OMG! Where do I begin? On Friday when I went to the Expo to pick up my race bib number a lady came up and started talking to me. We soon realized that we were both in Team in Training with LLS and we were both walking the half marathon. What a coincidence! We exchanged numbers and planned to hook up on race morning. Saturday evening I went to the carb-loaded inspiration dinner with all of the team members. Our team raised over $160,000 for cancer!!! Parents of first grader Hayley got up and told their story of how she went through chemo and how Team in Training helped make it so that her last chemo treatment was in March. She’s cancer free! (pic of Me and Coach Tina at the Dinner)
I went home less stressed than I felt all week and gathered up everything for race day. You guys saw the major list that I had to get ready. Once I had everything laid out I made a failed attempt to go to sleep.

You’ve heard me say over and over that I’m a night person. I paced around and finally got in the bed a little after 11 pm. I tossed and turned and tossed and turned. I was glad that the coach warned us that this was normal the day before a race. I don’t know what time I finally got to sleep.
At the inspiration dinner they said that they wanted the team to meet at 5:30 AM and walk to the starting line together so that there will be up “Sea of Purple Shirts.” I decided to be a team player and woke up a little bit before 5 AM. I forced myself to eat a muffin, as I had absolutely no appetite at that time of morning. Aside from avoiding alcohol, one of coach Tina’s final pieces of advice were to go to the bathroom before the race. Like “really go” like, number 2. I figured this would be no problem as I’m pretty regular (sorry probably too much information.) Anyway this morning my body was very confused, and had no clue how to function at 5 AM. I danced outside with Nyah I walked up and down the stairs nothing was making number two happen. I gave up and made it downtown around six o’clock, terrified that I would have to use the Porter potties. Luckily by the time I made to the host hotel my mind was awake and so was the rest of my body. Whew, thank God, porter potty avoided. I hooked up with the nice lady that I met the Expo via cell phone and we were off! Everything was groovy as I had driven the race path on Saturday after the dinner. That was until I tripped and fell over a pipe sticking up out of the street shortly before mile 2. I am “tangle-footed” as my Dad calls me, so I’ve learned not to fall on my face or my knees. I let my hands catch me, as my water bottle and new iPod went flying. Contrary to elementary school days all the other participants were genuinely concerned and helped me up. I was so worried about passing out and oddly enough falling had never occurred to me. About mile 4 I started to “feel it.” It was nearly 90 degrees already, nothing like my freezing cold training conditions for the last 4 months.

 When we got to mile 6 most of the walkers and runners had passed us and there was a small group of us walking together. Two of the ladies dropped out. I couldn’t believe it; I was finishing this race, if I had to limp across the finish line. At about mile 7 or 8 my personal cheerleaders waved signs with my name. My Mama, my Big Little sister and Auntie’s baby girl cheered for my little walk group. My other Little sister promised the pastor she would be at church and she text me throughout the race. They gave us all a moral boost. However, around mile 9, it started to get kind of grimy. It seemed that we would never get to Mile 10. Then we ran into Coach Tina, she walked with us almost all the way to the finish line. Everytime we said something negative like my feet hurt or I don’t think I can do this, she gave us something positive to focus on. At one point we started naming body parts that didn’t hurt, like my ear or my walk buddy said her tongue LOL! Soon thereafter, the blazing sun heated my silver earring to the point that it burned my neck. Coach said it was so hot that they shut down the rest of the marathon race. My heart went out to those people that trained and weren’t allowed to finish their race. There were so many ambulances and I saw several hurt people on the ground. The heat was getting to everybody and really slowing me down.
Around Mile 11 I started to get pretty crabby. And I told the ladies I was walking with, “Nice Carli is gone and I’m warning you that I have a bad attitude.” Just like the guys that I date, I give you fair warning if I’m about to flip the switch, since that’s typically not my character. One lady cheered “Way to go!” And I think I rolled my eyes at her as I envied her standing on the sidelines. My coach said “I guess she didn’t get the bad attitude disclaimer.” LOL! I kept looking at my biblical scripture temporarily tattooed on my wrist that read “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I said it about 1 million times in my head, when nothing Christ-like wanted to come out of my mouth. Finally, as we approached mile 12 “Not Forgotten” a gospel song came on that helped push me through. My feet hurt so bad, it was beyond hot, and I was exhausted, I didn’t know how I could go any further. And then almost miraculously I saw the finish line. I actually started to get a little emotional which is totally not my style. I started thinking about all of the encouraging comments on Facebook & my blog and all the people that I would inspire as Roni inspired me. I decided to suck it up because I didn’t want to do the “ugly cry” in my finish line photo, and I was wearing eye makeup. As I got close to the finish line I saw my Dad, I waved at him and decided to run it on in, I dug deep and gave it every tiny bit that I had left. I ran across the finish line pumping my fists in the air to “Eye of the Tiger” which was playing over the loudspeaker. My homeboy with the video camera was nowhere in sight. I could have strangled him. I was a little disoriented and the volunteers had to tell me to get my metal and get something to eat. I hobbled my way over to the Team in Training tent. They gave me my 13.1 mile pin and finally I sat down. I decided to put away the crabby witch and be nice to my Dad and my homeboy that were nice enough to stand in the extreme heat until I finished nearly an hour past my projected time. It took me a while to get back to feeling quasi-normal. They drove me to my car and we all went to Red Lobster for a victory dinner. I ate as many cheddar bay biscuits as I wanted and didn’t care about WW points. I felt that that was okay since I walked for nearly 5 hours and burned over 2000 calories. Thank you family and Running into Shape supporters for believing in me. Now, since I almost fell asleep in the bath tub earlier, I think calling it a night.

