This past weekend, I participated in my first 1/2 marathon. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I have been training for the last couple of months. This has always been something I've wanted to do. Why I don't really know because I've never been a runner, but I guess I always wanted to say I ran a marathon. Training was so hard and painful as I suffered from shin splints early on and knee issues as the race got closer. But with the help from Curtis and support from my Uncle Mark, I was able to not only complete my training, but complete my ultimate goal.
The days leading up to the actual race, I was very anxious. Why I don't know because I had done all the training I could do. My stomach was in knots and I couldn't stop thinking about it. That Friday we went down early to get our race packets for everyone and get to my parents to get rested.
Friday night, I couldn't sleep. I was thinking of everything that could go wrong. It was also raining outside and due to be one of the coldest days we'd seen for a long time. (Of course). I finally fell asleep around 2 and had to get up at 4:30 to get ready and get to the race. A huge group of us travelled together which made things a little better. Me and my Uncle Mark were doing the 1/2 and my Aunt Angie, Aunt Lorene, brother Jaymon, cousins Carter, Cameron, Olivia and Rebecca did the 5k. We got the race just before we had to start. Standing and waiting for it to start was surreal. I was freezing and my heart was racing.
Once we started, I felt pretty good. My Uncle Mark made sure I was ok and went on his way. (He's faster than me ). So tried to get my good pace and not go too fast. Very quickly after starting I realized me GPS was not working. I ran well over 1 mile and my voice over finally came on and said something like time was 12 minutes, distance .5 miles and pace was 25 minute mile. So the ENTIRE race, I was without my time or pace which for me was crucial.
Since it had rained the night before, the ground was super wet and kept slipping in the soft mud. It was on a canal bank and there were several areas that bottle necked so we all had to go single file. Even with all my runs previous to this point, I felt very out of shape. Every mile felt like 10 and I kept hitting 'the wall' where I wanted to give up, over and over again. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.
At the very end, my Aunt Lorene and cousin Rebecca came out about .5 from the finish. By this point I was truly done. I was ready to quit despite how close I was. They ran with me. My Aunt Lorene kept talking to me and saying how awesome it was that I had done it. This was so empowering. My were completely numb by this point. I was so weak. The last 100 yards were the hardest by far. I saw my family and I so badly wanted to look excited and smile but I couldn't. I saw Curtis. I then saw the finish line and my Uncle Mark standing there waiting. It was so neat having so much family all along the way waiting for me. At the end, my body just kind of shut down. I was so tired. I found some stairs and literally fell on to them. It was the weirdest feeling to be so weak. But I had finished. It was a neat feeling knowing I had just run 13 miles. Turns out later we found out we actually ran 13.5 miles not the normal 13.1 for a 1/2. My time was 2:15. My goal was 2:00 so I missed it but that's ok. I finished.
I am so glad I did it and can say I did it. Not sure if I'll do it again yet or not but I do want to keep running. It is all a mind game and a game I want to continually beat. Thanks to my wonderful husband for pushing me to train and being such a huge cheerleader for me. Thanks to my Uncle Mark for constantly answering my millions of questions and concerns about the race and for pushing me to actually sign up for the race. Thanks to all my family for all their support.
Here's my before and after.
Of all the pictures people got of me running, this is the best. Pretty sad huh? I am just not a photogenic runner :)
The Whole group after