“It’s about conquering the distance. Not beating the clock”.-unknown
January 14, 2017, I ran my first half marathon. It was my moment to shine, my moment to prove to myself that I could do 13.1 miles. If you would have asked me back in 2012 if I would run a half marathon, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. There was no way I was going to ever do anything over 3 miles. I used to say I can barely do 3 miles much less a half. Fast forward 6 years and I am now a half marathoner.
Pre race jitters:
Leading up to the start of the half, I got really nervous. I started thinking about the miles ahead of me. I started thinking about whether I was prepared enough. Did I eat enough food? Did I drink enough water? I wondered if my legs would hold up under the pressure. All these thoughts were going through my mind, and then we reached the start.
Heading to the start
My Half Recap:
Once I got to the start, I put my headphones in, turned on music and forgot about the miles ahead. I started off with a very slow run. I was told not to take off like a rocket at the beginning of a half. I ran the first 2.5 miles at a nice easy pace. I reached 3 miles in about the time it takes me to run a 5K. Was only about a minute off from holding back from pushing myself to hard. Right around 4 miles, my right leg started cramping. I thought to myself how many 5K’s have I ran and never had my leg to start cramping. Why now? I kept on running, only hoping it didn’t get worse. It finally went away and I continued on through mile 6. At mile 6, I was still feeling pretty good. By mile 8, my feet began to hurt but I still managed a selfie smile!
Mile 8 is when I began feeling pretty weak. I wanted something to give me some more energy. It was hot out and I started feeling a little lightheaded. Therefore I made sure to make use of every water/Gatorade station I came up on. I still managed a slow run at mile 8 and 9. Mile 10 is where the hill on the course got me. I seriously wanted to stop when I saw the hill. I walked it and walked the rest of 10 and 11. I had no energy, nothing left. However, I did manage to keep a smile the entire race. I guess it was the feeling of accomplishing a big task that left me feeling excited the entire way.
Coming up on mile 12, my legs and feet were hurting so bad. At this point, I was determined to make the best of it. I started a slow run once I saw Dad coming back. First thing out of my mouth was everything hurts!! A family friend came back after me as well and they ran the last mile with me. Not going to lie, I struggled and I kept saying I just want it to end. The finish seemed like it was never going to appear. That last mile felt like it was the longest mile of the entire race. I guess I was focused on all the hurt that it felt longer then it really was. With a lot of determination I ran in to the finish. I was determined to run no matter what in to the finish line. I crossed the finish line in 2:53. I was happy with the time. I had no goals for the half other then to finish but I was glad to see that I did beat 3 hours. My RQ racing crew (Mom, sis and our family friend) was standing at the finish line with water and gatorade to hand my way. They are always there taking pictures, and holding all my stuff. Couldn’t do all of this without them.
Crossing the finish line was a great feeling. I accomplished something I never thought I would accomplish. The power of a run is an amazing thing. It’s when you finally realize that you are capable of so much more then you ever thought possible. It’s realizing that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to finish something, but it’s the finishing that counts. It’s the hard work that is put in between the start and the finish lines. It’s when you think you have nothing left to give, that if you look a little deeper, you have so much more left inside of you. It’s realizing you run just as much with your heart as you do your legs. It’s discovering the power of friendship, encouragement and support. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along this journey. I was so overwhelmed by all the encouraging messages I received. It means so much to me!
I am now hooked on running half marathons. My next half will be at the end of February. Next Sunday, I will be running the Hot Chocolate in Atlanta. Happy running and thanks for reading my blog!