The race is run and I live again to tell the tale of my 13.1 mile run.
I had a choice between 13.1 miles or making a trip to Alaska with a friend, however, for whatever reason punishing myself by running won that battle, it must be the medal or the cheap t-shirt that they give that swayed me in the direction of running.
Right now I am tempted to hang up my running shoes, put the medal away and not think about running for a while. But unfortunately I have another race to look forward to and then considering I am on a roll, I just signed up for my 3rd race for this year. I guess I will keep running these half-marathons till I am ready for a full 26.2 miles.
I am no morning person, so rolling out of bed at 4.30 am to get to the race on time was my least favorite part. The fact that the temperature was a hot and humid 91 degrees did not help. The last few weeks have been absolute perfect with the temp being in the 80’s, however, as the odds would have it, the temps did rise on race day.
Standing there at the start line, my heart starts racing really fast when they say ‘go’. For a minute I start to question myself, what am I doing, will I be able to finish and feel my knees tremble. As I was running, my phone beeps and as much as I should not worry about my phone beeping, I had to look, it was a message from someone telling me that I could do it and I realized, yes I can do this. At that moment, it was like something washed over me, giving me a boost of energy and off I went.
My goal was to finish running in 2 hours and I was doing great till mile 8, when I lost the 2 hour pacesetters and the sun and the humidity got the better of me.
The crowds cheering the runners on is what kept me going, every time I wanted to stop and walk, I could not, because all I could hear was people screaming ‘you can do this’ and as much as I personally have no idea who anyone is was, I felt I was gonna let them down by walking. So sweat pouring down my face, my t-shirt stuck to me, I kept putting one foot in front of the other and going and going.
One of the interesting things on my run was a conversation between two friends about how great the pizza and beer will taste at the end. I had to move away, because all that talk of food was not helping me.
The last 2 miles were the hardest for me, it seems the closer and closer I got to the finish line, the line just seemed to keep moving away. At 2 hours and 15 minutes I hear my GPS tell me that I am at mile 13. I could finally smile and wave back at the crowds cheering the runners on, because I finally made it. It might have not been 2 hours like I planned, but I will definitely take 2 hours and 20 minutes.
As exhausted as I was at the end of the run, the sense of excitement, the runners high, just being around others who did it, was something else.
So till I run my next 13.1 miles in a few weeks, I put my shoes back on and keep going.