“Go Guitar!” That was my name while I ran the Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon. I wanted to run this race because it’s in my hometown, and so many people I know were running it with me: Andrea (sister), Patrick (husband), Devin (cousin), Amy (friend), Delaney (family friend). My parents were there to cheer us all on with cow bells.
We got down to the race early (for once!) and were able to get some great pictures together. I heard the mayor (Francis Slay) over the loud speaker, so when I got up to the starting line I got my picture taken with him. (I’m sure he was thinking ‘am I really getting my picture taken with a human guitar!?!?)
I decided to dress up as a pink guitar for this race to keep with the Rock ‘n’ Roll theme. Because it was an inaugural race, I figured people would respond well to a rock instrument. Well… I was right! The whole way people cheered me on. And as always, I took time to thank the families that came out early, as well as the first responders that were blocking the streets and on standby for medical emergencies. I wanted to let each of them know how thankful all of us 21,000 runners are for their work. We couldn’t do something is incredible without them.
As soon as we crossed the starting line, my younger sister took off. She’s an extremely fast runner and I couldn’t keep up. I ran with my husband for a few miles which was wonderful. We both had a hard time pacing ourselves because we were so excited. Then, my foot fell asleep.
I’ve been having this problem for a long time. But I didn’t want to stop. It was too early in the race. At one point I couldn’t feel either of my feet at all. I stopped and retied my shoes. I stretched my foot, but in a minute or two I was going full speed again. I dealt with this problem for a couple miles and then all the feeling came back and I was fine.
One of the reasons I didn’t want to stop is because there were so many crowds. Usually there’s a huge crowd at the beginning and end of a race and smaller crowds near some of the bands. In St. Louis– it was like the entire town came out to watch, give us water (and beer– thanks guys!), and cheer us on. I’ve never seen so many people during a race. They even beat Chicago crowds!
Every time I decided to take a break, someone would yell “Don’t give up guitar! Don’t fret!” I had to keep running.
Next thing I knew I was at the end of the race. It seemed like it went by so fast. I crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 24 minutes– only 5 minutes slower than my Chicago Half. That sounds great– but let me explain why it’s alarming.
I’m running a full marathon next Sunday– the Marine Corps Marathon. That’s 26.2 miles. According to my coach and all the training literature I have, I should have only ran 8 miles max. I ran 13.1 and on top of that, I ran it fast. There’s some concern about running again in a week. Some people say I’m crazy. I say I’m “determined.”
After the race, I stretched and stretched and stretched. Monday, I stretched and stretched and stretched. Tuesday, I felt normal again. That’s a great sign. Ultimately, I think this half marathon is helping me prepare for the full. And I’ll really have to focus on pacing myself.
I plan to dress up again next weekend. But it will be close to Halloween, so I’ll be in good company. I can’t wait!