Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Lived Through the St. Paul Securian Half and Then got a Huge Surprise!

Hello fellow bloggers! Guess what? I lived!! I lived through my first half marathon!! There is a God and I am so thankful to have it finally over with! Oh my goodness, where do I begin? This first picture is me with my pacer poster, it is what I used when I led my fellow runners out into the sleet and rain, in hopes to help them with their finish time dreams!


Just kidding, he he! That was Dan's job to help me finish with my dream time of a 7:38 minute mile pace!


Just kidding again!! Dan was very nice and helped me to decide exactly what pacer that I should run with for my very first half marathon. He asked me several questions about my weekly miles and current pace. We then came to an agreement about my races time fate!


After I was done talking to Dan I finally was able to meet my blogger friend Beth! I was thrilled to see her there and enjoyed talking to her for a few minutes before the race. I told her that Speedo Steve was supposed to be there as well and then Beth said, "Steve is right over there with a few other of his blogger friends."

Woo hoo, I got to meet Speedo Steve in person and he is such a nice and funny guy! He has this giant contagious smile that never leaves his face! Check out his bright fancy red socks!!

Look at his gorgeous smile!


Okay, I should probably let everyone what my actual goal time was for my first half. My goal was to run a 2 hour half marathon. This is my real pacing coach Joanie. She told me that we were going to attempt to run the same pace the entire race unless for some weird reason we would need to adjust our speed. We all lined up and I started my Garmin patiently waiting for the runners in front of me to slowly shuffle up to the start line.

Finally, we were off and there was a very steep hill that we carefully jogged down. The first mile was a little challenging because there was such a clog of runners and at one point I lost Joanie and my group. It took a few minutes for me to get back in the groove. I must say that the first three miles were pretty easy. It was raining a little but the temperature was at least 33 degrees. It was pretty pleasant running weather and I would rather run in a little rain then to run in below zero temperatures.

Miles four and five were okay, I just kept thinking about what my new blogger friends had told me. D10's advice was to keep your legs moving, your breathing regulated and stay positive! I can't tell you how many times that went through my mind! On the way out it didn't seem that bad, there were several rolling hills that I felt were doable. At around mile five I pulled a little ahead of my group because I was moving a little faster and felt just fine.

I honestly don't remember when I started to see the elite runners finally making their way back but it was so exciting and I was cheering them on! I was wondering what it must feel like to be the first runner making the way down the back stretch and seeing the long sea of runners still behind them. At one point I heard Speedo Steve yell "Hey Julie!" He had his camera and was taking pictures being his normal goofy self:) I was so excited to see him and yelled back but I really don't remember what I said:) I kept on running thinking, the turn around is just ahead, it is coming up soon. And then a few more minutes I was like, where and the hell is the turn around? How much longer do I have to go? Finally the turn around!!! This is the moment that my toes started to burn like fire! Oh crap! Crap that hurts! My feet were possibly angry with me for my choice of socks. I don't know but it sucked and I was worried!

I continued at the same pace for the next few miles thinking positivly! I was giving myself pep talks. You can do this, just keep moving! Steve's words came into my mind, "Just suck it up Buttercup!" You can do this and don't be a baby! Just keep your feet moving! Move Julie, move your ass! Don't you dare stop, okay don't you dare slow down! Just keep moving! Don't you dare think about your feet! Stop thinking about your feet! Keep you feet moving, your breathing regulated and stay positive!

