Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Race Report- Carmen's Zooma Half Marathon Experience

I ran part of a half-marathon! I actually had fun!
I honestly never thought I would say those 2 sentences, but I have and I will stand behind them. It was not easy by any means, but I am so glad that I did it.

I’m going to start this with some background, for those who don’t know or who haven’t read about this journey. I applied for the HEB Zooma Texas Girlfriends Program. A friend posted about it on Facebook & I thought, “what the heck, I’ve walked a half, but it would be nice to be able to run some & not get sick after.”

See, I trained last year for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I did all of the training on my own. I tried to follow the plan my aunt had to work up to 13 miles. I wanted to try and run, but every time I did, it hurt. So, I decided I would just walk….and walk I did…all 13.1 miles. I did not want to hang around after…did not want my beer…listen to Vince Neil (hubby won’t let me forget that one)…I just wanted a shower. Then I got sick & did nothing for a month. I finally started to work out again & then saw the post for the HEB Zooma Girlfriends Program.

I never thought I would be chosen for the program. My goal was to NOT want to run to the shower & especially NOT get sick right after (or even feel like I was starting to a few days before the race). When I heard I was chosen, I was so excited. I would have someone I could talk to and ask many questions and learn from her.

Lisa has been AWESOME (I did not pay her to say this- promise)!!! I could not have asked for a better mentor! Really! I’m really bummed that she is moving to Oak Hill because I was hoping to meet up with her to run some after Zooma (we can still meet up). Those first few weeks, I had to bring my 2 sons on many of my training runs & Lisa helped so much on some of the long ones. She pushed me & literally pushed my boys in the double stroller in order to keep me moving. I thank her so much for that. I have to admit that the boys have started to enjoy it too. (we went for an easy 3 miles of recovery the day after the race, stopped at a park & played for a while…it was awesome.)
Carmen and her boys on the end ; )
When I trained for the Rock & Roll Half Marathon last year, it was pretty lonely. This training was totally different. Almost all of my weekly runs were solo or with my boys, but many of the long runs were with a group. That was a new experience that I really enjoyed! On several runs, I know that I was the slowest, but Lisa and others stuck with me to help me to finish. This has been an awesome experience.

I was nervous the night before the race, however Laura & I relaxed, had a nice dinner, took showers & rolled our muscles. I slept pretty well, woke a few times, but managed to go back to sleep. I woke before the alarm & then my stomach got upset, but, we just rolled our muscles again. I think I started to stress waiting for Lisa to arrive. I knew there was nothing else I could do to prepare for the race, so I just had to wait until it started. We arrived downstairs, found our group, took a picture & got ready to start.
having fun on a training run 
As I told several people…it was hot & humid (almost like San Antonio), it was hilly (not like SA), we stopped for pictures, we laughed, I had to pee (did so in a porta potty), sweated sooo much, walked 1 minute, ran 1 minute (until the last 3 miles where I could run no more….just could not catch my breath)….Lisa stuck by my side, she would not let me give up…I was pushed by Tricia at the end to run the last .1 while Lisa walked with Donna (who had an asthma attack)….I ENJOYED this race. I can’t believe that I’m saying it, but I actually enjoyed it…heat and all (and it really wasn’t that hot…just humid and the sun beating down on you…I’ll have to look up the actual temperature sometime).

I think that I am finished with half marathons…however, I am not finished with walking and running. I want to be able to run more (which should get easier with more weight off). I like the 10K distance and I like the cooler weather. So, since I live here, where it is hot most of the year….I’ll have to keep up the running early morning & the racing in the few months that are cooler.
Hot, humid and hilly- yippee!
OK, so I have never thought of myself as an athlete…but in the past few days several people have called me an “athlete.” Someone sort of explained it that I have done something that many people do not even try. Even though I may not be the fastest (by any means), I got up off my lazy butt & started moving. I started & I finished….that is an accomplishment.

 I have come to realized that I enjoy this…REALLY! I am going to continue the walking/running…probably not as far, but I want to work on speeding things up. So, my next journey is to figure out how to speed up. I know part will come with losing the weight (20 pounds lost this year…but I think a few gained in the past two days) & the other part…well, maybe there is a group for that or a book or a class…

(I think I can help her with that!)

CONGRATULATIONS Carmen- I am so proud of you and I can't wait to meet up again for a run.

Race reports from Donna and Laura to come soon.......


Kim said...

I am SO proud of you Carmen!!! You are so great, and I will run with you anytime (I'm not moving to the other side of the moon like Lisa is!) haha!

Bari said...

Great race report!!

Brooke said...

congrats Carmen!!! :) you know what i love most about this? you found out that running half marathons isn't for you. how? BY DOING IT! not by sitting on the couch like most folks do and saying "that's too long".

good luck in your future endeavors!! :) i'm sure you'll have no problem finding that distance you love to race

Erin said...

Congrats, Carmen! Those last three miles sure are tough... you should be beyond proud of yourself right now.

Thea @ It's Me Vs. Me said...

Congratulations on finishing your SECOND 1/2, Carmen! That's amazing!

nicole said...

Awesome! I ran a half three years ago and have yet to do another. I love that you pushed yourself. And that you did what worked for you without beating yourself up for it. And the running community is my favorite part of running, so I hope you can continue to meet with other runners.