Monday, October 18, 2010

I Have a Story: I'm a Half-Marathoner!

According to my dear friend Kirsten, I now have a story.  The story of my first half-marathon.  Until she mentioned that on twitter last night, I hadn't even thought of it that way.  I was just glad I had so many running "sisters" to share the day with.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  I need to back up a couple days (actually, to several months ago when I started training, but that would just take too long). 

*warning-photo heavy LONG post!

Back in July, I ran my 2nd 10k of the year.  It really kicked my butt (90 degree weather will do that to you) and I wondered if I would ever be able to run farther than 6.2 miles.  A couple weeks later, I started researching fall races.  I wanted to push myself and see how far my body could take me.  I wanted a challenge.  I wanted to continue to lose weight.  I found a 1/2 marathon race in my hometown and a great training plan.  Fast-forward to this weekend.  12 weeks of training would come down to this.

My best IRL friend Angie and I headed to the marathon expo at our downtown YMCA Saturday afternoon.
We signed the board, picked up our race packets, and started carb-loading with the most yummiest of smoothies.
(PS-who the heck is that skinny girl signing the board?  OMG, it's me! This running stuff really works, yo!)

I set all my gear out so when the alarm went off Sunday morning at 5:30, I wouldn't have to think.

 Angie and her hubby Joe came over for a carb and protein filled Chicken Parm dinner. Then they headed home and I headed to bed.  5:30 am shouldn't really exist IMO.
*classic rock blares* It is now race day!  I was up at 5:30 am (I was up pretty much every hour all night but who's counting) and started getting ready.  I wrote the names of all my running "sisters" who also ran 1/2 marathons this weekend on my arm.  I wanted to keep them with me to motivate me since they all did such a great job keeping me going during my training.  (On Sunday, Kirsten, Renee and Lauren ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Fransisco, while Jen also ran her FIRST 1/2, the Atlantic City Half Marathon.  Becca got her FIRST Half out the the way by running the Middle Half in Tennessee on Saturday.)  The family headed downtown with me (without attitude, which I soooo appreciated).  Since the race started at the YMCA, we were able to wait inside where it was warm and I had a nice bathroom to use (5 times-I know, TMI, but seriously?). I found a quiet corner and stretched and rolled my muscles.  The kids jammed to their iPods and Mike headed outside to watch the Velocity Challenged runners start at 7:00 (if you think you'll be longer than a 6 hr marathon pace, you get to start an hour ahead of everyone else - and yes, they call these runners Velocity Challenged - I ♥ that).

I don't have pictures of any running other than the start and finish.  Professional pictures are coming, but probably won't be available for a week or so.  Anyhoo, here's my recap of the race itself. 
We headed outside a few minutes before 8am and the sun was just starting to come up.  I lined up with the "Al Gore" pace group (the pace groups were all labeled with famous people's marathon times and his was a 4:58 full finish). I did this so I would not start too fast and burn myself out.  It worked. I stayed with the group for the first 3 or 4 miles (doing my usual running with a 1 min walk at the top of every mile). By the 3rd or 4th mile, they weren't catching up to me anymore on my walk breaks and I just kept doing my thing. Miles 4 to 8 were a pretty steady uphill (not a "Holy Hill" 300+ footer! like the SF girls were doing-only about 60 ft total) with some rolling hills that really started to hit my glutes (literally-my @$$ was on fire!). On this back section were pockets of fans.  I made sure to take in as much of the scenery as I could as it is fall in Michigan and the trees were beautiful.  I high-fived an entire busload of high school Cross Country runners.  I tried to high-five as many kids on the course as I could.  I said "thank you" to all the TNT groups because they reminded me of my ShrinkingJeans sisters who raised a boat load of money this year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I loved the fans with loud music - one group was playing Guitar Hero! - and some had hilarious signs.  My favorite sign:  "Run like you STOLE it."  LMAO around mile 6.  At about 8.5 miles, we cross a little grassy area (where I walked because I was afraid of going arse over applecart) and we turned back around and headed back into downtown. There were a couple more rolling hills and I hit mile 10 and checked my watch. Holy cow! I was at about 1:50 something and realized I only had a 5k to go and it was all downhill. I was tired but knew I was going to finish pretty close to my goal time.  I hit the "1 mile to go" sign and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" came on my playlist.  I yelled out "Lisa!" (we've totally channelled each other while running to this song) and I think I scared the crap out of the runner next to me.  LOL. Next up on the playlist as the finish line came into sight was Holler Back by The Lost Trailers - AWESOME! (The video was filmed in GR-they are local boys. Watch the video and you can see some of the places I ran by!) Coming through the finish chute with my family and friends cheering was the best feeling EVER. I heard the announcer say my name (correctly, even!) and hit that finish. Got a hug from the race director and my medal from a sweet volunteer. I bawled and held onto her for quite a while. Throughout the race, I had my iPhone tweeting my progress at 3 mile intervals.  After each tweet, I received a bunch of "binks" back, knowing all of my friends were cheering me on.  This meant the world to me, although it did royally kill my battery!  (Probably won't use that feature on the next long race.) Later, I cried again reading everyone's tweets. I seriously have the best friends in the world!  This race would not have been what it was without the love, support, and @$$ kicking motivation of my ShrinkingJeans sisters!