At mile ten a nice man started to run with me. We ran at least one mile together before I made casual conversation with him. I saw we had a mother of a hill coming up and I looked at him and said, "That looks like fun!" He smiled and said, "Sure it does...lots of fun." We ran the same pace and almost the same footing for a long time. He told me that his name was Ryan and he mentioned that he ran this half marathon last year. Ryan and I continued to be running partners hardly speaking after but remaining together. I heard voices behind us and thought, holy crap that is Joanie's voice and she caught up to me. My feet were still burning and I was tired! If I could of I would have been done at mile ten. Now we were at 11.5 and my legs and brain were telling me to stop. Joanie and part of my original group slowly ran past me and Ryan. She said, "Good job Julie, we are almost there. Try to stay with us if you can." I thought about a comment that Meg left me saying, "You will think, Wow that sure was short!" What and the hell was Meg talking about? This is taking forever! I attempted to speed up and stay going at Joanie's pace but I just couldn't. My feet were still burning and hurting so bad. I was tired and there was no way that my body was going to let me move faster. I felt like crying but I didn't. Ryan and I silently ran side by side. It was weird even though we didn't utter a word that last mile it was such a comfort having him by my side. Remember how I mentioned that I started off with this very long large hill that we carefully jogged down. Well, there was that same very large hill that I needed to go back up before I could cross the finish line! At the corner before this bad ass hill I heard someone yell, "Go Jules!" I looked up and saw my husband and my drive came back! I was so happy to see him and knew that I just needed to get my bootie up that hill and sprint to the finish line! It was at that corner that I looked at that mother of a hill and decided I was going to get up that dam thing and finish my race strong! I started moving up the hill and my thighs and calves were screaming in protest! I passed at least five or six people ! I made it up that big hill and then I heard a spectator yell, "Keep going your almost there, there is just a few more blocks!" What do you mean ,the finish line isn't just a few feet ahead? Oh my God, are you kidding me! I just want to be done! I kept running as fast as my legs would take me. I attempted to sprint with the finish line in sight! I could see it getting closer and closer and finially I crossed it! I finished! I am no longer a half marathon virgin! So, what was my final chip time? I came in at 2:01:59! No, it was not the time that I was hoping for but I will eventually get better. My goal is to run a 1:45 to 1:50 half! Obviously I have some work to do!

This is Beth's husband Mike, he finished way before me and was waiting at the finish line. I was so tired but he told me a funny story so I forgot about my burning feet. He said, "Hey Julie, I was running and I saw a girl with the same color jacket as you. She was way in front of me and I couldn't keep up with her. I thought God, that Julie sure does run fast!" I find this very funny! I told him that he was mistaken.....clearly mistaken...because there is no way in hell that I could run a seven minute mile pace! Ha ha, way to funny for me:) Beth your husband was hilarious and his little story just made my day!


This is another Minnesota blogger named Jenny...she also passed me at mile eleven or twelve. She was also very nice and I enjoyed meeting and talking with her!


This is another picture of Beth and I by the finish line! We were both so glad to be done:) I was sad that I didn't get to meet my blogger buddy Chad who also ran. Chad, I checked the results and see that you did so good! Congrats to you!! Speedo Steve you also kicked some big time butt! I am so happy for both of you:)


All runners received a coffee cup and a St. Paul Winter Carnival Button! We were told that our medals will be mailed to us! I went home, took a shower, ate and went to bed. I was tired and I had plans to go out with my family for a belated birthday dinner.


Surprise, it wasn't just my family! I have mentioned in a past blog post that I am a twin and that earlier this month I had a birthday. My family and I arrived at this little supper club and we were led back to a special room, I didn't think anything of it until they opened up the double doors. Behind those doors stood extended family and friends of both John's and mine! I was shocked! I was totally shocked! So I have included a few pictures from the surprise party. Unfortunately my camera's battery died early on so there are only a few.


This is Doug he was my brother's best friend all through high school.


This is a picture of me and Clare who is one of my best friends from high school!


This little honey is my God child Danny!



This is me and my twin brother John! Hey Texas mom, notice the margarita!


Here is my cousin Brenda, my friend Paul and me!




This is me and my lovely sister Judy:)



Here is a shot of my cousin Mary and me!



I will eventually forgive my family for this birthday cake that they decided to grace us with! They found the most embarrassing picture possible and put on our cake! Lovely! It is a good thing that I have a very good sense of humor:) That is all I have for today, but I am looking forward to reading many race reports from this weekend! Have a good week everyone:)

42 comments:

  1. Yay!!! Congratulations Julie! You totally inspire me :) Great race report and pictures! You must be so proud of yourself...I can't wait to lose my race-virginity ;)

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  2. Oh...and happy belated birthday :)

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  3. Happy Birthday and way to go on the race. How fun meeting all the bloggy friends!

