Monday, April 30, 2007

A great, great weekend

Registration Fee for Country Music 1/2 Marathon:

Motivational T-Shirts for Country Music 1/2 Marathon:


Thorlo Socks, New Balance Shoes
for Country Music 1/2 Marathon:


Finishing the Country Music 1/2 Marathon:


Now to come back down to earth. Heh.

Thanks for the many, many comments all week long, especially the "Done!" ones. You have no idea how much you were all on my mind as I raced plodded through the streets of Nashville. I wasn't going to let you down by not finishing, no matter what!

There was one moment around the 12th mile when I felt kind of woozy and lightheaded and even kind of lost my balance for a bit, but I shook it off – as athletes do, heh! – and kept on going. After that point it was all downhill and so close to the finish line I wouldn't have quit unless I were dead.

Some fun stuff
I wore a t-shirt with a West Virginia University logo on the front, and was greeted by spectators all along the course shouting, "Go, West Virginia!" and "Hey, Mountain Mama!" Very motivating. At one point a band was playing "Take Me Home, Country Roads," West Virginia's unofficial anthem made famous by John Denver. Don't I look great as I find my daughter and grandchildren in the crowd? This was taken mere yards from the finish line.

Spectators along the roadsides toasted us with a variety of libations, including tequila, Red Stripe, champagne and coffee. One guy offered cigarettes – no takers on that one.

I was amazed at how many people brought cell phones with them, and checked in along the route. We heard lots of "I just passed the five-mile mark" type conversations along the way.

My son-in-law, Tyler, ran the race with me, finishing seven minutes ahead of me. [There we are, after we crossed the finish line and stopped gasping for breath.] He's much taller, but also much younger, so I pretty much kicked his ass. [I crack myself up!] He wants to wear a shirt next year that says "Hang up and run."

Next year
Next year?
Looks like there will be more of these for both of us. We're already talking strategy to improve our times. I had no idea when I registered how to estimate how long it would take. You had to finish in less than four hours, so I put down 3:30, which put me in one of the last corrals, where most of the walkers were. Tyler could have been in an earlier corral but elected to stick with me most of the way. [Thanks again, Ty!] We probably ran an extra mile just navigating around people who were slower than we were.

I'm definitely going to do more weight training. I know I would have felt better at the end, no matter what my speed was, if I'd been stronger. But the training I did was so valuable. I amazed myself, week after week. Having that medal placed around my neck was A Moment, for sure.

I placed 61st out of 403 in my age division. I still can't believe that. When I looked in the paper at the finish times for older divisions, though, the top three women in the 70-74 group finished faster than I did. Heh. Here are my times and splits:

Chip time begins when your shoe, which has a computer chip attached to it, hits the starting line. Clock time is when the first runner hits the starting line. So we basically stood around waiting to start for nearly an hour.

The rest of race day was hard. Aching muscles, extreme fatigue, massive quantities of water. My daughter fixed a fabulous steak dinner Saturday night, which was just what the doctor ordered. I was surprised at how much better I felt Sunday morning. I had an eight-hour drive to get back home, and only took a couple of short stretch-your-muscles breaks along the way. I feel normal – well, actually, better than normal – this morning.

I feel like a runner.


Lori said...

You ARE a runner and a marathoner! I love the photos! You are so cute and cool looking in your photos. You don't look like you ran 13.1 miles at all!

61 in your age division! Way to go for a first-timer. I am so proud of you and so tickled pink with you. The photos and your post today made me smile.

Yay for you!

PastaQueen said...

OMG, they called you "Mountain Mama?" That is so awesome. Thanks for posting the pics. I'm so proud of you!

Sarah (AKA Fleecy) said...

Woo hoo! You ROCK! :-)

jen said...

You look great in your photos! I am so happy for you -- and you're right, you TOTALLY kicked your son's ass. ;)

Becca said...

You are freakin' awesome. Thank you so much for sharing all the details of your adventure. Great job!

Grumpy Chair said...

Great pictures Debbi! You are a runner indeed!

Gosh I feel so motivated right now.

LME said...

Congratulations, Debbi! Woohoo!!!

Amy said...

woohoo running!

jeannie crockett said...

Oh, yes, Debbi! I'm proud to know you! What an inspiration to us all.
I was smiling, too, when I read this post.
And how many miles will you do this week? The weather is so perfect!
Again, congratulations.

Jack Sprat said...


Isn't it funny how that long stretch of 13.1 miles was achieved by your chipping away at it bit by bit by bit? I'm sure those long run days didn't FEEL like "chips" but they must have helped.

Everyone of the behaviors you practiced, both large and small, contributed to your amazing success. There's no magic wand, just the kind of tenacity, creativity, and determination that you showed us.

Way to go!!!!!!


Laura N said...

You ROCK! What a great race report. You are my new hero! I can't wait to hit the treadmill today and put in some running minutes in your honor. :)

Mariah said...

Wowie wow wow! I feel good just reading about it. I know you must be on cloud nine.

What's next?

Adam said...

You are a runnner!!!

Darn, now I'm really jealous of you being able to run in that race. I was on my tractor Saturday morning and thought about you.

Too bad the Memphis Marathon is 7 months away:)

D said...

Awesome Debbi! It sounds like you had such a blast. Make sure you bask in your accomplishment :)

Mary Christine said...

i was out of town all weekend - but i was thinking of you and wondering about your half... glad you did so well! congrats!

mehitabel said...

Congratulations!! That really was quite an achievement, and what a great finish!! Yay!! Now I'm inspired to train (sorta) with my daughter as she gets ready for her marathon (she's done Honolulu and Vancouver, yay Meg!) and I know I can at least walk the running for the busted knee, but walking is okay!

ws said...

Congratulations! I'm glad to see you had nice weather and a great time at the race. Plus, it is always nice to have a running mate that will stick with you throughou the race. It seems, that no matter what distance a race is you always end up bobbing and weaving through the slower people at the beginning. When you find the secret to getting faster, please pass it along!

And, isn't it sick that at mile 12 you are thinking you would crawl to the finish line if that was necessary, but after you've crossed the finish line you are planning for next year...

Enjoy your recovery days...

xenalvr311 said...

Wow Deb! I'm so proud of you and even more proud that you're my sister!You look so happy as well you should.
I love you and keep up the good work!!