Thirteen Point One!
“The miracle is not that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
Guys, I did it! I knew that I could, but doing it and knowing you can do it are two different things. As far as the quote goes, it was on the back of many shirts I saw during the race and I wholeheartedly believe in it. If you told me six months ago that I would be running a half marathon, I would have yelled “Never!” But here I am. I did it. I DID IT! I owe it all to my friend who convinced me that this was something worth doing and I’m so glad she did. I’ve gotten hooked, even though I’m ready to give up on running for the time-being. Give up is not completely accurate, but I do want to cut back and add other workouts to the mix.
The race started at 7AM. I was in NH for a family party Friday night, and we woke up at 4 AM and left at 4:30. I set multiple alarms on my phone. One to eat at 5AM (and bolus) and one to start my temp basal at 5:30AM. When we got there at 6:30 and I was getting all my stuff together, I was 315. I did NOT want to be that high, especially with another hour left of less insulin before the race started. I gave myself a small bolus, about 25% of what I’d normally take. I was nervous it would negatively affect me, but I also had this in my mind. There was a time limit on the race, and I knew that I should be able to finish with an hour to spare, but I didn’t want to take any chances. So what did I have with me?
- one water bottle filled with half gatorade & half water
- one liquid glucose in my sports bra
- two liquid glucose in my skirt back pocket
- Insulin pump
- Cell phone
I meant to also have Gatorade chews with me, but I forgot to pack them in my bag. I didn’t even realize this until mile 5 or so. It turned out to not be a problem at all. You might be thinking “what about a meter?” The plan was to meet my parents at miles 4.5 & 7.5. This was the same stop. It was also the only stop with bathrooms & Powerade Gu packs. I saw the stop ahead and I looked and looked and looked and they were no where to be found. I texted my parents to see where they were, but apparently they were climbing down rocky cliffs to get to me (according to my friend’s dad). I was unable to test at mile 4.5 which really pissed me off. It made me nervous too because I had never run longer than 5 miles without testing. I tried to focus on the route & the scenery (houses that were more like castles) and not get too upset. I started to feel low, so I tried to make myself more pissed off in hopes that the stress would help keep my blood sugar up. I also grabbed one of my liquid glucoses. I came back down the hill toward mile 7.5 and I saw my mother standing in the road to take my picture. First thing I said: Where were you! I felt better when she said: You were going faster than we thought! I was 83 and had another liquid glucose. I grabbed a new one from my mom, refilled my water bottle with more gatorade + water mix. I grabbed two of the Powerade Gu mixes and ate one. I had never had them before, and while it was quite odd, it was also good. I usually eat a banana after mile 5, but I forgot to buy bananas. I kept running and running and running for six more miles. I walked up the hills. I realized while I was training that I walk up big hills faster than I run up them, so in order to help my time, I walked. I ran and ran and ran. I grabbed water at some of the rest stops, but kept going. I loved the route keepers who would cheer me on, because for about 3 miles I felt like I was the only one around. When I got to 10 miles I realized that I was fine. I wasn’t going to speed up, but to know you’ve run a little over 2 hours with only ~30 minutes left is powerful. I’ve been running 5Ks since I was 12 years old, so I knew that I would be crossing that finish line. It was at this time that I started passing people. What?! I didn’t increase my speed, but I had a really consistent pace which helped me. Mile 12 though, mile 12 was the most inspiring. I knew that I was almost done. I kept running, and then I turned to finish UP HILL. Cruel cruel people. I ran past the people who had already finished and as I ran I got more and more mad at them. Only ONE tried to encourage me. Runners are supposed to be there for each other and they ignored me like I was trash. When the winner passed me between miles 3 & 4, I clapped for him. That is what I envisioned my last mile to be, but it wasn’t at all. All of a sudden this woman started running with me. She asked how I was doing, and I said good. I asked how she was doing (she didn’t have her finishers medal on), and she said “Oh, I already finished, but I needed to keep moving, so I figured I’d run with you to get you there.” She restored my faith in the rest of the field. I ran and ran and then I was under the finish. There were three black mats though, so I didn’t know which was the actual finish line, so I kept running until I had passed all three. Then I stopped and realized I had done it. I had actually finished my first half marathon! When I finished my blood sugar was 191, and I went inside for food. I am still in disbelief that I actually finished. BUT I DID :D