  1. woo hoo! rest up.

  2. Super-Congrats! 🙂

  3. Yay! I’m so happy for you.

  4. Way to go ….CONGRATS to you!!!!

  5. So glad it went well and can’t wait to read all about it! That heat had me concerned but I shoulda known you’d persevere 🙂

  6. Way to go Carli. I can’t wait to read the full post. So proud of you!!!

  7. Well done Cali, just started couch25k last week, thank you

  8. I’m so proud of you! Congratulations!!

  9. Hi Carli

    I’ve just found your website this weekend – it’s fantastic and really inspirational. I started your C25K program and have signed up for a 5K run in about 9 weeks time to make sure I stick to it. Well done on your half marathon – that’s really impressive. I lost my Uncle to leukaemia last year so I think it’s a great cause that you’re supporting. Really looking forward to training with you over the coming weeks and thanks for the great music!

  10. Awesome, you are such an inspriration. I am so glad I was told about your website. You did a fantastic job and should be so proud of yourself.

  11. wow! what a blessing. THanks for sharing. I am also doing my best. Just that my arch is hurting me. Anyhow, I will take care of this as soon as possible with a new pair of shoes he he he.
    You are fantastic!

  12. Thank you ALL for your support, you were part of my motivation throughout the race!

  13. WAY TO GO!!!!! Now that it’s almost 2 days later, how do you feel? Sore, tired, worn out, but totally wonderful? I hope so. You did great. I guess maybe a little rain would have helped cool you off and you could have gotten teary eyed and everyone would have just blamed the rain. I’m so proud of you and I rang my cowbell a few extra times on Sunday. Just think, now if someone asked you to do a 5K , you can say 3.1 miles, no problem! Sign me up! LOL Congrats again!


  14. So happy for you. I know my daughter ran her 1st half last year and I ‘nearly’ cried when she finished. She was in TX and I was in church in ATL but got text messages throughout the race. I did tell the entire SS class by yelling out ‘she finished the race’. She did her 2nd half this year but it was not as emotional. I am just doing 5K’s now but have a 10K on the 4th of July–it will be hot but I can do it. We are doing a 5K together in May when I visit TX. It will be hot then too.

  15. Congrats! That is amazing!

  16. Carli-
    What do I say? Your dedication is exemplary. Great job with your blog, it is so entertaining and motivational. I read so fast, I couldn’t wait to see if you kept going. I am sooo very proud of you.Keep up the great work!

  17. You FREAKIN’ ROCK! I’m so proud of you Carli! Many Montana Hugs to you!

  18. Wow..I cried just reading this…I thank God for you…YOU INSPIRE SO MANY PEOPLE.

    Thank you for raising awareness and money for this cause…We all know people living with cancer and for sure we know people who have passed away because of it…But how many of us have ever really done something about it…

    I am so proud of you…I am grateful for you in my life and most of all…I AM PROUD THAT YOU ARE MY NIECE…Keep up the good work!!!

