So many thoughts.
So many thoughts ran through my head as I ran the ½ marathon this past Sunday. My first race since 2012. The first major race I have signed up for and not backed out of in over 2 years.
Some of those thoughts…
-What an awesome way to spend my birthday!
-I can’t believe I am actually doing this!
-Here we go! I am ACTUALLY doing this!
-Who the hell decides to spend their birthday this way?!
-OK, I started this…I HAVE to finish this!
-Holy crapballz…I’m never doing this again!
-Worst birthday ever!
-I’m going to die!
-AM I DONE YET?!
-Holy crapballz I see the finish line!
-OK, run your ass through that finish line!
-OMG I DID IT!
-When can I run another one!
Running through that finish line almost didn’t feel real. I can’t really explain it. There were SO many emotions…so many thoughts…good and bad. Of the past (I’ve ran a handful of these before damnit! Why can’t I run like I used to?!). Of the present (I should’ve been more prepared!). Of the future (I am running races again?!).
It was an odd feeling. On one hand it felt like common territory. I mean this wasn’t my first ½ marathon. But at the same time it felt brand new. This WAS my first ½ marathon since 2011. And it was also my first time running a race (especially a long one) at this weight.
I also had enormous support out there, which was also a first for me. Not only did I have my husband and my mother there but my uncle, his girlfriend & my cousin also came to support me as well. I’ve never had that much family support for me during a race…not even when I ran a marathon, lol. They even made me this kick ass sign!!
I also had support on the course with a lot of my fellow Lake Effect Runners who were running the race as well. I've been running with the Lake Effect Run Club for a few months now and it has been changing me not only as a runner, but as a friend as well. This is an amazing group of people and I am so thankful to call many of them my friend. Their support, encouragement and cheers kept me going through that entire course. I wasn't just doing this to show myself that I could, but also to show them that I could too, and that made me feel very proud. (Quick shout outs (& they know why) to Mary, Brett, John, Russel, Jane, Michael & probably a ton others from that day that I am forgetting!!)
And of course there was the support from all of you. I don’t know if I could of kept going the way I did if it wasn't for you guys cheering me on. I started to live-update through Instagram once I got to the ½ way point. I was struggling for sure but you guys kept me chugging.
I struggled for a few reasons. One being that the weather was pretty crappy. It was very cold…definitely the coldest weather I have ran in since 2011, no doubt. And on top of that it was windy. I will run in rain…I will run in snow…I will not run in wind (well, apparently I will but I will hate every.single.second of it). Wednesday was the first day since the race that I didn't taste metal & blood in my mouth…YUCK!! The weather really took a lot of me & fatigued me very quickly. To my surprise my knee held up alright. It wasn't until mile 10 that I really started to notice any pain. Let’s not forget that the knee injury (injured patellar tendon) kept me pretty laid up for weeks before the race. The longest run I got was 7 miles. That surely did not make it any easier on me.
This race was a bit harder than I anticipated. I was so mentally picking out things that annoyed me (music, my handheld water bottle, my jacket riding up). I was focusing so much on how familiar my surroundings were and that was hard because it wasn't a distraction like I normally have in races this long. And of course I start doubting myself...*can* I really do this again?! Maybe I wasn't ready?!
But I did what I do…I fought. I fought hard. I dug deep. I told myself that there was NO WAY I was quitting!! There was NO WAY I was backing out!! There was NO WAY that I was NOT finishing!! I would finish and I would finish hard, because 8 months I decided that enough was enough and I made a promise to myself that I would not let myself go again.
I promised that I would not give up on myself…and I didn't.
My goal was to finish. Obviously I knew I wouldn't PR at all (my fastest 1/2 to date is 2:17) but I & given where my pace is right now with my weight & my knee, I thought it would be great and would be fair if I could finish at 3:30...I finished in 3:15!!
Thank you *SO* much again to everyone for all the support & birthday love on Sunday!! You guys made that day utterly unforgettable!! XO
I will have more details about my next (yes, there is a next lined up!) ½ coming soon!!