So today, I did the impossible...well for me that is haha. I ran my first half marathon EVER. The Monster Dash. The half marathoners started at 9 a.m. and then there was also a 10k and 5k going on as well that started later on. I've been training for MONTHS and today was the day where it all paid off. My mom, Josh and his bff Spencer came along to be my team of cheerleaders. Josh was an amazing supporter and was the one to drive us all. I would have driven but ummm yeah...not too sure that would have been possible post running. We arrived at Grant Park a good hour before start time to allow for proper stretching, photos, and to check out the hilarious costumes since it was a Halloween-themed run. I opted to wear my Monster Dash swag and skeleton gloves.
I haven't been in Grant Park since the Polar Dash where Josh proposed almost a whole year ago now in January :) . It was great to be back and to conquer a challenge I set out to beat for quite some time.
Of course I've been training for months but other than being physically prepared I needed to mentally prepared as well. How did I do this? Creating the perfect playlist to keep my motivated to run 13.10 miles. The following is my playlist that kept me pushing through even when my right knee started to throb in pain (thanks to a basketball injury from way back when).
1.) In This Moment- Adrenalize
2.) Savage Garden- I Want You
3.) Eminem- Lose Yourself
4. Neon Trees- Everybody Talks
5.) Rihanna- Diamonds
6.) Hole- Celebrity Skin
7.) Ke$ha- Tik Tok
8.) Coldplay- Princess of China
9.) David Guetta f. Sia- Titanium
10.) One Direction- Beautiful
11.) Adele- Rolling in the Deep
12.) Rihanna- Where Have You Been?
13.) Lady Gaga- The Edge of Glory
14.) Lady Gaga- Bad Romance
15.) Shania Twain- Man! I Feel Like A Woman
16.) Justin Bieber- As Long As You Love Me
17.) Eminem- 8 Mile
18.) Michael Jackson- The Way You Make Me Feel
19.) Coldplay- Paradise
20.) Adele- Skyfall
21.) Marilyn Manson- Personal Jesus
22.) Cobra Starship f. Sabi- You Make Me Feel...
23.) Blink 182- What's My Age Again?
24.) Eminem- Til I Collapse
25.) Janet Jackson- Escapade
26.) Janet Jackson- Runaway
27.) Disturbed- Down With The Sickness
28.) Blink 182- All The Small Things
29.) Britney Spears- Till The World Ends
30.) Calvin Harris- Feel So Close
31.) Flo Rida & David Guetta- Club Can't Handle Me
32.) Shakira- Waka Waka
33.) LMFAO- Sexy And I Know It
34.) Eric Clapton- Layla
35.) Young The Giant- My Body
36.) Guns & Roses- Sweet Child O' Mine
37.) Aretha Franklin- Respect
38.) Led Zeppelin- Black Dog
Every time I felt like walking it, a new song came on and lit some more fire into me to keep going and to push harder than I have ever pushed. I must say, I was VERY proud of myself. I did my best and really, you can never be disappointed in that. I crossed the finish line strong leaving many Batmans and Thors in the dust. I finished in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I met below my estimated goal time so I was beyond ecstatic. Victory was mine and I had my team of cheerleaders waiting for me at the finish line while I crossed it listening to Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" ummm awesome? Yes.
I got a medal and an amazing North Face quality reflective jacket that I can add to my Monster Dash swag. I'll definitely never forget this race that's for sure. It was not only physically challenging but mentally challenging as I said before. Also, my friend Cortney made her famous chocolate chip cookie/brownie/cupcake things. They were my victory nom noms once my stomach settled the eff down. During training, I didn't run more than 10 miles all that often but when I did, it seemed like my stomach would go into a state of shock. "I'm thirsty!! No...you're really hungry!!! NO...you'll throw up....SIT DOWN...STAND UP..." It took about a good hour and a half before I felt like I could actually stomach food and more than a sip of water every so often. Being in the back of a car and stuck in traffic didn't help at all either but I got through it and when I did...I broke into that bag of chocolate chip cookie/brownie/cupcake yumminess.
It really was a beautiful day out though for the race. It couldn't have been better. It was chilly in the morning though and warmed up throughout the race which made it difficult running with a long-sleeved shirt and track jacket. The wind felt SOOO good though and I definitely took advantage of those water stations. I'm sure they slowed down my pace significantly in the end but oh well, I was more than happy with my performance and time. :) We went to Red Robin for a victory lunch and I gorged myself on a cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and I think it might have been three or four strawberry lemonades. I figured these calories simply didn't even matter since I probs just burned more than 2,000 running a fricken half marathon.
It tasted soooo good. And might I backtrack a bit and say that getting out of the car after sitting in the car for awhile was quite a task. I felt like an old lady who just had hip surgery. I had to limp along due to my right knee and my hips and legs were definitely not fully functional after what I just put them through. I suspect that my heels will see the back of my closet this week since I'll be rocking flats for this whole work week. I don't even want to know how sore I'll feel in the morning if I'm this sore already but I can still say that I would never take any of it back. I feel achieved, victorious and proud that I kicked so much ass.