The Journey to Half Fanatic was long and hard. So I ran my first half marathon a year ago. I wasn’t fully prepared for that half, but I did complete it. First, I didn’t research the course well. I found out during the half, that there were quite a few more hills than expected. Actually there were a lot more hills than I expected and the inclines were fairly steep. I did a lot more walking than I anticipated too, but I kept it moving and got it done. The last mile seemed like the longest, but I crossed that finish line and I earned my first half marathon medal!
I had arranged for late checkout at my hotel. After the race, I returned to the hotel to shower and change. Then I had to drive home from Virginia, approximately a four hour drive. By the time I got home I could barely get out the car I was so stiff. I managed to get out the car and make it up the steps to the house and I climbed the stairs and went straight to bed. I used my TENS unit on my lower back and that seemed to help. By the next day I was fine, thank goodness.
After that half I wasn’t mentally ready to do another one right away. So I waited until the beginning of the next run season. So my journey to half fanatic had to wait a little longer until I felt mentally and physically ready.
Okay. So it’s 2017 and a new race season was beginning. This time I was determined to find two halfs that were a fairly flat course and scheduled within a week of each other. So I decided on the April Fools Half Marathon in Atlantic City and the Wild Half In Wildwood. These two courses were perfect. They were within a week of each other and the course was fairly flat for both. In order to qualify for half fanatic you have to run two half marathons within 10 days of each other or you can do three halfs within three months. So I opted to do two within ten days.
I had a little difficulty preparing for these two halfs because where I live its cold and so it was very difficult to train outside during the winter months with the cold temperatures. As soon as I was able, I hit the pavement and started to train. I also wanted to PR and beat my time from my first half. Most half marathons allot 3-1/2 hours and I was technically over the time alloted by eight minutes. I was not worried though because the two halfs that I picked for half fanatic status both had a four hour window just in case I needed more time.
Months before the race, I started my clean eating program. I was eating an abundance of fruits and veggies and lean protein. I also doubled up on Juice Plus, fruit and veggie capsules. They really help with energy and also help reduce inflammation after workouts.
On race day, the weather was perfect. There was no rain and it was perfect weather for running. My daughter joined me on this half. She also had joined me on the previous half marathon as well. It’s nice to have company on a long run. We started the race together and for the most part we stayed close together throughout the entire race. Running a half is definitely more fun with friends. A lot of members from my run group were running the half as well so I was constantly seeing people I knew throughout the run. There were lots of people cheering and offering encouragement and this definitely helps your rapport and energy during your run.
The race went well and I was feeling good for most of the race. I had energy and was doing well up until about mile 12, which was the end of the run. At Mile 12 both my calfs started to stiffen up a little and I was starting to feel fatigue but I knew the end was near. I perservered. I walked a little more. One of my run buddies finished her race and doubled back to find me. When I saw her, it gave me renewed energy as she ran with me to the finish line. I did it. I completed my half and in record time. I PR’d and beat my previous time by ten minutes. I knew doubling up on my Juice Plus fruit and veggie caps was a good decision. After the race I was fine. I did not have to go home and go to bed like after my first half. I did not have to take any pain meds before, during or after the race. Yay! I did it. But I had one more race to do on my journey to become a half fanatic.
So during the next week, I continued my clean eating. I continued my Juice Plus fruit and veggie capsules. Once again race day was approaching. I was a little nervous because this next half I was going it alone. My daughter was not running with me and none of my race buddies were doing this half. But I knew I could accomplish the task at hand. So the morning of the race, I got up early and drove to Wildwood for my race. I dedicated the race to my oldest brother who loved Wildwood but has passed away five years prior due to health complications. I was a little emotional at the beginning of the race; however, I was determined to make it to that finish line.
It really wasn’t a bad race. It fact it was a good run. I did my Galloway method just like on my previous races. I didn’t break my pace and I just kept going. I did run a block off the course at the beginning of the race, but I got back on track quickly and then kept a steady pace.
Before I knew it, I was at the turnaround point. I was doing good and still had lots of energy and was feeling great. I had my music and my favorite songs to energize me. I also had Juice Plus fruit and veggie gummies and a Juice Plus energy bar. You should always carry some sort of energy snack with you on long runs.
I was making good time. I just kept moving. The scenery was beautiful and the temperature was perfect. I knew when I made it back to the boardwalk, I was in the home stretch. I ate some more fruit and veggie gummies and I ran harder. I was getting closer and closer to the finish line.
When I got close enough to actually see the finish line, a gentleman approached and introduced himself. He said “This is your Finish! I am going to run with you and when you get to the finish line, put your hands up as you cross that finish line because you’re a Champion!” I followed his instructions and within a few minutes I had done it. I was at the finish. I had accomplished my goal. I was a Champion! What a great feeling! When you run across that finish line after a long journey it’s really a great feeling of accomplishment and pride. I did it. I was a Champion and I had become a half fanatic! I PR’d again shaving off another five minutes from my time of the week prior. This Gorgeous Granny is not ready for a rocking chair yet! This Glamma is a Half Fanatic and a Champion!
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