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  4. Julie, that's AWESOME, girl - way to go! You did an amazing job on your very first marathon. You will learn more about your body and how to react to certain situations in each race so you're better prepared to attack them (do you, by chance, have a GU or anything during your 1/2? That may help combat the fatigue at the end if you don't). The temperature as chilly as it was makes a difference, too. Ideal temp is 55 degrees to race so this was a factor, also. You can do a 1:45-1:50, I have no doubt. Until then, relish in your victory - it is VERY exciting!!!! :)

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  5. Congrats on a great first 1/2! You did awesome and you look adorable--love that jacket!
    How fun you had a surprise party after--happy belated birthday!

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  6. Way to go Big Sis! You put up an INCREDIBLE time for your first attempt at this distance. Makes a 10K seem really short now, doesn't it? Love the cake. They really did find the most embarrsing picture they could find, but your family loves you! Rest up and eat as much as you want! You deserve it!

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  7. Congrats Julie- that is so awesome! You rocked it! It seems like a lot of it becomes a mind game, huh? Love the birthday cake!

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  8. I would say this sounds like a perfect first Half Marathon! Wow fun, and it sounds like you had some fun "happy aches and pain" along the way.

    I cannot stop either running these. Just keep moving forward and no matter how you feel " I should've been to the turn around or finish by now" - just keep going forward. You KNOW the FINISH is out there. Although, my Sister, who has run 4-5 Full Marathons a year for the last 19 years, recently told me to take a short break after mile 3 or 4. Walk for a for 2 minutes, than start running again as if you were back at the starting line. She just said you might notice not not only a complete recharge burst for the next 3 miles, but have even more oomph in the last 1.5-2 miles for an even faster sprint to the finish.

    Sounds like you did everything perfectly though Julie and what a great treat at the supper club! Congrats! Cheers!!

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  9. Congrats on an awesome job in your first half! Way to go.

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  10. Congrats on your half, way to go!! How exciting to have a surprise bday too :)

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  11. CONGRATS on the first half!! Fantastic job! And that cake...priceless! I love it!

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  12. 2:01 is a great place to start! Great run and loved the much pics!

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  13. Hi Julie! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I look forward to following you and learning more about you! Congrats on your 1st half marathon! I think that a 1:45-1:50 is totally doable!

    Happy belated birthday to you. Sounds like you had a wonderful surprise party.

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  14. Awesome job on your first half!!! Way to go. Great recap also!

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  15. Great job, Julie! It was so fun to see you out there and meet you in person. You rocked your first half! It made me smile to see you before I hit the turn around, and I'm glad you got to meet Jenny, too. She's a great friend and you'll see her at lots of races. See you soon!

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  16. You're OBVIOUSLY OK with the cake if it appeared on your blog! Ha!!

    It was GREAT to meet you!! Congrats on an amazing first half. 2:01 is a GREAT time!!

    Yeah, that last hill SURE is a b*tch, isn't it!! And at the top, everyone's just looking for any sign of the finish line. Way to keep it strong and gut it out!!

    BTW, I saw that same girl that Mike saw - I thought you were on like 1:40 pace at the turn-around, but then I realized it wasn't you!

    Hope to see you around at more races!! Great job yesterday!! Rest up!!

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  17. Congrats on finishing your first half! After a few days you'll want to start training for another! It's a bummer you didn't get your medal there, but very cool that they give out mugs! Perfect for a winter race! I hope you enjoy lots of cups of hot chocolate and tea!

    Looks like you had a lot of fun celebrating your birthday and the race with friends & family! What a great weekend!

    Congrats again!

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  18. CONGRATULATIONS! You did amazing for your first half! Happy Belated Birthday.

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  19. Julie..CONGRATS!!!!! So proud of you!! I can't imagine how you are feeling...such a huge accomplishment. Thank you so much for the great details in your post. I loved reading every detail. Julie..you ROCK!!!

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  20. Great Job on the half Julie! When is your next one?

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  21. So first, thanks for stopping by my blog! I always like to see people from the midwest who are running through the cold (I grew up just west of Mason City, IA)

    Nice work on the finish! The great thing about a first time distance is that you get an automatic PR! SCORE!

