Daddy, empowered, friend, goal, half-marathon, legs, love, motivation, race, rock 'n roll half-marathon, run, strong, Uncategorized, walk

My first half-marathon!

Today was a very a special day. I will remember it for a very long time. Back on December 29, 2011, I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. I was determined to do it. I walked and ran in preparation. I expected to walk most of it and run what I could.

This past week was full of anticipation. It was all I could think about. After I picked up my bib, shirt, and swag bag on Friday – I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. This was the weekend I would finally become a half-marathoner. All day yesterday, I wanted the day to pass quickly so I could go to sleep and wake up this morning. Like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting oh-so impatiently for Christmas Day.

The alarm went off at 4am this morning and I was ready to go. I showered, dressed, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff together, and we were out the door at 5:20am to beat the traffic to Tropicana Field in St. Pete. The only thing I was worried about was the weather. IT. WAS. FREEZING. With the wind chill it felt like it was in the 30’s and it was windy. I was shivering all the way to my bones. I started out in 2 shirts, a jacket, and gloves.

Finally it was time. The first corral started at 7:30. I was in Corral 12 based on what I thought my finishing time would be. We had to finish in 4 hours and I projected 3:25. We started at 7:46:23 am. Within the first mile, I could not contain myself and I started running. I ran off an on through the whole race. I wasn’t running to beat others or to finish by a certain time. I was just running because I could and because I was on an adrenaline high. This was the farthest mileage I’d ever put in where I was running a good portion of it. I’m not a fast runner, but I run.

Hubby received texts on his phone as I crossed certain points: 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and finish. I saw him three times during my run – right at the start,  the 5k mark, and at the finish line. He took some great photos for me.

There were bands and music throughout and lots of wonderful people cheering us on, handing out water and Gatorade. It all kept me going.

By the 5k mark, I was ready to take my jacket off, as I had finally warmed up. The gloves would stay on the rest of the way.

At about the halfway point, I realized that I was really going to do this. I was going to finish this and finish it good. For me. It was very emotional experience. I cried many times during for many reasons…. This was a HUGE thing for me, it was HARD, and I was so proud of myself for taking it on, and riding out the determination of doing it as the weeks passed leading up to it. I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way or focus on all the what-ifs, and my downfalls. I cried from the sheer beauty of the route, especially as we ran along the water. I cried because I knew there would be so many people who would be proud of me for accomplishing this. And I cried because I wished more than anything Daddy was here to hear all about it, to tell me how proud he was of me.

When I hit the 10-mile mark, it felt SO close. Never had 3.11 miles felt so far or so close all at once. When the route was closest to the finish line and I could here the music and people cheering, it made me want to push myself farther and harder. When I rounded the last corner in mile 12 and saw the 13 mile mark and the finish line just past that, I was in tears again. I was so close to finishing, so close to completing this goal I had set for myself.

I saw hubby just before the finish line and that made me cry more. He was there for me as he always is. He supports me and I love him dearly for it.

Crossing over the finish line was a blur. My official finish time was 3:11:33, coming in 6503 out of 7006. I was handed a medal, given a blanket, a bottle of water, and a banana. My picture was taken with my medal on. It was then that I realized I had not stopped my watch. I texted hubby to tell him I was waiting in the family area and waited. When I finally saw him, I was so excited. And then, I saw my mom and Jenna! What a surprise that was. I had just texted my mom to tell her I had finished. I had no clue they were there, even though I found out afterwards that they were standing right by hubby at the finish line. Me and my tunnel vision…

Again I was crying, overwhelmed at finishing, seeing hubby, and seeing my mom and Jenna. they had balloons, and were so proud of me. It was a moment I will not forget.

The day could not have gone more perfect. I started the race with my good friend Terrie, knowing that she was doing it in honor of two very special people as part of Team In Training. I ended the race, feeling extremely proud and strong and loved. And I was so excited to hug Terrie and enjoy the moment with her, knowing we both finished. We did it.

The afternoon was topped off perfectly with a great lunch, with Nick and Autumn joining us. I am exhausted and sore beyond belief, but it is still a wonderful thing. And tomorrow, the 13.1 decal will go on my car. Finally.

Terrie and I in the freezing cold this morning. Brrrr!
Starting line!
At the 5K mark.
A beautiful day for a half-marathon.
What a view!
Approaching the finish line - determined!
So excited to see everyone!
Feeling very accomplished! Terrie and I did it!!
A well-deserved beer at the end!


  1. Teejay

    So, so proud of you! You are such a determined woman and it’s so inspiring to read about your triumph. I wish I were there to hug you at the finish line! Well done, Nanci, well done.

    1. Awww thank you Tammy!! You’re too sweet!

  2. Wow. I actually have tears in my eyes after reading this. I am so darn proud of you!! That is such an amazing feat and you have so much to be proud of. WELL DONE!!

    1. Thank you Joanna! That means alot! :)

  3. Way to go! This makes me that much more excited to finish my race, and yeah I’ll probably be crying by the end of it too :) Congrats on all your hard work and achieving this for yourself!

    1. Thank you so much! And thanks for following my blog – I look forward to following yours too!

  4. […] My favorite chapter of all was the one that talked about races, in the Celebration section. Depending on where you’re at in your journey, we all have different reasons for participating in races and we all have different feelings and emotions when we complete a race – whether it’s our first or last. I still have very vivid memories of running the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in February, my first one, and it was so emotional. I gave it my all, ran part of it, walked part of it, fought through the cold and wind, laughed, cried, and more… I loved every minute of it. The minute I finished, I knew I could not wait to do another. (If you haven’t read my post on my first half, you can read it here). […]

  5. […] morning of 45:25, that I should be able to complete a half-marathon in 3:30:17. When I ran the Rock N’ Roll Half, I did it in 3:11:33. My goal in signing up for a second half-marathon was to beat my first time. […]

  6. […] am going into this half without any training. To be honest, I didn’t train much for my first half-marathon, but I felt fine going into it. Now that I know what it’s all about, I *KNOW* I’m not prepared. […]

  7. […] to do anything to hurt myself or push too hard. Originally I had a goal of beating my time from my first half, but when I started dealing with my sciatica and I thought this would be out of the question, it […]

  8. […] I registered for the Rock N’ Roll Half last January, just weeks before the event, I thought I was nuts. That event alone proved to me how […]

  9. […] was cold, a very crisp 43 degrees. It was reminiscent of the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon last year, minus the crazy wind. I was so happy that I had my brand new gloves on to keep my […]

  10. […] Here’s the weather forecast for this morning. This is a full 30 degrees warmer than it was for last year’s. Quite a […]

  11. […] was my goal to beat last year’s time of 3:11:33. That’s what I wanted. Even more amazing would have been to beat 3:00 hours. Had […]

  12. […] will never forget my first half marathon. I was all kinds of nervous the morning of, wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. But I […]

  13. […] I was crazy for wanting to do it, it would be a one-time thing and that would be it. Running my first half marathon at age 40 in February 2012 just seemed like a fun thing to try. I never imagined it would be the […]

  14. […] love for this song goes back to my very first half marathon and I have loved it ever since. Just hearing it takes me back to that day and how I felt like I […]

  15. […] Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon St Pete – February […]

  16. […] did it just to get through it, two weeks after turning 40, it was a goal to do it and say I did it. Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg February 2012 was the start of my love for races. I cried like a baby when I crossed that finish […]

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