Cece and I met Alyssa at the starting line. (Note to self, next time I run, a little make-up!) They are much faster than I am, so I decided my goal was to be in the 3:20 Garmin pace group. I got to know the people in the group, it was pretty fun. Then we attacked a hill, and I started to slip. I stayed really close until about mile 5. Then, I started to lose speed. Up until about mile 8 I was by myself. I turned on Pandora on my phone and just started working it out. Apparently, Pandora knew what I needed. I started playing Eye of the Tiger, and Going the Distance from Cake. It's so strange how things like that happen. Getting to about mile 8, I caught up with the 3:30 pace group. They seemed to be a much more lively bunch and we had a great time. I was going strong and staying on track until a little after mile 11. Ooh, the dreaded mile 11. I got cramps. The worst cramps in the entire world. I had to stop.
I looked to the left and there was a Walgreens. I had no time to react, I needed to get in there. I know, graphic and gross, but hey, it's the race. I get in there and the sign says bathrooms were closed. I begged 2 guys to let me go. I ended up in there for about 10ish minutes.
When I came out, there was this guy looking for me. His buddy was the Hero Pace Team guy, and he had come back to finish the race with him. Instead, he waited for me. I got back out there and he said we have 3 options 1) put me in an ambulance, 2) call a cab or 3) finish the race. I was SO close. I said let's finish.
So, Cliff and I finished the race together. About half way though mile 12, I started to cry. A happy cry. Hell, I am not a Half Marathoner. Then, I started getting text messages and phone calls from Alyssa & Cece, they were worried about me. I said I was okay, and they came back to meet me for the last mile and we all finished the race together.
That's me jumping the line, it was up for some reason.
At the end, I had some amazing friends there for big hugs. Elena was there too! I had a whole cheering squad!
So my official time was 4:00:46. I say with a 20 minute stop. and 98 degree heat, that's okay for my first time. Probably not the best race to do the first time out of the gate, but hey, I did it. I could have quit. I think I read that 7800 people signed up, and for whatever reason only 6900ish finished. I'll take that. I was the 2nd to last person to finish. There was someone slower than me. Not sure how that happened, but despite getting sick, the heat and the damned hills - I did it!