And, what would a race report from me be without a little video :)

I had finished my first half-marathon!  I saw my family through the fence and finally found them at the end of the finisher chute.  I got a rose from my hubby and hugs from my friends and family.  Angie took good care of me and walked me around, feeding me potato chips and pickles when my legs cramped up and making sure I drank enough water and gatorade.  I got my complimentary massage (HEAVEN!).   There was beer poured by Elvis and later on, an afterparty at HopCat with more beer (New Holland's The Poet oatmeal stout) and a delicious pulled pork sandwich and crack fries!

I am now a Half-Marathoner and always will be. 
Noone can take that accomplishment away from me and I am absolutely THRILLED with my finish.  
Placed 1355 / 1686 Total
778 / 1039 Women
112 / 154 in my age group
2 hours, 27 minutes, 52 seconds
Memories - priceless


  1. Awesome, Bari! I am so impressed... I so wish I could run but my body has too many quirks to it. I always end up injured.

  2. Your crossing the finish line made me teary! I cannot tell you how proud I am of you. You are awesome and thank you for telling us "YOUR" story.

  3. You really do have a story and I am so proud of you! You rock!!

  4. So awesome, what an awesome time!! Love the video, too! You are looking mighty fine, girl!

  5. Bari, you made me teary eyed with your post. I will totally be channeling oyur ass when I do my half in 4 weeks. You are awesome, you are a runner and YOU ARE A HALF MARATHONER- woot woot!

  6. Bari, WE freaking ROCK!!!
    YOU - Oh My WORD!!! - you rocked that half! I am honored to have shared such a huge day with you!!


  7. I love it - and I'm so proud of you (and everyone who ran a race this weekend!)

  8. Oh friend, this brought tears to my eyes...can't wait to go home and watch the video! You did an amazing job and you should feel so proud of yourself. I know I am bubbling with pride!

    You are getting stronger (and yet tinier) everyday and continue to amaze me with your grace and commitment to being fit! Love ya rock!

  9. I am so, so, SO proud of you. Watching the video gave me goose bumps and made me teary-eyed. And believe it, hooker, that skinny girl IS you. Squeee!!!

  10. AWESOME!! I am all teary eyed for you!!! SOOOOOOO proud of you!!!

  11. hurrah!!!!!! :) first off you are just too cute! love the pictures of you at the expo. :) you. are. incredible!

    and i don't know what nonsense you're talking about not being able to keep up with me - you finished 15 minutes quicker than my half time!

    and i love love love the video :)

  12. So awesome. And I seriously need to make the commitment to running one next year!

  13. Congratulations Bari! I'm so proud of you for accomplishing this. I loved your race recap post, it is beautiful.

  14. Great job, Bari! Crying as I read this. You did so well, had a great attitude, and lived every single moment of it. Own it, girl!

  15. So - I was doing great reading this until I watched the video. I'm a mess of tears now! I loved hearing "go mom!" and seeing you full of smiles as you crossed that finish line!

    You are amazing! And you are a half marathoner!

    PS - I love, love LOVE "run like you STOLE it!" I think I need to find a shirt or something...

  16. Bari, I am so proud of you! NOONE can ever take this away from you! You're amazing!

  17. You are amazing! What a great story (loved all the pics!!). What an awesome time! WTG on your first... and many more to come! ; )

  18. 2:27 and your first half?? I'm impressed! Great job! Thanks for linking me. :)

  19. What a great race report! I am so glad that we "ran" together! One day we will actually run together and have a glorious time! I can't wait!

  20. CONGRATS! That's such a great race report and killer time!

  21. That is so awesome. I'm sitting here with tears. How goofy is that! Great job!

  22. ok so I totally just cried watching your video. Your family was cheering you on and whoever said "Finish Strong" just brought on the tears! SO PROUD OF YOU!!! You're a HALF-MARATHONER!!!!!!


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