I did it! I ran my first half marathon on Saturday. 13.1 miles!!
I was so disappointed to be injured last year, to the point that it was all I could do to walk the 1/4 marathon course. So completing the Half this year – and rocking it – was extra sweet.
Dayl and I at the start.
I like to run in cute dresses – it's lightweight polyester, so why not?
I love the positive energy of the Hippie Chick. 3,000 or so women, all giving themselves a challenge. Everyone is happy and supportive, and it’s awesome.
Thousands of Hippie Chicks, converging on the start!
We were certainly ready to be done by the end, but it really felt great. Since Dayl and I run so well together, the first 5 miles just flew by. In fact, mile 1 felt like we had just gone around the block. Cheerleaders, music, water and sports drink was waiting at Mile 1 – and even though we didn’t feel like we needed it, a wise friend once told Dayl to never pass up hydration along the way.
We started feeling it around Mile 8, but another pit stop for Hammer gel & water and we were off, ready to tackle the last 5.1 miles. At Mile 9, we said, “4 miles to go. We run 4 miles all the time – this is nothing!”
We passed this awesome chick during Mile 11, the hardest mile for me!
Dayl has this great way of psyching us. She puts a smile on her face, and says, “This is easy!” Even though we were feeling every step by Mile 11, we convinced ourselves that it was nothing. Mile 11 really was the hardest, though. I was so glad to see the Mile 12 marker, knowing that the first mile had flown by – surely it would fly by this time, too!
Me at Mile 12, feeling good!
A weird thing started happening the last mile. I was having these waves of goose bumps all over my whole body. Tingly skin all over, almost like that split second after a sneeze. It continued all the way into the beer garden for our recovery drink. Is that “Runner’s High?” Or just heat exhaustion?
We crossed the finish line holding hands, running strong. It was so awesome to hear the announcer calling out,
“Krista Swan, of Portland. And Dayl Pytel, of Underwood, Washington!”
A volunteer handed us our prizes – a beautiful silver necklace. So much better than a medal that I wouldn’t know what to do with! I’ll actually wear this.
Supportive family! Anna made one of the signs with pictures of an orange, asparagus, broccoli and wine. "To make you run fast to the finish so you can have your favorite foods!"
We know from experience that beer is the ultimate running recovery drink!
Recovery! See my weird hair over my ear? I had pulled that hair down to cover my ear, as I started to feel sunburn happening inside my ear after Mile 5. I need to remember to put sunscreen all over my ears!
I’m not sure I’d ever want to run a whole marathon. Even though I felt great and strong, I woke up in the middle of the night with twitchy legs. I’m planning to do a lot of yoga this week, and resume my running schedule on Tuesday. But I’m so proud of our bodies for allowing us to achieve this accomplishment, and I’m ready to tackle the next challenge!