    Aunt Cleo 🙂

  19. I just want to let you know I have been reading your blog for about 6 months now. I think you are really great! I did a 39 mile walk a few years ago and felt just the way you described. I will never forget that feeling when crossing the finish line!! I am so inspired by your blog. I am looking forward to seeing what event you will train for next. You rock Carli!!!!

  20. Thanks Becca! You’re welcome. Good Luck with training!

  21. Natascha, make sure you take time to heal properly. Also, if you can find a running store in your area, they can properly fit you for the right shoe. It will make a major difference.

  22. Tam you got it right. I was all of those things. LOL! That’s funny, thanks for ringing a cowbell for me. I’ve finally joined the ranks of the few people in the world that can say they completed a half-marathon. Thanks for your support throughout my journey.

  23. Diane that was definitely me, I “nearly” cried. My sister announced to the church as well that I had finished when she got the text. She actually said my text came thru before the offical one. Good luck in July. Even though I finished a half marathon, a 10K is still on my “to-do” list. Have fun running with your daughter.

  24. Awwww…Shopping Cousin, you left a comment on my blog! How sweet. It’s so nice to know that my family supports me. I put a lot of work into this post, I’m glad that it was entertaining and motivational. Mission accomplished. So….when are we going to work out? LOL!

  25. Hey Jen-Jen! Thanks girlie. I thought you were coming to St. Louis, what’s up? Where are you? lol 🙂

  26. Carli, I have just read your blog. (late, I know) It made me very emotional. I am so proud of you. You didn’t tell me that you tripped and fell. Way to go daughter.

    Love you.

  27. Carli, this is too great! A member of my running club used your podcasts to get started, and that was all I knew about you until another member found your site and posted it on our group fb wall! You are fantastic, and this post is fantastic! HOORAY!

    You should totally join our running group page on fb…the other girls would freak. 😉

  28. Aunt Cleo (aka my Hollywood Aunt) Thank you! I love that you continue to support me and my blog. Can’t wait to see you in a few months for my B-Day…I’m thinking about coming out there to LA 1st. I’ll let you know.

  29. Angela, 39 Miles OMG! Wow. I’m planning another half in October and a full in April of 2012. Thanks for reading.

  30. LOL Mom, I knew you would say that I didn’t tell you about falling. Thanks for leaving a comment. Luv ya back!

  31. Amanda that’s funny! I’ll join your FB page. No problem. I guess you can leave a comment on my page or send me an invite or something. It’s still ironic to me that I get invited to “running groups” and health fairs. Go Figure.

  32. Well, I think you’re a celeb to those of us who listen to your podcast! We have always talked about “Carli” like we know you…”What would Carli say?” “Oooh, good song choice, Carli!” “Carli says it’s time to go!” You’re doing a good thing and helping people!

    Our group is URC: . I opened up the group so it maybe would be easier? I couldn’t add you because I’m only a fan of your page. 🙂

  33. Way to go Carli! I hope I never have to do an event in temps that hot. You’re a trooper and an inspiration. I think in 2012 I may take the Half plunge but gonna focus on 10Ks for now. Keep up the fantastic work.

  34. How on earth did I miss this?!?! This sounds SOOOO MUCH like the half marathon that I walked in March 2010 (ING Georgia Marathon – now Publix). I trained to with Hal Higdon’s schedule and never did more than 10 miles – boy did I feel it when I got to mile 10! My BFF had to almost drag me to mile 12, after that it was all downhill and they had really good motivation folks in that last mile 🙂 I did lose it though after I crossed the finish line and saw my husband and 11 month old daughter waiting for me – I cried!

    I can’t believe it’s been two years since mine (and I’ve had another baby since then), when my BFF gets back ready (she’s pregnant now, LOL) we’ve got to do another half marathon!

  35. Hey Leah, yep I did it. Thats why I try to link back to the old stuff in case you missed something good. That last mile is BEAST, but we did it! That’s great that you’re already planning another one. You can do it. I always tell myself, if I did it once, I can do it again!

Leave a Reply