Then Neil Arter led us in prayer.
After that we headed to the corral with a quick bathroom break! Then we stretched and watched as the full marathoners started and then the half went. While we were waiting to start a friend came up to me and said "Jen there is a lady from North Carolina here looking for you!!" I got teary-eyed and started to look fruitlessly for my friend, running coach, and cheer leader in life... Amy! (I had NO idea she she was coming!)With 27,000 people you can imagine that phone signal was jammed so calling and texting was pointless. So as we began to walk toward the start I got goosebumps all over my body!
I put my headphones in excited for the music I had carefully picked as I built my playlist on rhapsody and entitled it "RACE DAY" and downloaded it so that I would not need Internet to play it but as I went to play it I realized that you needed a signal to initially connect to get to the playlist. I was a little panicked because I have NEVER ran without music! But with all the excitement I quickly gave Misa my headphones to put in his pocket and we quickly passed the start and began our run! I was concentrating on running slow and steady. I remembered that the most I had ever ran outside was 1 mile! We ran the first mile followed by a short 30 sec walk and then we went back to running (we probably did that 5 times and well as walked up the 2 big hills). When we reached the half way mark there were volunteers handing out water so I grabbed one a drank it and then I got another one and threw it in my face! It was so HUMID and when I run I drink a lot of water.
I than realized that I had to go to the bathroom so we made a quick stop at the porta potties (which thankfully there was no line for). The second 1/2 was great as there was 560 people running with OCtotal and we were all wearing these neon yellow shirts and we cheered each other on along the way. Once again when we turned the corner onto Broadway I had goosebumps all over my body and the street was lined with people cheering! I ran across the finish line with my hands raised high and Misa was right by my side at 40 minutes exactly!
We walked and got our medals and then we went and found some water. We got to hug some other friends and then I went back to my hunt for Amy! We were able to text enough to learn she was running the half and so we headed back to the finish line to wait to see her cross and cheer her on! While we waited we had the chance to cheer on others that we knew! Amy's sister Michelle found us and when Amy came we were all cheering and Amy stopped to come over and hug me, tell me she loved me, and that she was proud of me before she crossed the finish! (I am crying as I am writing this!)
I am defiantly hooked and have already downloaded a program to work towards 5 miles and then a 10K!!! I do feel so PROUD of me and I feel sooooo blessed that my husband has been soooo supportive and ran with me! He really liked it and said he wanted to do the 1/2 next year! I did tell him that he might have to run more than once before the race if he wants to do that!
Once again, I will share my FAVORITE verse that I pray before each run:
"Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1