photos and videos from the race, and all I found myself thinking was how bad I looked, how funny I run, how I don't look like I belong out there, and why did I think a running skirt was a good idea with my legs? I got really down on myself. And that? Is completely unacceptable. Because I ran a half-marathon. 13.1 miles. I didn't quit, I didn't die, I finished. And I should feel nothing but pride in myself for that, regardless of how long it took me or how bad I think I looked while doing it. And the best way to remember those great feelings I had during and right after the run is to relive it through posting about it.

I am going to break it down, though, because it is a lot. So today we will start with the Health and Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel and surrounding events of that day. Hubby and I drove down Friday and stayed in Sherman Oaks with a best friend of mine from High School - we swam in her pool, relaxed in her hot tub and visited - it was lovely. Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast, got our stuff together and headed off to Anaheim for the expo.

Going to the expo was a requirement of the race - you had to pick your packet up there with your bib, and also your goody bag and t-shirt. Pick up for packets was downstairs, and wasn't at all busy when we got there, so I was able to just walk up and get mine.

I was surprised at the tears I had to hold back when I had this in my hand. It was the first step to actually doing the half-marathon that weekend, and the emotion just washed over me. I never thought that I would be doing this, and the reality of it hit me hard.

The goody bags were upstairs with all of the vendors, conveniently placed along the back wall of the expo so that racers had to walk by all the booths to get their stuff. They really know how to rope you in and get you to buy stuff!

I had ordered a medium technical shirt, but it was too big (always nice to say) and so I had to exchange it for a small. Then it was time to look around at all the stuff.

The expo wasn't as large as I thought it would be (although I've never actually been to one, I've read a lot of posts since Saturday that all agreed this one was smaller than normal.) The ladies from Running Skirts were there, and I took the opportunity to try on a skirt in person (I have issues ordering clothes online) and ended up buying one. It was really comfortable and cute. (Later I would find that it bothered me a bit when running, but that was more of my own issue than anything to do with the skirt. If you like running skirts, you should totally give these girls a try - they are well made with compression shorts underneath and really move with you and are pretty comfortable overall - and they aren't compensating me for this review at all. I bought my own skirt and these opinions are mine. They don't even know who I am.) I wish I had been able to buy a pair of their super cute compression socks, but I was on a limited budget. Maybe later.

I also went through the booth for One More Mile, and ended up with a tank that says "Running is a mental sport and we are all insane." Cute. Hubby bought me a 13.1 magnet for my car, and a sticker that says "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." It is a John Bingham quote. They have a lot of shirts with cute quotes on them. I also liked "Race day strategy: start slow then back off." That pretty much sums up my speed!

After perusing the expo for a while, we headed out to eat some lunch. There is a Mexican place in Anaheim that we love, and that was where we headed.


And after

From there we went to Target and then to check into our hotel, and unfortunately were given a smoking room. Apparently the discount site that I booked through doesn't guarantee non-smoking, and they were booked solid, so there was no switching rooms. It wasn't pleasant, but eventually we got used to it enough to survive. We rested a while, then swam and hot tubbed, relaxing until time to got walk around Downtown Disney and get dinner.

I'm awake, see?

Hubby is a root beer fan (although this one turned out to be a Vanilla Cream Soda - oops!)

Mmmm, Haagen-Dazs

Then it was back to the hotel to get things ready for the early morning start and try to get some sleep. I was really tired, having not slept too well the night(s) before. My body had started showing signs of anxiousness - nausea, headache, etc. I just hoped to sleep it off and be as ready as possible for the race.

Race Swag

Race outfit all laid out

1 comment:

  1. Eeek! Can't wait for Part II! Yep, they try to get you to buy tons of stuff at bigger races - love the running emblem on the skirt!

    Still so proud of you!!