The first few miles were easy until the urge to use the port-a-potty came again. I was able to hold it until mile 5 where I found short lines and quick return on them. I only lost about 5 minutes from my time, which I was okay to lose instead of time at the end of the race because I decided to hold it in that long. At around mile 6, I was able to take off the breakaway jacket and tie it around my waist.
I felt pretty good most of the run 'cept I really looked forward the Accelerade stops every 2 to 3 miles. I also used two packets of Sport Beans. I received a Clif Shot, but could not open the damn thing at all. UGH! The Sport Beans got me there at the finish. I found that the road was going uphill slightly and then a hill at mile 10.5. I was not happy with the hills. The course was supposed to FLAT.
Well, I saw the road leading up the ASU stadium coming up around my mile 11.5, which got my 2nd wind kicking in. But my legs and body starting slow a bit and had the urge to just walk, which I allowed my legs to do. Then I picked it up again and ran. When I reached the mile 12 marker, I started to allow my legs to walk more and then running. As I approached the finish line, I picked it up and ran. I wanted to run through the finish line and look good for the photographers. When I saw the clock at 2:58:15, I really wanted to finish before 3:00 and have a good time.
After I crossed the finish line, I cried SO hard. It was truly a very emotional time for me. I finished a half-marathon after dealing two injuries, frustrations of TNT fundraising, and then dealing with the realities of an impending divorce. I have been through SO much!! When I received my metal, I cried some more. When I received my Mylar blanket, I asked for the guy who gave it to me to give me TWO hugs because I needed them very badly. There were a few people that I wished where there to give me a hug, but not there so I looked for the first available person.
Then I found the place where they were taking photographs with the logo. I did not want to stand in line for the pros so I looked for an open one to take a picture with my camera phone. I found a couple and asked them to take my picture. In exchange, I took their picture as well. Then I was off to the yummy carbs - bananas, oranges, and BAGELS - and the AWESOME FREE SANDALS, which my feet were crying out for desperately. It hurt MORE to stand in line than to keep moving.
After I received my FREE sandals, I headed to the TNT tent to check in, get my free PB&J, pretzels, chips and other yummy treats - and then get my gear at the UPS gear pick-up. Once I picked up my stuff at the gear pick-up, I was OFF on a mission - to find FREE beer. Yes, FREE beer. I missed out on that last year and I was NO way going to miss it again this year. It also gave me the incentive to keep moving and loosen up my poor leg muscles. Once I found my oasis - ok, the FREE beer, I found a good place and drank both of them. It tasted SO good. Then I walked back to the TNT tent to catch the shuttle back to the hotel.
I felt the two beers kick as I was riding the bus. WHooohooo! It was a good feeling. Once I got back to my hotel room, I got the stinky clothes off and some comfy temp clothes so I could just sit, watch the rest of the Bears-Seahawks game and talk on the phone with a few people about my finish. After I made my phone calls, I took a very nice warm shower and the rubbed some of the stuff that I bought at the expo on my muscles. It felt SO good.
After I get myself freshened up, I headed back downstairs to get something to eat the hotel restaurant. I ended up having a medium-sized side salad that had chopped eggs, bacon, croutons, spinach, and ranch dressing, which costed me $6. Ouch, but I was hungry and did not feel up to walking anywhere outside of the hotel room. The Starbucks was closed as well, which sucked. It tasted very good and left me satisfied until dinner.
After a late lunch, I went back upstairs to take small nap. I was woken up by someone with about 15 minutes of my nap left, but glad to talk to him. I was then out the door to go back downstairs for the Victory Party.
I walked with a few people to go to the Victory Party. It was a fun time at the Victory Party. They served Mexican food - fajitas, fruit salad, pinto beans, rice, and cookies at the end. They also had a cash bar. Once I got my food, I sat down with my teammates. One of the spouses bought me my first beer (actually third if you count the first two from after the race). By the end of the night, I ended up having a total of three more beers. I was having a good time.
They had us on the dance floor starting the Electric Slide (which is VERY interesting after a couple of beers and wearing the free sandals) and other popular dances. It helped to keep the legs moving and made the evening very interesting. They even made the evening more crazy when they brought out FIVE rolls of toilet paper and had several people pull them out into the audience. It became very crazy and zanny. We ended the party at around 9:30 and walked back to the hotel room. I ended up sobering up in my hotel room with a bottle of water and some pretzels before going to sleep at 12 midnight.
I woke up at 7 am even though I wanted to sleep in MUCH more that morning. I sat on my bed and continued to relax while watching TV. I knew that I would need to be out of the room by 12 noon so I was soaking it up as much as I could. I had a little bit of issue during that time, but I had one more trip to Starbucks for some goodies.
Our group ended up leaving for the airport at 1:30 for our originally scheduled 3:35 flight, which ended up being 30 minutes LATE to leave. Rule #1 - DO NOT leave very bored guys near the PAC (Personal Address Center) at Sky Harbor Airport. They will play around and goof off. Geez!! I ended up getting home around 8, waited 15 minutes to get OFF the plane, and then another 30 minutes to find my baggage. Once home, I relaxed, worked on homework, and caught up on e-mails before heading to bed at 1:30 a.m.
That's the whole weekend. If you want to see MORE pictures (70 pictures...and COUNTING...still growing!), PLEASE click on this link to see ALL of them.
I plan to rest the remainder of this week. My right heel and the right side of my right knee are painful still so I need to rest them for a little bit longer. I plan to get on the eliptical on Monday and work slowly back up to running again.
Stay warm, everyone, and stay dry!