May 2nd, 2009: Andrea’s First 1/2: The Columbus 1/2 Marathon

Hi guys!  Last night I was in bed by 9pm and asleep by 10pm.  I followed my plan!  I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:40 this morning which really is just damn early for a Saturday.  I started moving and shaking around the house to help wake myself up.  I poured a cup of coffee and sipped it for a few minutes then I got started making breakfast.  I had a big bowl of oatbran and almost finished the entire thing!  I got a little gaggy at the end and there were a few bites that I couldn’t manage.  I drank water as I ate breakfast. I also filled out the back of my bib and was surprised they actually had my food allergy listed!

No strawberries please

No strawberries please

That’s right, I’m allergic to strawberries.  I’ve never seen this listed before and always have to add it in.  And now you also know my med allergies. I trust you won’t use them against me. ;)

I got dressed and packed a duffle bag with towels and an extra set of clothes.  The towels were in case it rained and the clothes were in case I got super sweaty and skankelly (skanky smelly, you know what it is).  Scott packed a bag of things for him to fiddle with while he waited for me to finish the race.  There was also a small cooler full of water and drinks for after the race.

It was a cool morning!  The high today is only supposed to get to 60F and early this morning it was very chilly.  We left a bit later than we meant to but we still made it to the race with time to spare.  We luckily found parking close by that was FREE! We quickly parked and started the walk to the starting point.  I had to use the porta-potty because I had to pee like a race horse.  I thankfully went to the bathroom before leaving the house so I at least didn’t have that as a concern.  I waited in a very long slow moving line and made it to the john.  I’ll spare you the details but it was gross and I was gagging the whole time I was in there.  I was afraid I might actually cross the line into Vomitville because I was gagging so much.  But I held strong and did not!

It wasn’t long after I got out of the porta-potty that I had to line up for the race!

Race day!

Race day!

Me pre-lineup and all smiles.  I’m actually scared out of my gord at this point but you can’t even tell!  Or can you? No makeup obviously because I’m racing and am not about to wear makeup to run. One girl I saw did not have the same opinion and had on makeup like she was going clubbing. Maybe she was? We did run through the Short North so who knows.

I lined up with the others.  I thought they were going to line us up by time but we all just sort of grouped in and found a spot.

be cool, be cool

be cool, be cool

I’m very much trying not to cry and lose my shit here.  The motivational phrases they were tossing out were awesome and also getting to me just a bit.  I kept my cool and just focused on doing my run.  And no, I’m not channeling my inner Michael Jackson, those are wristbands I’m wearing to wipe off the sweat! :D  Then the line started moving!

I'm off!

I'm off!

I walked a good ways before I was at a point where the congestion eased up and I could start jogging.  The first part of the race was on brick.  Yikes!  Brick is even harder than concrete.  I made sure to take it super slow.

I kept my pace slow and steady.  I wanted to get through this race with minimal problems.  I opted not to wear my CamelBak.  It was a cool day and very overcast so I wasn’t worried about needing lots of water.  Plus it tends to weigh me down and I decided to hit the water stations if I needed a drink.

There were so many people!  I think 7,000 total were running today which just amazes me.  That is a lot when you’re seeing everyone as a huge group.

I wore my HRM and was very thankful for that.  I started it as I crossed the start line and it was more accurate for me.  The mile marker times were about 7 minutes ahead of what my HRM said because that timer started at the start of the race and not my specific start time.

I knew I was running slow and I was doing that on purpose.  About a 12 minute mile or so.  I didn’t want to push it too much.

One of my biggest fears was being super slow due to the fact that this is a new course and I had no idea where I was going.  I was pleasently surprised when the miles were just flying by!  I was around people all the time and never by myself.  There were lots of spectators and supporters the whole way along with police officers directing traffic.  Always being around people was very helpful!  Plus there were lots of people running the same pace I was so while I didn’t know them or chat with them, it was a comfort having people you recognized around you.

Scott and I thought that he would be able to see me around mile 6.  For some reason both of us seemed to recall reading on the race website that mile 6 would be close to the start and a good point for getting pictures.  It was around mile 5 that my right IT band started tightening up on me.  Crap!  Was my first thought and then I realized that I could get past this.  I had picked up my pace at this point so I slowed it back down and immediately my leg felt much better.

Whew!!  That was close!  Had my thigh tightened up on me too much I’m not sure how I would have handled that.

I never saw a mile marker for 6 miles and before I realized it I was passing the mile 7 marker.  Crap I missed Scott!  I hope he got some good pictures if he saw me is all I was thinking.

Around 8.5 miles or so I spotted a larger group of spectators.  I was running downhill and then I spotted my babies!  I didn’t miss him after all!  I waved at him as soon as I noticed him standing there.  I got a little teary at that point too because I was so happy to see him again!  That pushed me to keep going and going!

Here I come!

Here I come!

Gotta keep moving

Gotta keep moving

Later babies! See you at the finish!

Later babies! See you at the finish!

It wasn’t long after I passed Scott that I pulled over quickly to stretch my IT band.  I debated for a long time about whether or not to stop and finally decided to just stretch it and hope that helped.  I wasn’t stopped long and it did help.  I was back on my way!  At the 9mile mark I took a cup of water and pulled out my gummie bears to eat.

