Monday, May 7, 2012

Cox Providence Half Marathon Finisher!

It happened! On Sunday I ran 13.1 miles for the first time in my life. And it felt so good. The best part was crossing the finish line…and seeing all of our supporters on the sidelines.

I guess the best way to recap this half marathon weekend is to start at the beginning. Friday night I nervously packed my bags, with literally everything I could think of to bring. I had every different combination of running outfits, just case there was a freak snowstorm…or hurricane. Hey, I wanted to be prepared! Saturday morning Matt and Jess picked up Dan and me and we started our journey back to the ‘hood (not the real “hood” but that’s just what we call our neighborhood, since Jess and I have been neighbors since I was 10).

Probably a week ahead of time, I had my prerace dinner planned out.  I knew we probably wouldn’t be home in time for the dinner with the other Rhode Scholar bloggers, I went to my go-to fueling meal, Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Spinach. I rolled with white pasta, since it’s easier to digest. I noticed how much thicker white pasta is than whole wheat and I can definitely say that I like whole wheat better. Hooray for healthy!

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I figured I could splurge on some white bread, ya know, since I was about to run 13.1 miles!

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Yummmmm, pasta!

With butterflies in my stomach, I tucked myself into bed early so I would be well rested for what was coming. I woke up around 6am and we left the house at 7am.

Despite my long night’s sleep, we look a bit groggy waiting for the race to start.  We took our places and the gun went off at 8am. We were off!

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The first 5k went by really quickly and my nerves quickly dissipated.

Our families came out to support us and positioned themselves on Blackstone Blvd. in Providence, where they knew they would see us twice.  Here we are so excited to see them at mile 4! We knew they would be around mile 4 but it was still a nice surprise to finally see them!


The course was hilly, as expected, and we did a really good job of pacing ourselves and listening to our bodies to make sure we conserved energy for the rest of the race.

To entertain ourselves during the race, we came up with three mini goals. The first was to not finish last, which we figured would be easy to accomplish. The second was to finish in under 2:30, which was going to be more of a challenge because of those dang hills. And the third was to beat the man wearing cargo shorts in front of us, because really, who wears cargo shorts to run for two and a half hours!?

Another way we entertained ourselves? On-the-run photo shoots!

Here we are around mile seven, starting to get a little loopy.

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Mile nine was quickly (well it wasn’t actually that quick) approaching and we knew we were going to see our families again soon, which gave us something to look forward to.

These are our cheerleaders, minus my dad because he was taking the photo. Thanks for coming to cheer us on guys!


I must say, this course was absolutely beautiful! So many gorgeous houses to look at.


A spontaneous jump at mile nine, which took a toll on Jess’s knees…sorry for making you jump for the camera, girl!


We weren’t sure if we would see our cheerleaders again before the end of the race, so we turned to say goodbye.


But see them again we did, right around mile 11.5, where we both were really starting to fade. This is right where the marathoners joined the course, so we kept moving out of the way for the elite runners who were looking to win. When we saw our families this time, they tried to get us to jump again…you can tell by our faces that that was NOT going to happen. Dan’s dad kept telling us we were going to set a world record, which made us laugh each time. Jess’s dad mooed for us since they didn’t have a cowbell, ha! And my dad ran alongside us for a little to take some photos.


Finally, after 2 hours, 29 minutes, and 57 seconds, we were done! That’s right, we beat our goal time! HOORAY! And we didn’t see cargo shorts again, so we assume we beat him too. Yay for hitting all of our goals!

As soon as we crossed the finish line I just about collapsed. They quickly handed us our race medals, a bottle of water, and these super chic tin foil blankets. As we searched for food, I wobbled a few times and had to catch myself from falling. But as soon as we got to eat and chug water, I felt much better. Weird thing though, my feet kept cramping up, which I’ve never had happen before. I quickly chugged a Gatorade and devoured a banana and it eventually stopped.

We met up with our families and took some finisher pics with our first ever race medals Smile

After the race we all went out to have an enormous breakfast, complete with bloody marys and mimosas, of course!IMG_5352

All in all, it was a really great race.  There is some discrepancy with how long the half marathon course actually was, but we still beat our goal, even if the course was a little bit longer.

After making ourselves feel like humans again, we hopped back in the car for the 3.5 hour ride home.  Jess and I had big plans to nap the whole way, but that never happened. By the time we hit New York City, everyone was really loopy and out of it, which lead to some overtired giggles. Once we got home, I finally feasted on a day late Cinco de Mayo meal and called it a night.

Boy was I SORE when I woke up this morning though! I foam rolled a little this morning but it didn’t help much. At work I tried everything to make myself feel better including Advil, coffee, Emergen-c, walking during lunch, and stretching as much as I could.

Check out what was at the office this morning…we have the best co-workers Smile Thanks for getting these, Gill!

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When I got home, I took an Epson salt bath and foam rolled my little heart out. I’m starting to feel more human, but I still can’t bring myself to grocery shop!

My first half marathon experience was truly a great one, and I definitely plan on doing another one soon, maybe even this summer! I want to thank a few people who made this experience so enjoyable and manageable. A huge thanks to the people behind the race at Cox and Eident Marketing for giving me the opportunity to be a blog ambassador and for comping my race entry fee! Thanks to Dan who encouraged me to continue to train, even when I felt like I wanted to give up. Thanks to Jess for always being my fearless running buddy and running right along side of me for each mile, you’re the best! Thanks to Matt for the delicious breakfast and for driving us to and from the race! Thanks to my family, Dan’s dad and Pam, and Jess’s fam for waking up early on Sunday to cheer their hearts out each time we ran by, the cheers really kept us going! And thanks to everyone who listened to me talk about my training plans and training runs and are still friends with me after it’s all over! You all are the best and I wouldn’t have done this without all of you.

So there you have it, 13.1 miles down! Next up, I’ve got a 13 week speed plan I’ll be working on while running other races in between. See you soon blogstars!


  1. Congrats! I've also done that little jog down by the water, then schlepped up the hill through mile 11, so I sympathize with how you both felt by 11.5! Nice work out-racing Cargo Shorts, too.

    1. Haha thanks! Yeah, those hills were pretty tricky!

  2. Hi! I just followed the link on twitter and I ran the half marathon too. Great blog!

    What made you think the race was longer? I swore the last 3 miles felt like 3.5...was that actually the case? Let me know if you have an inside scoop


    1. Hey Mike-thanks for stopping by! The reason I say it felt longer is cause my Garmin had me at 13.35 miles at the end of the race. A bunch of people have been saying the same thing over on Cox's FB page too. Also, the mile markers at 12 and 13 were wayy off as the signs for mile 25 and 26 (for the marathon) were inside of miles 12 and 13. No official word, just something I noticed!

  3. That makes the most sense, Courtney- and the facebook page was a good source, too! Of all miles to have had switched, why did it have to be mile 12? Haha


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