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I’ve been trying to write this race recap for the better part of several days. And each time, I just can’t seem to finish. And to be honest, during the half marathon, I almost felt like I just couldn’t finish… But I did. I crossed the finish line at Canal Park to finish my first half marathon last Saturday.
After the race I had some time to decompress and come to terms with what I’d just accomplished. I was icing my hips, my legs and my feet while drinking an IPA and watching random TV off the DVR. And I was crying. I was crying because I couldn’t believe I did it.
And even now I still can’t believe it. I’m still crying about it.
Saturday, as I stood in the starting corral as the sun was coming up, my eyes started to tear up. I was about to do it. I was about to embark on 13.1 miles for the first time in my life. With thousands of other runners and thousands more spectators. I was soaking in the moments before the big race; my nerves finally calmed; but my emotions were completely raw at that point.
When we first started out, I was with a 8:58 minutes per mile pace group. And I kept up for the first few miles. After running the Perfect 10-Miler a couple of months ago at a 9-minute per mile pace, I thought “Hey, I might actually be able to do a half in 2 hours!”
But that was before I pulled a muscle about 3 weeks ago. And then for the last several weeks (OK, like 6…) I’ve had a terrible cold that turned into a pretty massive upper respiratory infection/bronchitis/sinus infection. And truthfully, I hadn’t been able to run for about 2 weeks before race day..
Well by mile 7 I was feeling like finishing would be impossible. I was struggling. I was on the verge of tears. But I pushed through. I stopped for water/powerade and I ‘reset’ myself until I could start again. And somehow, by some miracle, I finished.
And at first I just thought “Bummer. I finished at 2 hours and 12 minutes.” But then I realized Dang! I finished in 2 hours and 12 minutes AND that was the must difficult run of my life (and the second most difficult thing I’ve ever endured mentally/physically — the first being labor with Moosh) — that’s an accomplishment! We can really be our own worst enemy in these situations and I wasn’t going to let myself get disappointed over an imaginary goal time; instead I was celebrating a huge victory that is finishing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
The best part? Chad and Moosh were there to greet me at the finish! I was so pumped to be done and so excited to see them, that I forgot to take any pictures at the finish. Oops! Oh well. I was a mess after the finish anyways. I’m not sure I needed that documented. 🙂
5 days later, my body is still recovering. But in my post-race delirium I believe I verbally committed to 26.2 next year… oops. Well, I better start running again soon! Ha!