Thursday, September 27, 2012

Start to Finish: My First Half-Marathon!

What can I say...

My first experience running a half-marathon was exactly what I had hoped it would be!

That being...

A no-stress, free-striding and FUn event to take part in!

20K in.
Twas a #brilliant run in my Mizunos!

Honestly...

It wasn't at all about time or pace, but simply...

Enjoying the ride stride I mean run!


Let's recap shall we...

The day before the race...

I was a tad nervous about running my first 21K! (I had never run this distance before!)

I was also excited!

I mean...

This would be a goal I would end up coming face to face with after declaring this was something I was going to work towards!

Needless to say...

It was a big deal! (For me at least, especially knowing how no two runs are ever the same and that anything can happen at any point! I've had my fair share of injuries...no joke!)

This hamstring injury left me 4 months without running!
This happened last October.
Rest and...
Physio became my best friends.
But I never gave up on my goal!
I was determined to run my 1/2 after I healed!
(Hoping I'd recover of course!)

To soothe this nervousness...

SuperFit took me out for some pre-birthday shopping! (My birthday was two days ago!)

I came out FUelled with goodies!

Perhaps...

It was also an attempt at maturing my wardrobe ;) (Who knows? lol)

Nah...
He loves this hoodie!

Either way...

Shopping definitely did my mind some good as did...

Going over to The Masta's house for my sister's 14th birthday!


After the birthday celebrations...

We headed home hoping to get to bed early for some good zzzz's so that I would be all rested up come race day!

But I'll have you know...

I was so excited that I hardly slept all night!

I was up at 5am getting ready for my 9am start!

Waking up...

Of course (as I got my day started)...

I FUelled up with my Muffin Tops and coffee!


I also made sure to take my Microlactin! (As it has proven to work wonders in my post-run recovery!)


By the time Nikki came over...

I was ready to go!

Custom made tops.
I wore my lululemon run:swiftly tech long sleeve underneath.

And Nikki being the awesome person that she is...

Brought over some FUn stuff to play with which, made me super excited to get going!


As we made our way out the door...

Sly and Annie came by as they too would be running the Army Half!

We had them join in on the pre-race FUn!


Once we picked up Nookie and made our way to the start line...

Like my pants?
SuperFit got me these Birthday Lululemon Run Track Time Crop Pants.
Holy comfy!

We were filled with excitement just waiting to get started!


SuperFit kept telling me how proud he was and...

That he had no doubt in his mind I would finish this race!

Nikki (who could not run with us due to an injury)...

Offered me great words of encouragement as I stood in line! (She definitely kept me zen and relaxed! Love her!)

SuperFit and Nikki

And Nookie....

Always being right by my side to give me strength and focus!


Out of the all words spoken...

These ones ended up sticking like glue...

"Take it 5K at a time FU!" (In my mind, it made the distance less of a worry. It made it sound like a new beginning at every 5K mark I reached!)

Focused on the words spoken.

After hugging Nikki and kissing SuperFit goodbye...

Nookie, Sly, Annie and I patiently waited for the canon to blow!

I did end up taking my sweater off.
Thank goodness for that because it got a little warmer :)

Needless to say...

We had our #FUFACES on and we were ready to rock & roll stride!


And we're off....

What I find really FUnny about the start of a race is the fact that the moment the gun (or whatever) goes off...

You don't actually start running.

You walk until you cross the start line! (So that POW sound doesn't truly mean GO, but yet, the race has started lol)


The first 16K...

The weather turned out to be gorgeous! (That's all I kept thinking throughout a good portion of the race! +8, sunny skies, cool breeze!)

No rain as previously predicted.

Plus, it seemed like time (well in our case, distance since we weren't wearing a watch) was flying by since...

Nookie and I didn't stop talking as we had loads to catch up on! (We made a point not to talk to each other for a week, that way, we would have lots to cover over during our run together lol)

What better way to get the 'low-down' than to...

Enjoy a great Fall sunny day while doing something you love...like running! ;)

With personalized shirts of course ;)

Throughout different moments in the race...

Nookie would ask how I was doing, which in response to her question I'd say...

Great! (She said I looked really relaxed! I was. I was running with her :))

FUelling...

At every water station...

I made sure to drink some water so as to moisten my mouth!

I'll have you know now that...

I did bring some GU Gel with me but, at no point did I feel the need for it! (I felt really good so I didn't take it. I don't ever GU while I run anyway but I brought it with me just in case. SuperFit had given me a plan as to when to take it should I have required it.)

