Saturday, October 03, 2009

I did it!

I can down put a check mark next to "Complete a Half Marathon". I completed it in just a little over 3 hours. I wasn't out to set any records. I just wanted to do it.

Kudos to the folks who organized, set up and operated the Marine Corps Half Marathon here in Jacksonville, FL. I'm not sure how many participants there were but obviously more than they anticipated because they ran out of medals for those of us who completed the 13.1 miles. That's okay. I don't need a medal to remind me of what I just accomplished. I have my screaming muscles to do that. Actually, I'm not as sore as I thought I would be. While I did train, I didn't stick to the schedule. So, any pain that I'm in is my own damn fault.

It wasn't as cool as the weather people predicted but it was a nice morning. It started to get a little warm towards the end but that just inspired me to get my butt in gear and hit the finish line.

I started out next to three platoons, two Marines and one Army. I loved the cadences and was keeping pace with the Army group. The Marines were way to fast for me. I was disappointed when my singing soldiers veered off at the 5K split. Wimps. None of those three groups were going the distance. I held my head a little higher and headed towards the first bridge. We had two bridges to conquer, the Main Street Bridge and the Acosta Bridge . The Acosta kicked my butt. Even with my determination, I couldn't make it to the top running. I walked up. Up until this, I had kept a steady pace. I was doing about a 13 minute mile which is fast for me. The planners were smart in placing the bridges at the beginning of the race. In between mile 10 and 11 we had a ramp that goes up under the Acosta Bridge and it about killed me going up it. Coming down was fun because it goes around in circles. This part of the course is right on the St. John's river. I did mess up my pace a little because I had to stop and talk to the guys fishing. I couldn't run by them without out checking out the catch of the day.

I was grateful for the water station people. Especially at mile 10. I was feeling the effects of not sticking to my training schedule. I was getting tired and my legs were beginning to scream. They handed me a pack of energy gel. Wow. That helped. It really started to kick in about mile 11 or so. I needed that boost. My sweetie met me about a 1/2 a mile from the finish line and accompanied me to the final sprint. Yep. I kicked it in gear and ran full throttle across the finish line.

The people who participate in these runs are great. They are from all walks of life and in all different stages of physical shape. As noted in one of the previous posts, I called VW at the half-way point to give her an update. She went into hysterics when I mentioned that I had almost caught up to the guy on crutches. I wasn't kidding. This man did the entire half marathon on crutches. I never did catch him. He was fast. He is my hero of the day. What an accomplishment!

One guy gets the jerk award. I couldn't believe this man. He was probably in his late 50's or older. He's jogging by this young girl who is probably in her early 20's and says to her, "I hate to pass you. The view is great." What a creep. I wish I could have seen his number. I would have reported him to the officials. There is no excuse for rude behavior like that.

Overall the day was fantastic. The course was beautiful. The event was well organized. The people were great (except for one idiot). And the charity it benefits is special. The proceeds from this event go to Scholarships for the children of our Service people who have been killed in Iraq. I hope they raised a lot of money.

I personally ran for Run4Chance who supports the Injured Marine Fund and the Fisher House. I raised $260. Thank you to all who supported me. I had a great time and felt honored to represent Run4Chance and participate in this event.

3 hours 7 minutes or there abouts

Yipeee, she finished the race. FANTASTIC. I'm so proud of Sticks. Getting old and still able to get out there with the best of them! *ducks and runs*

1/2 Way Thru the Race

Just got a call from Sticks. She is half way thru the race and has almost caught up with the man on crutches. No joke. I laughed so hard when she told me. She just kept telling me it was true. I believe her, but it is still too funny!

Go Sticks Go!!!