My stomach was feeling a bit empty and I decided to play it safe and eat some bears.  Man they were too chewy!  They weren’t super soft bears but a bit harder and chewier.  I had them tucked into a pocket in my capris so I thought they would warm up and get gooey but I guess not.  I had a few and tucked the rest back in my pocket.

I hit mile 10 and was so happy!  Only 3 more miles to go and that’s it!  I was really happy with myself at this point!  I only stopped at 3 water stations briefly for a quick sip and once to stretch my leg.  Otherwise I was running the whole time.  YaY!

I’m not sure if the mileage was slightly off or what but a lady who was running next to me said her Garmin just beeped that it was mile 11 but there was no marker around.  Finally we came up on the mile marker but it seemed like a good while before that happened.  Maybe the route on her Garmin was off a bit?  Regardless, mile 11, hooray!  Two more miles to go!

One thing about this route is that there were a ton of hills which I didn’t know about.  Very gradual inclines but hills nonetheless.  One thing I was surprised about was how much I kicked ass on hills.  While everyone else slowed down, my pace increased and I was passing everyone. :p  It also made my knee and thigh feel a bit better.  Weird!

Mile 12!  There was another hill at the end but after that it was all downhill and straight to the finish.  I booked it!  Only a mile left and I wasn’t going to waste time. I sprinted the rest of the way.

I saw Scott at one point and was able to acknowledge him and then I breezed on by.

Hell yes!

Hell yes!

The finish is right around the corner!

So close!

The finish was right around the corner!  I saw Scott again closer to the finish line.  What?  How’d he get there so fast?  He must have run!



You can see me around that guy who was in the way. :p

I kept going and crossed the finish!  YES!!  Holy crap I just ran a half marathon.

Holy crap!

I was handed my metal and then started looking around to find Scott.  I needed something in my bellah so I snagged a banana and some water.  It took me a while to find my hunnies.  He apparently saw me the entire time and was taking pictures.

Some high steps

Some high steps

Stretching the IT bands

Stretching the IT bands

After running distances I do a lot of butt-kicks and high steps. Makes my legs feel so much better!

The little butthead!  I don’t know why he didn’t try to get my attention or come over or anything.

Finally we hooked up.

All I wanted

All I wanted

You all know I had some sweet sweet CS after I was done.

Ahhhh perfect!!



Oh yeah I just ran 13.1 miles suckas!  Then I was off to stuff my face at breakfast. ;)  Details on the Daily Eats page.

Seriously this race was like a blur.  All the miles seem to mesh together because it just went so quickly!  My HRM monitor said I did this in 2:47 but I know I have to take a few minutes off because I forgot to stop it once I crossed the finish line.  Whoops!  I was hoping to have a 2:30 finish but that wasn’t going to happen because I had to take it slow.  However, I don’t really care about my time.  I finished this race and aside from 3 water breaks, I ran this whole thing.  And those water breaks were short!  Gulp, toss, run. :D

I have to give huge thanks to Scott.  He supported me through this whole experience from suggestion, to training, through injury and therapy, and finally through to the finish line.  I can always count on him and for that I am very thankful!

Also a major thanks to Rose who was also with me from the start. We became racing buddies because  we were both running our first 1/2s this weekend.  We were constantly on the same page (even down to our race day outfits!) and it was so helpful having her as a support and a friend.

And a shoutout to my other girls who are about to run their first 1/2s soon!





I’ve been emailing with them as well and am so very thankful that the foodie world has introduced me to some amazing women.

Aimee is also running the Pittsburgh 1/2 and this will be her third 1/2! Stop by everyone’s site and give them props for taking on such an exciting challenge!

Now where’s my wine?!

17 thoughts on “May 2nd, 2009: Andrea’s First 1/2: The Columbus 1/2 Marathon

  1. Yayyyy, Andrea, congratulations! You’ve gotten me reinvigorated for my half now :-) I’m glad that taking it slow worked with the injuries because that’s definitely going to be my plan. You must feel awesome!!!

    Off to inspect your breakfast …

  2. I thought strawberry allergy was rather common? Weird that you have to add it in. I’m also allergic to penicillin. Not that it matters – just thought I’d throw that in. LOL

  3. Congrats to you! What a great job! I’m so happy for you! I want to run my first 1/2 this year. I’m working towards it, but have to find the right one with all our travel this year and our move back to the States. I hope to find one in the late fall. We’ll see! Your report was inspiring and i”m looking forward to facing the challenge soon!

  4. what an amazing recap!!!! I am so glad that scott got to snap some pics of you even though you didnt know it, you ran sooooo smart I am so DAMN proud:)

  5. AWESOME JOB ANDREA!!!!! I am so super proud of you – you totally kicked ass! I even got a little teary eyed reading this post!!! Seriously – AWESOME! :)

    LOL – love the last line, you are totally mine kind of girl. Race, done? Great, now gimme booze :D

  6. Congratulations, Andrea!! I am so proud of all of you bloggers who are going out there and doing the darn thing! I loved reading your recap – and totally agree that the blogging world is full of amazing women…like YOU!!

  7. Congratulations on your first 1/2 — that’s so exciting! That was cute that Scott kept ahead of you so he could get all of your “action shots,” plus I’m sure it was a huge morale boost to see him along the way.

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