2014 MICHELOB ULTRA MIAMI BEACH 13.1 MARATHON

So, I did it!! This past weekend I ran my first ever half marathon! I love running, but I’ve never really considered myself a “true runner.” I run all the time for enjoyment (slow and steady), but I’ve never before run a race longer than a 5k. So it kind of shocked me when I actually decided that I was going to do this. Backing up a little, 2 years ago my good friend convinced me and 2 other friends to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon together. We all thought it would be a blast, but then a few months into our training I found out I was preggers. I attempted to continue training, but my heaving in everyone’s bushes got in the way, and in the end, I decided to drop out and just go as a spectator. So, since then, I’ve felt like this half marathon deal has been unfinished business. Something I still needed to check off my bucket list. And with our hope to one day soon add a second kiddo to the family, I figured now was the time! So with that in mind, I decided to (somewhat impulsively) sign up for a half marathon in Miami Beach. Lucky for me, my father-in-law was sweet enough to sign up with me so I would have a running buddy the entire way.

To say I was nervous before hand would be an understatement. Saturday I was such a bundle of nerves, snapping at everyone and trying to eat without throwing up. And then Sunday morning, while me and my father-in-law made the 4 am trek down to South Miami, I had pretty much convinced myself that I had forgotten how to run and that I hadn’t actually trained at all for this race. If you can’t tell, I don’t handle stress very well. My sweet and amazingly gifted running sister flew down with her husband and new 10 week old baby and I all but demanded that she find a way to meet me at mile 7 so she could run 4-5 miles of the race with me. And even though mile 7 basically sat in the ghetto of South Beach, there was my sister, ready and waiting to jump in and keep me motivated during the hardest part of my run.

^^Apparently I have HORRENDOUS running posture! Just look at that lovely slouch!

For the most part, this course was AMAZING! Starting and finishing in downtown South Beach, the course took us over gorgeous waterways, past cruise ships and along the beach. Yes it was hot, and yes those bridges were a heck of a lot hillier than I expected, but there was always something to look at and enjoy. My father-in-law was a lifesaver, handing me Gatorade and water the entire time and keeping the pace. And my sister? Well, let’s just say that the whole first half I kept repeating “just get to mile 7, get to mile 7” because I knew that’s where she would jump in with us. Having someone jump in and run with you for a few miles, half way through the race, is seriously a great energy booster. I was so excited to see her and have her join us that the next few miles sailed by. She didn’t even mind when I listened to my audio book instead of talking to her the entire way. (Does anyone else listen to audio books while running or am I the only one?? I seriously love listening to books way more than music while running. I’m weird like that).

My best friend Katie totally surprised me at mile 11 and it was such an awesome feeling to see her jump out from the sidelines and run with us for a little bit. It was funny because I knew I would see Brett and Leah around mile 12, and when I saw them, running towards me with huge smiles on both of their faces, I completely lost it and started to ugly cry all over the place while still running. Have you ever cried while running? It’s not pretty. I was doing this horrible gasp wheeze, trying to catch my breath while still keeping the pace and it was a hot mess. I gave myself a stern “pull yourself together girl!!” before kissing Leah and Brett and finishing my run toward the finish line.

^^My amazing sister who ran over 5 miles of the race with me (while texting updates to the family and taking photos, so you can see how strenuous this run was for her. Ha!) and my gorgeous 10 week old niece, Amelia Lynne.

After the race was over, we did what any smart person would do, head to Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor and indulge in a huge banana split sundae.

So there we have it, my first ever half marathon. Did it make me want to run another? Maybe, maybe not (although there was a moment, around mile 9 or so, where I found myself thinking, “Why the HECK did I think this would be a fun idea?!”) but in the end, it was such a blast, and I am so happy that I can now check this life goal off of my bucket list!

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