On Memorial Day, and at the end of twelve weeks of training, I successfully ran a half marathon. By successfully, I mean that I finished!! I had two blisters and a medal to show for it! And the feeling of accomplishing a goal. Which is the reason I wanted to run one in the first place. When I first told Price I wanted to run one, he looked at me confused, paused and finally asked "Why?" I answered with a shrug, "it's good to have a goal".
Alison, who's known ironically for saying once, "My goal is to do nothing", also ran the Patriot Half.
I would have never made it through the training without a running buddy. We made it up to ten miles in training and decided to let adrenaline and the running high carry us through the last 3.1 miles.
Rockwall is hilly if you didn't know. So it was a pretty rough route! These numbers will really mean nothing to most, but we trained about an 11:40 minute mile. That allowed us to gab endlessly about the kids, the husbands, c-scope, the perils of domesticating, preschool, big school, private school, food, real estate, work, to do lists, weekend recaps, dogs, etc. It was pretty much like a coffee date. Just really early, all breathy and no coffee.
Well I decided for race day I wanted to not gab and run faster at a 10:40 minute mile that would allow me to finish at 2:20 (hr:min). So on race day, I found my pace group and stuck like glue to them. Until about mile 6. They could drink water without stopping I guess. I had to stop and take a second. It would get me even more out of breath to drink and then I'd have to catch up and that was making me struggle a bit. Then at the beginning of mile seven it started getting really hilly. And then I could never catch back up to them. I could still seen them for a while but I had to say to myself, "let it go, just run to finish".
At the top of that first major hill, was my sweet marathon-running friend, Maria Paula. Oh not a better time in the whole race to see her face! It gave me some umph! Well she continued to show up here and then, yelling and screaming like mad for ME! It was awesome. She also found Alison along the way too!
During the last four miles, it got kinda lonely. I was kinda regretting my decision to run without my buddy. Thoughts that kept coming into my head were:
1. Veterans and military peeps are awesome. Signs along the way said 'thank a veteran today'. And I did. All the ones we knew, Price and I thanked that day.
2. How do people run a WHOLE marathon? Those people are crazy! How on earth do they do it? I could NEVER do a whole marathon. (But I'm not going to say never...)
3. A dog is beating me. The cutest little golden Pomeranian dog. Made me think of Foxy.
4. Why the hell did they pick such a hilly route?
5. We got so lucky on weather! The sun stayed behind clouds most of the whole run. It was humid a little but it was May! We expected that.
And then 1-5 again. And again. And multiply that by 5... at least! It's hard to think at all during long runs.
Then at mile 12.5 or so, there's Maria Paula again. She ran me all the way back to my family which were just yards from the finish. Yelling and screaming again like mad! In case you didn't know, she's pretty high energy. Again, that gave me the umph I needed! Seeing my peeps? Double umph! Presley handed me some Gatorade, I finished strong. I was handed a medal, I sat on the curb a sec, chugged the Gatorade and (somewhat) gathered my senses. I hobbled back just in time to see Alison finish.
So my exact time was 2:28:44. Just eight minutes past my "goal". I'll take it!
We celebrated afterwards at La Madeline where I enjoyed a double entree of a veggie omlette and crepes. And I polished off both plates.
After a brief turn around at home it was business as usual. We went and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at Aunt Shelly's. I knew if I stopped for too long I would get stiff. The big kids swam, Temp frolicked in the water here in there. We cooked out and then it was back home to hit the hay. Ironically I couldn't sleep. I finally got up, popped some Advil and FINALLY drifted off to sleep.
It was a good day!