You may recall an IG post from last month about an epic 6.5 mile run I had. As with most of my longer runs, this was spontaneous. See, I don't always LOVE running. Some days I "feel" it, and most days I am trying to occupy my thoughts with anything other than "are we done yet?" That run started out as a 3-4 miler, but I was feeling good, so I kept up for 6.5 miles. That run left me with a slightly sore back, but I continued my normal workouts, and occasional treadmill intervals, never to hit the pavement after that "epic run."
Then my son joined the Run Club. He was so excited to run a mile and a half each week, pushing to get closer to two, that I decided a challenge was in store. That was when I signed us up for the Rocky Ridge trail 5k. He did amazing. His Run Club continued to encourage students to sign up for the Run For Education, and I almost signed us up. The main reason I was hesitant? They didn't give a finisher medal to 5k runners. (Yes, I wanted him to have one!), so somehow that lead me to consider the half. They gave finisher medals for the half marathon, and the course was almost totally flat. Why not? How hard could it be? Right?
Fast forward to Wednesday evening. Biting my fingers as I decided to take advantage of "rollback pricing!" (I am such a sucker). What did my son say Thursday morning when I told him I signed up for the half? "But mom, that's 13 miles!!!" ️Yes, I know son. Thank you.
The following two days were agonizing. I would lay in bed, tired, but my mind busy thinking about how I was going to be running for two hours. Yes, along with not training, I wanted to complete my first half marathon by 1:59. Doable, right?!
The night before the race a got everything I needed ready. Clothes, race bib, SpiBelt, GU packs and inhaler (to appease my mother). I woke before the sun was up and while my family was snug in their beds. I was quiet as a mouse. I hydrated well and ate half a banana. As I gathered my things and went for my truck keys, I noticed a note my husband had left for me!
Just what I needed to calm my nerves! I CAN do it! I WILL do it! I tucked the note into my SpiBelt. I figured I could pull it out if I really needed some motivation.
The San Ramon Valley Run for Education began in Danville and ended by the Fire Station in San Ramon. I parked my truck and realized I needed to go to the bathroom! Off to find porta potties. Thank goodness I got in line before the masses. Hopefully all that hydrating wouldn't come back to haunt me.
At 7am, 15 minutes before the race began, I ate my first GU packet. I read online that you should have one 15 minutes prior and at approximately mile 5 and 10, and everyone knows if you read it online, it's true. I knew it was going to be hot later, so opted for a tank and no jacket. To keep warm in the final minutes prior to the start, I did a little jumping up and down. I really wanted my body to stay warm.
Finally it was 7:15, but no race horn sounded. Eventually they explained they were calibrating clocks and by 7:18am we were off.
Here I was, the beginning of my first half marathon. I kept thinking about how much I was going to be running. Longer than I ever had. I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't in a "let's make it a big run" kinda day. Nevertheless, I kept on. I was averaging 8:50 miles for the first half of the run. A few times, I realized I was in a fog, my legs feeling heavier, and continued to push myself a little faster. By mile 10, the mile markers were obviously taking longer to reach. Was it my pace? Was I getting bored? I kept thinking about my friends that love running. I imagined they were there to tell me to suck it up. I never stopped. I ran with heavy legs and at mile 12, my husband called me. He was trying to explain where he was in relation to the finish line. Honestly, I was so confused, I just told him I would see him in 10 minutes. That last ten minutes was the longest ten minutes EVER! The course kept turning and I was now running passed the 5k runners and walkers. Children complaining about how long they had been walking. Walking!
I rounded the final turn and at that moment the man in front of me dropped his bib. I attempted to lean down and whisk it up, and my legs buckled. I felt dizzy and realized I was about gassed out. I wanted to sprint the last quarter mile, but the tank was empty. I spotted my husband, son and daughter and choked up. Immediately I couldn't catch my breath. I tried taking a picture of the finish line, and then spotted my mom who had surprised me.
2hours, 10 minutes, 53 seconds after beginning my first half marathon, I was finished. My calves were cramping, my hips were hurting and my legs felt like bricks, but I was done! The first couple minutes after were filled with less emotions than I had expected. I was numb and didn't really know what to do. My husband walked up with a snack and some LifeWater. I was still trying to take a deep breath. I remembered I had flip flops in the backpack my husband brought with him, so I sat on a light post and switched my shoes. Not the wisest of choices. My feet fell flat causing my calves to cramp more, and I finally noticed I was full of blisters. The half mile walk to the car was almost as bad as the last mile I ran. As we got to the car, I stepped towards the CVS to throw something away and stubbed my toe on the cement that was sticking out of the ground. That was about the moment I declared this event "checked off my bucket list." I sank in to my husband's car, really sitting down for the first time. My legs were ansy and restless, but they were happy!
So, here I am, 3 days post race, and I feel great! Monday was full of soreness and body aches, but I was back at TRX on Tuesday (really tried to get out of that, but thankful I did it). What is the conclusion? I can't wait to do it again! I want to train properly, run with friends and cross with grace. I am truly proud of what I accomplished and know what I am capable of. YOUR BODY ACHIEVES WHAT YOUR MIND BELIEVES!