I decided review some of my old races, of what I can remember..
May 2009, This was my First ever half marathon, and the long distance I've ever ran up to that point. Earlier that week, my training partner told me that she read somewhere, "You're not a real runner until you've crapped your pants". That day, I came close to it.
We woke up at 4am got ready and drove down to Orange County. We didn't practice our morning routine, so we didn't have the proper breakfast set up, (which later I regret). I believe I ate a slice of bread and a "No Peanut Peanut Butter" with no fat (mistake), and a hard boiled egg. Very nervous for our longest race and run to date. It was the first time I ran where the end point wasn't a circle. So you park at the finish line, then take a shuttle to the starting line..
So you have to get there early or you might miss the shuttle. We waited in line for 30-45 mins and it was VERY cold. I didn't bring a camera or phone so I have no pictures to document this race. We were all rookies.
I recall seeing a group of older Korean men and women who are part of a running group, they wear bright yellow shirts. I don't recall the name of it, but they are at every running event I've attended here in So.Cal, so I'm sure you'll see them. And they totally kicked our mid 20's asses.
The run started off great, until I hit around mile 6, then my stomach started to hurt, and things weren't looking so good. For the rest of the race onward every muscle of my body that wasn't running, was focusing on not crapping my pants. After mile 9, I took small breaks by slowing down to get water, and then to run again. I didn't want to stop or walk. That meant defeat.
I pushed through and was insanely tired at this point, and wanted to stop, but I was at mile 11. Only 2 more miles left.. I tricked myself into say, I'll walk at the next mile, I'll walk at the next mile... Then mile 12 came and its only 1 more mile left, you CANT walk now!
The best thing that I always will remember, there was a sign someone posted up near the end that read:
"Pain is temporary, but your Time is on the internet forever!"
I kept running.
Finally I made it to the end, and made a bee-line for the restrooms, I didn't even try to find my friends. I found a corner and sat there, my stomach was in so much pain. I experienced having salt crystals on my body for the first time, and my underarms were so chaffed. (I learned how to tell what makes you chaff and what doesn't)
There were a lot of firsts that day.. but far from being my last.