Thursday, January 22, 2009

Run Matt Run!

Wow, how can so much greatness exist in one apartment.... :)

Last Sunday Matt completed his first half marathon in Phoenix. And I was along for the ride.

I was a little nervous going into the race. Our longest run had been 5 or 6 miles, and Matt started getting a pain in his toe. Anything beyond 6 miles was going to be a mystery! We hadn't had a chance to try out hydration or nutrition options.

On the morning of the race I wanted to be prepared for anything. I packed us some water, a couple granola bars, shot blocks, some aspirin, oh and a disposable camera. Matt also hadn't run enough in my uber-fashionable fanny packs to get comfortable carrying his own, so I strapped on our survival pack.

The weather was perfect! A cool 50 degrees... but since it was Phoenix, the weather was going to get much warmer right away. We packed into the starting line and took in the myriad of characters waiting to start the race. Because we had a longer estimated time we were mixed in with walkers and joggers. But there seemed to be too many people in warm winter-y coats. It blew my mind.

I wonder how many race participants were first timers. I know Phoenix has a lot of programs to raise the fitness level of their city, but it seemed like there were a lot of people who didn't know what was ahead of them.

Here are a couple of my favorite runners:
- Dude carrying the goody bag from the expo around his shoulders
- Girl holding up the line for the porta-potties because there was no toilet paper
- The two Paris-Hilton type girls walk-running, one of which had a wrist clutch
- The dude on the apparent "green team" or maybe he was rooting for the eagles....

Okay, so Matt was definitely my favorite runner. We ran the first 4 miles, no problem. They were going by pretty quickly! We stopped and walked for a mile. Then it happened...

He got his first runner's high. It was great to be with someone while they experienced it for the first time. He was pumping his fists to the music and joking around. He could have run forever...

or for another mile or two. :)

Around 8.5 it started to get more difficult. Luckily, his family was in the perfect spot to cheer us on, and they snapped a photo. :) The energy was enough to keep us going for another half mile.

We ate a granola bar, walked, talked, and made fun of bands along the way. We decided we'd run again at mile 10.

Then it was mile 10, just in time for our legs to get good and stiff. It took about 10 minutes for me to start feeling good again. It's been a while since I've been running for more than 2 hours. We only had three miles to go. Matt was pretty lucid and moving, and if it came down to it, we could walk it if we had to. We both knew he was going to finish :)

The last three miles were pretty rough, but of course they are, that's why most people don't do this sort of thing. It also started to get really hot. It was reaching the mid-70s. We kept trucking along. I was really impressed with how well Matt was doing. I knew he was in pain, but he was a real trooper!

We got to the finish line and it was over. It wasn't as climatic as Matt had hoped, but it was over and we survived. :)

AND, the best news is... he's interested in doing it again! I think the real success is that he finished the race and doesn't hate running! Look out world, we have a new half-marathoner on our hands :)


Alison said...

Yay! Way to go Matt!! I was wondering how y'all did :)

If only I could get Mike to run with me!

L said...

Way to go to the both of you, what support you share with each other.
My hats off to BOTH of you!!!

Becky Grudowski said...

Well, you have both truly inspired me. I'm not sure exactly what my goals are yet, but I do know I want a (half) marathon success story of my own. thanks for the book and all of the info. I'll keep you posted!