Wow, it has been absolutely forever since I’ve posted. I’ll try to update you on what’s been going on, but I know I won’t cover it all. I apologize for the lack of photos, too. I’ve been really bad with bringing my camera around.
Hmm…let’s see. We left off right before I headed back to school. I’m happy to tell you that I’m already a week into classes, completely moved in to my apartment, and getting back into the swing of the busy school life. I spent the first couple of days before classes started getting everything organized in my apartment, bedroom, and getting last-minute school supplies. So far, I’m loving living off-campus. It’s so great to have my own space, (I only share my bathroom with one other roommate) a big living and dining area to sprawl out, and a TINY kitchen to cook/bake/etc.
Here’s a picture of our first apartment dinner together!
Classes are going well! I think I’ve finally purchased all my textbooks and subsequent supplies. College is the real deal, though. Classes start the very first day going through material, so you really can’t miss a beat! I’ll be speeding my way through lots of different course material this semester. I’m excited, though, since I’m currently undergoing the process of switching my major and am taking classes I’m far more interested in. I also took on a Spanish double major, which means I’m currently in a high-level course titled “Advanced Grammar and Composition.” Eeek! So far, so good though. I’m also working on a Creative Writing minor, and am taking an English literature course I’m enjoying quite a bit.
What else? I guess my most exciting news is that I completed my first half marathon! I am so incredibly proud of myself for following through on training in order to complete my goal. Crossing the finish line was the best feeling ever. I’ll give a short little recap of this past weekend.
My dad and I met up in Virginia Beach on Saturday afternoon. We went out to lunch, then headed to the race expo. I’m not sure what it is, but I really love race expos. I think it’s the atmosphere, and being surrounded by so many people who share a similar obsession to you.
We snagged lots of free goodies, (Gu promotional packets, granola bars, and the like) CEP compression socks I’ve been dying to try, and a new 13.1 magnet for my car. I didn’t put it on until after the race, though. Superstitious me. We then went to one of my favorite places to eat in Virginia Beach, Pizzeria, loaded up on carbs, walked around, and called it an early night.
Love that magnet.
Race morning had us up at 4:30 A.M. in order to make it to the shuttle and convention center on time to start with my corral. On the way over, I had a banana and a Nuts Over Chocolate LUNA bar and tons of water to wake me up! I was a complete bundle of nerves. Once we arrived at the convention center, we took a couple pictures, and parted ways so my dad could stake out a spot to see me. I stretched out a little, headed to my corral, and took a Clif Shot Blok, my usual pre-run fuel.
And just like that, we were off! I was in the fourth corral, so I got started right away. I shot off like a rocket. When I glanced down at my Garmin during the first couple miles, I realized I should probably slow my pace if I wanted to keep it up for 13 miles. I saw my dad at mile 1, and he saw me at the next few mile markers. As the course headed further away from the beach and boardwalk area, I knew it was all me to finish. It was so great to have so many cheering fans and bands along the race route. One of the many reasons why I plan to do a Rock ‘n’ Roll race in the future!
Unfortunately, the route was pretty boring. Mostly flat, straight roads. I ended up taking my first Gu (Espresso Love) around mile 5, a little earlier than I had originally planned, but I needed it. What a debacle that was. I couldn’t open it! With one hand wet from water bottle sweat and the other wet from human sweat, I was struggling! I actually ended up dropping it (and almost killing the poor man who tripped over me) and picking it up. I needed my Gu! That was the only time I really slowed down my pace. It’s so funny how one little thing can throw you off so much.
I came back from it, though, and as I passed some fellow runners, they said it looked like I was on cruise control. I hope that’s a good thing? During the second half of the run, I was feeling a little sore but all together pretty good. I took my Peanut Butter Gu around the 9th mile, and actually ended up pitching it before I was done. Gu tends to make me feel a little nauseous, so I just continued sipping water.
Once I saw the 11-mile marker, I knew it was full speed ahead. There was one last hill and a short run along the boardwalk keeping me from the finish line. I picked up my pace, smiled pretty for the professional cameras as I entered the boardwalk, and crossed the finish line with a time of 1:43:08. I couldn’t believe it! That put me 309th out of the over 10,000 runners, and 9th in my division, and all at a 7:52 average pace. Awesome.
I did feel a little nauseous after crossing, and couldn’t eat all the food the volunteers bombarded me with. You better believe I walked away proudly with that medal, and took all the food and drink with me, knowing I’d be ravenous later.
Dad and I walked around for a bit, went to the hotel, showered up, and prepared to part ways. Before we parted ways, we went to Panera for breakfast where I got my usual breakfast: oatmeal and LOTS of peanut butter. I think I ate it in 2.5 seconds flat. We also made a Starbucks stop, so I could get my soy latte for the road, of course. Then, I hit the road, making the most pit stops I’ve ever made on a car trip. Between copious amounts of water, Gatorade, and food, I just couldn’t make it through the whole way with one stop.
As for soreness, it didn’t really hit until later. I wore my new compression socks all day (SO GREAT) and applied BioFreeze when I got home that evening. My quads felt sore yesterday, but other than that, I’ve been feeling great. Taking it slow on getting back into running. Rest assured, I’ll be back for more races in the future.
This was a long post, huh? It barely even covers the half of the goings-ons around here, but I hope it was enough! Our first football game last night was an intense, exciting, nail biter, and most importantly, a win! Needless to say, spirits are high around here. I better get going, though! Laundry and reading to finish before my last class of the day!