When nearing the 16K mark...

I knew I was only 1.5K away from the longest distance I had ever run before.

In my head I thought...

Everything thereafter would be a bonus!

Before hitting the bonus mileage...

Nookie made a quick stop at the porta-potties!

I slowed down my pace so that she could catch up to me quickly! (I actually had to run on the spot after realizing I hadn't told her I was going to continue moving forward at a slower pace! By the time she was done, I called out her name...she then came running to me like a speed demon! lol)

Soon after...

We saw SuperFit and Nikki cheering on the racers and high 'fiving' them all! (This would be the second time we saw them! They were FUreakin' amazing cheerers for everyone! It was awesome to see and hear!)


Once we finally reached them...

They ran with us for a short while, until...

We went our separate ways! (We would see them again at the last 500m of the race!)

Her poor foot :(

As we approached the 19K mark...

I saw my Dad on his bike!

I was so happy to see that he came out to support me! (It meant a lot!)

The last 3K...

This was it....

I was coming to the last few dozen minutes before crossing the finish line!

I have to say...

My energy levels, my body and well, my everything felt really good!

Plus...

The crowd and the cheers from all directions was super motivating and encouraging! (It definitely perked you up no matter how you were feeling!)

Honestly, hearing the people around me...

Always ended up putting a great big smile on my face!

I'm pretty sure I said thank you a million times over as people cheered us on or commented on our shirts! I'm also positive I told a guy I liked his super cute Doodle Dog!

Pretty sure I had a perma smile on my the whole time too lol
Or maybe even a #FUFACE
(check out official  race image here!)

The last kilometre...

As Nookie grabbed my hand and told me we were almost there (at 20K)...

She said "FU, this was just like any other Sunday run we've done together. Amazing! You are doing so good. You're making your Grampa proud FU!" (I said I would be dedicating this run to him!)

I was overwhelmed with emotions.

As we finally got to the 500m point...

SuperFit and Nikki jumped in with us and...

We all held hands to cross that FUreakin' finish line together!!!

You can check out the images here and here!

I was blown away.

I, in actual reality, crossed that 21K half-marathon finish line!

Me!

The girl who said she'd never run!

I did it! (Holy schmokes!)

Once it all sunk in...

I cried. I cried tears of joy.

I couldn't believe it!

Best feeling ever!

I then...

Enjoyed everything else around me!

The Soldiers handed me my dog tag (medal)
Goofing around!
Sly and Annie finishing real strong!
Photo-op!
My partner in crime ;)
 I'm officially a Gazelle!
xoxoxoxoxoxo

If you're wanting to know numbers...

I finished in 2:05 with an average pace of 5:57  :)

Later on that day...

The celebration continued over at our house hours later, where a bunch of us got together to celebrate this momentous occasion, as well as...

My birthday! (I'll talk about my post-run celebrations soon!)

Nikki surprised me with birthday decorations!!!
I'm a kid and I love balloons! :) :) :)

Before I go...

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone, once again, for all the good luck wishes!

It really does a lot to me, more than you'll ever know!

Also...

I want to congratulate all those who raced this past weekend!

I hope you all had an amazing race!

Lastly...

I FUreakin' did it my friends! (I did it!!!!)

I gotta admit, this was...

One heck of a birthday present!

Check out this super cool memorabilia I got as a gift from Nikki!

By the end of it all...

Accomplishing this goal has taught me that...

If you believe in yourself and what you are capable of accomplishing, you will achieve what it is you are striving for! (And in this case for me, crossing that finish line!)

Push forward and don't give up!

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*

**SuperFit, Nookie and Nikki, you will never know how much being a part of this journey has meant to me. I am so very thankFUl for having you in my life! xoxo** 

71 comments:

  1. FLIPPING LOVE ALL OF IT---but the best takeaway for me was the notion of taking it one 5k at a time.

    racing and life.

    xo

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    1. You are so, 100%, positively right.

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  2. So I teared up reading this! I loved reading every bit of it - your race rocked!

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  3. Congrats! You made me have watery eyes this morning! I'm a sucker for a great running / race story! Great time too btw!

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  4. OMG CONGRATS! That is SO exciting! I hate running and you inspire me. This is awesome Kierston. Good for you :)

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    1. Thanks Britt! Never say never, definitely a lesson I learned from running :)

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  5. YOU DID IT!!!! YAY!!! you should be so proud of yourself!!!! what an amazing accomplishment!!! you go girl!! spa love

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  6. Oh my goodness! Congratulations :-D. I was so looking forward to this recap - it didn't disappoint!

