Diva Half Marathon 2012

Contributed by Janice Hom

Women’s Diva’s 1/2 Marathon in Burlingame~ May 6th 2012

I started running last year around this time. I never enjoyed running, instead I just did it for weight loss, until I ran my first race…MH Run with the Kites 10K. After that I was hooked but not necessarily on running but on the feeling of being a part of a race! The people, the excitement, the challenge, the cheers from the crowd and the reward at the end of pure achievement!! So I signed up for a Trail run a few months later and decided I was going to sign up for a half next. Then one night after running 6 miles around the neighborhood, I felt pain in my hip flexor and that was it…  I was out of commission! But it was fall and with a cold winter around the corner, I decided to hang up my running shoes and put on some cycling shoes instead which would later become my newest addiction (along with a new way to lose weight!) That kept me busy till spring of this year came around and a friend asked me to do the Brazen Badger Cove 5K. I thought why not! I ended up placing 3rd in my age group and didn’t even know till I read the results online. Placing and giving me a second medal on its way, gave me the push and reminder of why I liked doing races! So I thought to myself ok now it’s time to do that half marathon. After looking at the medal I would be receiving it was a no brainer to make the Diva’s 1/2 my choice!Â

Training
I normally only run about 3 miles once or twice a week. Sometimes I’ll do 5 or 6 instead. Nothing big. About 2 months prior to my half I ran 10 and felt good. That was my longest run till the race day. I had recently bought a road bike so I spent a lot of time and miles on that which I’m sure helped but running is much harder! I ran 8 miles a few weeks prior to the race and 5 and 6 the week of. I didn’t follow anything special, I only gave myself one day rest but I did eat carbs the night before 🙂 I signed up for this race solo and I was ok with that. On one hand, I didn’t have anyone to push me but on the other hand I didn’t have anyone to slow me down either. My plan was to walk 1/2 mile after every 3. I really didn’t want to incorporate walking but I didn’t think I could go 13 straight with such little training.Â

On your mark…get set…GO!!!

It took a few minutes to reach the start line with more than 5000 participants. It was fun to see everyone’s different outfits and so much pink! A lot of moms and daughters, sisters and friends. It was powerful to see that many women about to accomplish a huge goal. Everyone was really friendly and even sparking up conversations in the bathroom line. I made sure to go right before the sound of the gun so I thought I’d be good. Unfortunately the large coffee and 16 oz. water made me have to go again at only 2 miles in! I can’t believe this!! There was a line at least 8 deep and only 3 potties. Waiting was frustrating but luckily it was my only stop. I had to make up time, so I put it in high gear and looked for the girls in the bright tutus that were in front of me prior to my stop. I found them! Yay, I’m back in business. I didn’t carry water. I contemplated it but didn’t want to be weighed down. It was a hot day with very little wind but with so many water stations, I was fine with the exception of one that ran out of water.

Half way thru it started to get harder but bearable. So many people around me were walking and it looked tempting. I wanted to stop and join them but I said to myself “NO! Keep going” so that I did.
Along the different markers you would see girls taking pictures with the sign. It made me smile, knowing that was an accomplishment for them to get that far. Around mile 9 I noticed this one lady running by herself and keeping the same exact pace as me. She wasn’t wearing headphones so I started talking to her and it ended up being her first half too. I cheered her on and let her know I was using her as my pacer! When we got to the mile 10 marker people started clapping and again I smiled and the pain went away for a split second. My legs were tired and actually my butt muscles were hurting most. But I didn’t want to stop now; I have just over 3 miles to go. Mile 11 came and again the sounds of clapping to show our achievement. I really liked this and looked forward to doing it again at the next marker. I was out of water and started thinking maybe I should’ve worn my water belt? Mile 12. Ok only one more to go! This was the longest and hardest mile. I wanted to push and sprint to the finish but my body wouldn’t let me. I even fell back a few seconds, losing my pacer. I kept looking for the big, noticeable finish line but it was nowhere in sight. It had to be coming up; I should be able to see it by now…but nothing. I thought this is crazy, where is that damn finish line? This last mile didn’t want to end. Instead of feeling joy, I was hurting and really wanted it to be over. Then finally I heard the crowds of people cheering everyone on! “You did it, your almost there, way to go!” A big smile came on my face. I felt so special to have strangers encouraging and congratulating me along the last 200 feet. They were handing pink boas and tiaras to wear, making you look like a real diva. Finally I threw my hands up and crossed the finish line!! YES!!! I did it. I was so happy that I ran the whole 13.1 miles without stopping. Waiting for me was a topless firefighter who handed me my medal, a rose and a flute of champagne! Not too bad.Â

Finally, I thought to myself. That was hard but surely not impossible. I could do it again but 26, now that seems (almost) impossible! It was such a great feeling of success and I don’t think that special feeling could ever get old. I finished in 2:34 at 11:45 per mile.

Hope to see you all at the MH Run with the Kites!

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