The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Road to My First Half Marathon: The Day Has Arrived

I can't believe it!  After essentially 9 months of training, the day for my first Half Marathon arrived this past weekend!  I had been training hard, so I had to trust my training.  I was super excited!  Not even my body reacting weird to the flu shot last week was going to hold me back!

I chose the Plano Balloon Festival Races as my first Half Marathon.  The PBF Races also offered a 5k and 1k on Saturday in addition to the Half Marathon on Sunday.  Since I will be running the 5k, 10k and Half Marathon at the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November, I decided to run the 5k and half this past weekend to get my body ready for the Disney races.

Since I live super close to where they hold the Balloon Festival, I walked to the start on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  On Saturday, I was meeting my friend Joe, whom I had suckered into running with me.  Joe and I had run the Color Run together last March and that was the most fun that I'd had running a race.  There were A LOT of people there to run the 5k on Saturday morning.  They didn't have any start corrals.  They just asked that if you planned on walking or taking your time to please start at the back.  Yeah, that didn't really happen.  This made for a slower first mile.  Joe and I still had a good time.  We crossed the finish a few minutes apart from each other.  I have to add that the only reason why I finished ahead of Joe was because he slowed down to let a little boy that was struggling with finishing the 5k "beat" him.  Joe is some good people right there.
The medal was super cool!  Corner Bakery was there to serve us a very yummy breakfast too.

Overall, it was a fun 5k.  After we had finished walking around a little bit, we walked over to meet my girls who had shown up with my super awesome babysitter.  My girls were going to be running the 1k.

They both did great.  Lyla ran it but Mia chose to walk it.  I told her that she could do whatever she felt comfortable doing.  I don't want her to grow up hating it.  I would love for this to be something that we can all enjoy in some way.  One of my sweet friend's daughter went back to meet up with Mia after she had already crossed the finish line.  My friend's daughter walked the rest of the way with Mia.  My girls were both very excited about their medallions that they got in the end.

After we enjoyed a little bit of the atmosphere at the festival, we headed home so that mommy could rest up for Sunday morning.  It was definitely a fun event.  Sunday seemed to come so fast.  I had been waiting for this day FOREVER (or at least it felt like it)!

It was a very quiet morning walking to the race.  This time they had people line up in pacer groups (how long you thought that it might take you to run the race).  I was in line right around the 2 hour 35 minute pacer groups.  The race started and I was off!

The first mile I got to meet and run with a fellow runner that I had met through the "inter-web".  That was really cool.  I am so glad that I chose this race as my first half.  It was a great (and a little tough) course.

I had been training for this part of the race for months.  I was prepared for it!  I wasn't prepared for all of the hills in the neighborhoods that we ran through though.  The amount of volunteers and people that were out on the course cheering for us was amazing.  There were plenty of water stops and potties (if needed) throughout the course.

There was never a doubt of which direction to go.  I loved it!  It was fun seeing one of my students volunteering along the course with her mom too.

The whole time that I was running, I just kept thinking about how much I was enjoying this race.  At one point I saw the 2:40 Pacers and then I lost sight of them.  For awhile I didn't see any Pacers.  I thought for sure that I had fallen back to the 3 hour pace.  All of a sudden as I'm approaching mile 5, I heard someone yell behind me, "mile 5!"  I turned to look and it was the 2:40 Pacers.  I had gotten ahead of them!  Woo-hoo!  I kept ahead or with them all the way until the last mile.  

As you can see from the picture above, the weather was still great at mile 10.  It was great until about a half mile later where the heavens opened up and it poured rain.  Around mile 12, there was lightening and thunder. Somewhere around mile 12 I also fell behind the 2:40 pacers.  I tried so hard.  In the end, I ended up having a time of 2:42:13.  That wasn't bad for my first half marathon!  As I was crossing the finish line, I heard them announce that they were cancelling the race and that shuttles were going to pick up the runners.  I felt so bad for those runners.  I know how hard I had worked to prep for this race.  I would've been so bummed if I had not been able to race the full course.  Now I know how my friends felt last year when they ran the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney.  The race course had been changed from 13.1 miles to about 7 miles due to weather.

I didn't get to participate in the post race festivities, but I got to see the cutest cheerleaders ever right before I crossed the finish line!

I was glad that I got to run this race and glad that I got to finish it!  I was especially glad that I had gone out after school on Friday to buy a visor.  Not only did it keep the sweat out of my eyes, but it kept the rain off of my face.

Since I couldn't enjoy the breakfast from Central Market, I settled for Trader Joes, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!  Yum!

I have had such a great support system the past 9 months.  As my training runs got longer, I had friends that let my daughters spend the night with them so that I could get up as the sun was rising and beat the Texas summer heat.  I had friends show up in the rain to cheer me on at the finish line.  I had a ton of friends from my running groups on Facebook cheering me on from afar.  I had friends that took the girls and I out for a celebratory dinner last night to celebrate my first half marathon!

This has been such a great journey!  I have two more half marathons to go in 2016.  38 days until my first runDisney experience.  I cannot wait to share that one with some very sweet and dear friends.  "While the Road to My First Half Marathon" might be ending, my journey is definitely not!  In fact, it's just getting started!

It is definitely time for a medal hangar!

Be sure to check out my YouTube page for my race recap vlogs!  Until next time...stay strong my friends!


  1. What an awesome weekend you had! I love that you were able to run a 5K the day before the half and I'm glad you had a friend to keep you company! It was so nice of him to let that little boy pass him in the end…

    Sorry about the rain but I'm glad you made it before the race was cancelled! Love your outfits, too! Sounds like you're all ready for Disney! YAY!

  2. Wow Ann. This is such an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations on all your efforts up to this- it is a big deal to run a half marathon and you do it with such grace. Go Ann!