Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Boarding the shuttle
Photographer Lee Ann Spillane

This weekend I finished my first half marathon. In hindsight, I wish I ran more, but I honestly wasn't sure that I would finish. Many people can just pick up and run and it's not complicated.  Okay, it is a little more complicated, but as a LADA, it took a little more thoughtful planning and practice than just gauging miles. I honestly would not have chosen to do this half if my aunt, a breast cancer survivor, had not asked me to last year.  My thinking was that if she can do it so can I.  I trained with 5 women in Orlando and we ended up with a team of 14 women each of whom finished on Sunday.

In my longest practice, 10 miles, I discovered the perfect starting blood glucose for me 129, the perfect breakfast and the perfect timing of snacks.  At every 2-3 miles to keep my blood glucose at the optimal level, I used mini Uber Lara bars that I had scored at a run earlier this year, only 12 carbs and a great mixture of fruit and nuts. I also discovered that the pain I was having in my left foot at mile 7 was a gigantic blister in my foot pad, not a wrinkle in my sock.  This discovery called for new shoes with less than three weeks to run time. All in all, I was as ready as possible for my half.

But the best laid plans don't always pan out.  During the night before the race, I experienced several lows, at least 4 that I remember between the hours of 1 am and 4:45. My friends thought that people were texting me all through the night as the vibrations of my continuous glucose monitor woke them. I had planned so well for lows during the race, but I had no plan for lows while sleeping.  I rarely if ever experience them. As I treated them with the jelly beans I had brought for the race, I worried about how the lack of sleep would affect me too. Needless to say when the alarm rang at 4:45, I got up and got ready to move.

The race, however, was exciting. Pink confetti at the start, people lining the neighborhoods cheering, and breast cancer survivors side by side with you, the one mile memorial walk on the beach. My PA encouraged me to mark every milestone so my time was probably not as fast since we took over a hundred pictures.  Most importantly every person on my team finished, including my aunt who asked us to join her as a breast cancer survivor.  Crossing the finish line for the second time with her was the most powerful part of the race for me.

Lessons Learned for My Next Half
Crossing the finish line with my aunts and sister!
Photographer  Lee Ann Spillane

1.  If you have someone else carry some of your supplies, stay with them. I think my friend still has a pound of jelly beans in her backpack as well as a juice box, which I needed at mile 10.

2. Anything can happen, just stay calm.

3. You can accomplish most anything with your friends at your side, behind you, or in front of you.

4.  Costumes are always worth the time and make people smile. (We wore sequined hot pink skirts!)

5. Yes, I do need everything I carry and I CAN FINISH!


  1. Huzzah! It is an honor walking with you my friend. Loved our day and our first half--pink stone.

  2. Love the photos and the words of wisdom. Congratulations.



Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Your words matter!