|so glad I had my mom with me!|
|the expo center|
|race bibs acquired; all that was left to do was run|
The next morning, after horrible nights of sleep, another layer of anxiousness was added to the mix. While relaxing in our room, Brian received a call from our realtor saying there was an offer on our house; it was the first offer we had received, and it was as good of an offer as we could hope for (aside from the timeline - closing the week before Christmas). Trying to keep our cool, we trudged through logistics and headed to breakfast with our crew. We ate and chatted, and then Jenna and I watched our moms and husbands have the drinks we were desperately craving -- and sometimes sniffing. Then it was time to get set to go, so Jenna and I, decked out in our Bolder Bands and running shoes, headed toward the start line.
|pre-race partying for the non-runners|
I can honestly say that I had not been as nervous as I as was then in a very long time, if ever at all. I had spent the better part of three months preparing for this very moment, and with the knee pain I had recently developed and the fear of not being able to meet my goal or run the whole race, I was extremely worried. I hadn't told anyone, not even Brian, how much my knee was bothering me or how much I worried it would affect my run, and I didn't want to go all the way to Vegas and give my first half marathon anything less than 100%. I did my best not to panic.
After having said goodbye to our moms and having waited in the world's longest porto-potty line, Jenna and I made our way to the corrals. We had different corral numbers and had to start our race separately, something we had not done before. We spent a few more minutes together talking to other runners, and then we hugged each other goodbye, a long, tight hug for good luck. In that moment, I was overcome with emotions. I was anxious, excited, and proud. I was very glad Jenna and I were together in this adventure. I headed off to my corral, number 37, and listened to my teeth chatter as I made my way closer and closer to the starting line. Eventually I saw it, heard the countdown, and then the big ol' GO!
|#StripatNight - time to do this|
As I got into double-digit miles, my legs started to feel like I had run double-digit miles. I also felt the pain in my knee moving a bit lower; I adjusted my knee brace and my stride, and continued trucking along the Vegas strip. I had mini-goals, mile markers to look out for along the way, and with only a 5K remaining, I was sure I could do this. After all, I have a few of those under my belt. Let me tell you, after 10 miles, a 5K isn't as easy as I once thought it was. At mile 12, I could see the end was near, and I began looking for my cheering section, our moms, who had waited for us with giant cheers and signs at mile 2.5, and our husbands who were there and cheering at mile 4. I felt my pace increasing, my legs felt lighter, and I knew I could do it. I turned up my music, locked my eyes on the finish line, and took off. I crossed the finish line just off of my adjusted goal time and having run every step of my first half marathon, achieving my goal and making one heck of a memory.
We spent the rest of the evening reminiscing about all that happened over the past 13 miles. While we had big plans to eat and drink our way through our evening, we opted for comfort food - mac and cheese and a baked potato - and a hot bath. I didn't want to go to bed that night because I didn't want that amazing day to end...and I knew the next day would bring tired, sore muscles and a knee that wouldn't work so well. And as indicated by my two-day hobble, I was right...
|warming up inside of Harrah's|
Riding our post-run high (and attempting to ignore our aches), we set out to make up for lost time the next day. After a bit of shopping, we went to Planet Hollywood to claim our victory drinks, courtesy of Joanna, my cousin's very sweet girlfriend. We drank and laughed our way through the rest of the day, watched a bit of Monday Night Football, and visited Fremont Street. While downtown, we were sure to knock off another to-do from the list, a big Mexican feast, which I had been craving for weeks.
|Day Drinking in honor of our big night!|
|I've been waiting for this since August!|