sweet victory

Well, I did it. In June, if you’d suggested that I run a half marathon this fall, I would have laughed in your face. No laughter now! I ran 13.1 miles on Sunday in snow, over ice, and despite nearly choking at a water stop and getting a terrible side stitch (how do you avoid those anyway?).

I must admit, the whole thing was more difficult than I had anticipated. I was– and still am– happy and confident in the way my training prepared me. The race itself, though, felt looooooong and much different than my long training runs. Fitness-wise, I was just fine, but mentally, I had a hard time propelling myself. My running partner and I got separated early on, just when I decided to inhale my dixie cup of ice water instead of send it down the right tubes. It took a little bit of walking and a lot of slow, cough-ridden jogging to recover from that, only to develop a stitch that felt more like a dagger than a needle on the right side of my diaphragm, forcing me to walk some more. At this point, I was getting passed by old ladies and feeling downright dismal about my prospects of finishing in a respectable amount of time. Finally, though, the stitch passed and I hit the halfway, found my groove and a second wind. A few minutes later, I heard my name out of the crowd of runners, and found a new friend from church right behind me! We kept together for nearly the rest of the race and just having someone to run with made such a difference. Thanks, Kayla!

I somehow found enough energy to push my pace in the last kilometer, and crossed the finish line at 2 hours 14 minutes (and 13 seconds, but who’s counting?)! This time is decent… but the sweet thing is that it’s a) barely below the time goal I set for myself; and b) right at my usual pace… which means if I hadn’t had to walk because physical issues, I would have finished faster than my usual pace! It took a bit for my legs to stop feeling like jelly, but we got inside the warm gym and enjoyed some hard-earned chili, coffee and orange slices… with new medals around our necks. Once I started to feel warm and energetic again, it started to hit me that I had actually accomplished this gigantic goal I set for myself. I may not have won, or even finished in the top 50%, but who cares? Not me. My pride in this accomplishment has nothing to do with my time or my competitive edge or lack thereof. I am most proud of myself for spending two months getting up early, sacrificing evenings, running in rain, dark and snow to train for this event. I can’t say with any certainty that I’ll ever run such a long distance again (ask me when my legs stop being sore), but I’ll always know that I can.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie
    Nov 23, 2010 @ 23:43:54

    “My pride in this accomplishment has nothing to do with my time or my competitive edge or lack thereof. I am most proud of myself for spending two months getting up early, sacrificing evenings, running in rain, dark and snow to train for this event… But I’ll always know that I can.” I LIKE!!! Well Done!!!! 🙂

    Reply

  2. beth
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 02:33:45

    As the person always huffing and puffing at the back, I appreciate that you did it! I love you so much for always encouraging me and staying back with me to help me finish. I am so proud of you! You are going to have to do another one because you’re training me for my first half marathon, remember? 🙂

    Reply

  3. Nate Collins
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 06:33:22

    I think the race is a big accomplishment, especially when I think of how far you were running a few months ago. I think the bigger accomplishment is how disciplined you managed to be. I’m really impressed with how organized you were with your training and how consistent you were with it. Nice work!!

    Reply

  4. Christine
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 18:13:35

    Congratulations! I’m so glad to hear that the race went well for the most part and that you finished in good time. The pictures are great too!

    Reply

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