    So, uh, when would you like to do a full? :-P.

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    Replies
    1. Oh thank goodness Kate ;)

      A FUll...one thing at a time haha!

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  7. Congrats K! You did great! Halfs are a BIG deal and you rocked it! well done!

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  8. Congrats to you! What an awesome recap...I'm so glad you felt good the whole time. Isn't it the best feeling of accomplishment?!

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    1. Absolutely!!! Words cannot describe!

      Thanks :)

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  9. So awesome!!!! Major congrats on accomplishing this!!!

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  10. Congrats girly! What a great accomplishment! I would love to do that some day. Love all your pictures, so fun!

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    1. Thanks Amber! It was a great day :)

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  11. Congratulations beautiful! So happy for you! what an achievement you have accomplished. Your time was super fast for your first! I have one question? How on earth did you get those soliders to do Fu face? LOVE it! xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lisa! xoxo

      hahaha, we had a step by step lesson on how to #FUFACE ;)

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  12. CONGRATS!!!!!! I loved that you had a smile on your face the whole time.

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  13. Congrats on your first half girlie! It's smart to take it 5k at a time, great idea! I'm ready for November!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!!!

      Good luck with your in November! Enjoy it!

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  14. Soooooo exciting!! As someone else who completed a half after swearing that I hated to run, I understand the accomplishment :) Congrats!!

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  15. No surprise but looks like a blast. You are a rockstar!

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  16. Woohoo girl!!! You did AMAZING!!!! I LOVE your recap of it all...I could feel all your emotions and feelings!!! So awesome! Congrats!!!

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    1. Thank you so much Mindy! Thank you! :)

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  17. Great job C.
    xoxo

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  18. Happy belated birthday and CONGRATULATIONS! You made it look like so much fun, I'm so glad you felt it!

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  19. Congrats! Congrats!! So happy for you! and I LOVE your Oscar shirts (and the monkey sweatshirt). Looked like it was a perfect day. Great job!!

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    Replies
    1. Yeee! Thanks! It was an awesome day! :)

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  20. YAY!!! Congrats! This is awesome. I LOVE the advice "Take it 5K at a time FU!" Helps keep the motivation alive. Looks like you had FUn too! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Katie!!! I loved that advice too. It put a lot of things into perspective! :) I had a great time xo

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  21. You are amazing! Congrats on your first half-marathon, hard to believe it's done, isn't it!? You looked great and finished strong, great job@

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Cupcake!:) I know, I can't believe it's already gone and passed!

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  22. You are an inspiration girl! so excited that you finished the race! I;ll be doing my first half in 2.5 weeks gah soooo nervous!

    happy belated!

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    Replies
    1. Thank YOU!!! Good luck with yours! I can't wait to hear all about it!

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  23. SO PROUD OF YOU! love ya girl

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  24. Just found your blog! I ran my first half marathon this past weekend too! I also didn't think I could ever do it. It's amazing what our bodies are capable of! Congrats! ( posted a recap on mine too.)

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    1. Yahoo!!! Congrats! It really is amazing what we can achieve if we only believe! :)

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  25. Congrats on the race. It looked like fun time for everyone!

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  26. Congrats on finishing your race! It looks like you had a blast during the race:) Reading this recap brought back all sorts of warm memories of my first half too!

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    Replies
    1. It was truly a blast! So much FUn! I won't ever forget this experience!

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  27. congrats!!!!!!!!
    im a new follower here-love your positive attitude!

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  28. So proud of you!!! And I love that you had so much fun with it...and killed it. Finishing that strong is awesome!

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  29. Wow! Amazing finish time. I LOVE that you focused on the FUn of the event rather than the time. I'll be doing that in a month at my second half mary.

    I want that Oscar the Grouch shirt...badly.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Steph! I had a blast!

      Good luck with your training! :)

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  30. YAY!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! You time was totally kick ass too! And your recap made me tear! YOU ARE AMAZING!!!

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    1. Thanks Krysten!!! Merci!!! You, my friend, are amazing!!! xoxo

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  31. LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I am late to the game here! YES, taking it a step or a run or a moment at a time!!!!!!

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  32. amazing!!!!! congrats!!!!! funfunfun

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  33. Awesome race! Love your BIG smile at the end :)

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  34. I missed this recap (in San Diego). Rock on my friend awesome job!!!!

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