    Too cool that you were able to see steve in a speedo. Hopefully he didn't have any of his trademark gross foot pictures in his back pocket or something.

    That cake is a RIOT!

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  22. Congratulations on the completion of your first half marathon; that is an awesome time, you should feel proud. The photos were awesome and what a cool surprise for your birthday! A great time with family and friends to celebrate a milestone event. I think the half marathon is the near perfect race and you rocked it!

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  23. I love the Winter Carnival Half, but I'm not sure I'd want it to be my first half marathon ever. Congrats on your finish. Believe me, they're not all that tough. You'll be running 1:45 before you know it.

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  24. Congrats lady! I am glad to see y9ou had such a fun time. And the celebration with friends and family looks awesome. Love the cake!

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  25. great job on your first half!

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  26. What an awesome day! Congrats on your 1st 1/2...you did great (I aspire to be that fast)!!! And, that margarita looked mighty yummy! Happy belated birthday!

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  27. Great job on your first half! Nice pictures and report and happy belated birthday as well !

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  28. 2:01 is an excellent time for a first HM! Congratulations! I've been doing this for a couple of years now and I'm still trying to break 2:05. Way to go!

    I like the bling too! I can always use a coffee cup. A medal - not so much....

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  29. Julie,

    Congratulations!!! You did an awesome job and had a great time. After reading the report, I felt like I was right there with you. You should be very proud of yourself for such a great accomplishment. I wish you many more.

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  30. Wow happy belated birthday and CONGRATS on an awesome race! To power through when your mind was telling you to stop is the sign of a true runner. I hope your medal comes SOON!

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  31. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Great race report, Julie! You did awesome with your half marathon!

    Love the birthday cake, by the way! Happy Birthday!

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  32. Go Jules! Go Jules! Way to kick some but. I bet you will reach your goal time in no time. My first last October was 2:17. So I am in awe of you. I love love love the race report, and the pics.

    Happy Birthday

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  33. CUTE CAKE! Uh, sorry for the comment on the race seeming short...uh, I was trying to be encouraging and I guess I've done too many marathons because once you do a few, the half marathons do seem..shorter! Maybe the NEXT one will feel shorter. In fact, I KNOW it will! Hugs and great job on the race, you are very well-loved : ) !

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  34. Aww congrats on the big day! It's amazing what you go through mentally to get to the finish and yes we call all improve a 1:45 sounds great...that's why I'm trying more speedwork!

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  35. OMG, I can feel your energy right through the computer!! A BIG CONGRATULATION'S!!! How much fun is that to have sooooo many people & blogger's there to support you and cheer you on through your first Half Marathon! WOW!!!

    You're lucky Steve had clothes on, or at least not his Gorilla suit!

    Well done!!!

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  36. Woo hoo! A huuuuge high five for completing your first HM! It's so cool that the race had pacers. It looks like you had a lot of fun meeting some fellow bloggers, and wow, your surprise party looks like it was a blast :)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  37. Loved the recap.

    And the cake ;)

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  38. What a wonderful race report. You write so well that I felt the pain and the anguish of those last few miles. You did have me going at the beginning where you were going to lead a pace group at 7:38 pace and it was your first half. Great job on the race!

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  39. WTH!! Somehow I missed this post. I kept waiting for it to come up and somehow I missed it! Anyhoo, congrats on the race! I so wish I could have ran that one since the weather wasn't too bad! I love the recap and all the pics! Great job for your first!! That cake is totally something my mom would do to me! hilarious!!

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  40. Congratulations on your race! I enjoyed your post- at first I was like, Damn, 7:38 pace?!?! Then, 1:40?!??! Dounble Damn!! You are so funny! Great job out there, and you got to meet Steve in a Speedo, too! Wow.

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  41. Hey! I wrote a long comment but I guess it didn't get saved...Boo!

    Anyway, congrats on your half marathon! You did an awesome job! You met some nice friends and bloggers along the course too! That's awesome! What an experience!

    Of course, you'll get faster...it's not even a question!

    Oh and happy belated birthday. Sounds like it was a fun night! Congrats on everything!

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