Hey out there in the real world!! You probably thought I forgot about you, but I absolutely DID NOT! This blogging thing is a challenge. Not that I don’t have plenty to chat about 😉 but I want to be confident that it’s worth sharing and worth your time. I don’t know how “real” bloggers do this every day. I have a new found respect for each of them.
The last time I touched base with you, I was on my last days of preparation to do my first half marathon. I can now tell you that I have checked that goal off the board! I had a quick training time to make sure I was ready to do a half marathon on Mother’s Day and I finished…not without questioning my sanity, but I had a great time and am happy I tried something new and challenging.
Charlie and I took off for Ft. Worth and the Trinity River Trail just after sunrise on Mother’s Day. The weather had been pretty warm all week, but with a 7:30 start, I was hoping that I would finish up before I got too hot. I took off in the very back part of the starting pack, knowing that I couldn’t afford to get too caught up in the excitement of the “real” runners out there doing their thing. I had my headphones on for some upbeat accompanying music but got a little nervous when I heard I did my first mile in just under 10:20! Yikes! I knew I could hold that pace for 4 miles since I had a great training run earlier, but not for 13.1! The friendly app spoke to me again at the completion of the second mile and I was now pacing at 10:30. Still no bueno. I told myself to slow down a bit and at the completion of the third mile, I was still at 10:40 so I stopped, retied my shoes (one foot was going numb) and walked just a bit to relax.
Miles four, five, and six were great. I would take 10-20 steps at each water station and was averaging about 11:30 per mile. I was feeling pretty solid when we got to the turn-around. All the runners were cheering each other on and giving out high fives! I even got a little emotional! I still couldn’t believe I was actually doing a half marathon and I had already been running an hour. I was on my way back!
That little burst of adrenaline was great for completing miles seven and eight, and I walked and ate a little snack in the middle of mile nine. I was getting a little tired, the excitement of the turn-around was well past and I was starting to get really bored and really hot. Just as I was thinking I may just completely walk mile nine, a girl ran up to me, touched my elbow and gave a little nod forward, like “let’s go”. It was what I needed! We started running and chatting and it made the time go by a little more quickly. She also didn’t let me walk too much and didn’t leave me behind! I call her my St. Sebastian — he was the patron saint of athletes and man, was I glad she decided to run with me! She is a runner with much more experience than me so I felt lucky to have her beside me as my energy and excitement were low.
We got through miles ten, eleven and twelve and were averaging about 13:30 per mile…mostly because I was walking more. Charlie and Ryan arrived on bikes and we saw her husband and kids, too. It was nice to have the cheering sections and we were almost finished. Then, in the distance, you could see the finish line. But first you had to run PAST it and up a tiny hill of about 200 yards! What a tease!!!
So my patron saint and I stepped up the pace, lengthened our strides and ran through the finish line together. I wish that I had been more exuberant but I felt pooped out and grateful I finished. LOL! We high fived, hugged, I thanked her, got my medal and immediately wandered over to get a banana, water and to sit down!
WOW!! I still can’t believe that I ran 13.1 miles. I can’t believe I trained for it, I can’t believe that I followed through on that goal and I honestly can’t believe that I didn’t quit. Maybe I underestimate myself. I mean, one of my best qualities is my stubbornness….just ask my family or former coaches! A big thanks to my Texan Fitness family for cheering me on. Thanks to my patron saint and new friend (we will run together again, soon!) and to Charlie and Ryan for helping me while I trained and competed. I would have loved to have gone faster (that’s my nature) but on this journey, I went far and I couldn’t have done it alone!
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.