today was the day…..
I did it…. I finished my first half marathon….lets all pause for a moment of silence………….and done.
I won’t sugar coat it. I won’t say it was easy. I won’t say it was fun. I will say it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
I had some “issues” at the beginning (I won’t go into details but thank goodness for nice spectators who let me use their bathroom), low blood sugar in the middle, and then I just ran out of gas at mile 9. My running partner had been with me up until that point but she was feeling good and I told her to “GO!! don’t wait for me, just finish, I will be fine.” It wasn’t OUR race after all, it was her race too. Then it was just me, myself and I after that.
I was tired, I was alone, I was feeling awful and wanted to give up.
With a mile and a half left to go I was crossing a bridge and saw my best friend and running coach, Brandi, running towards me. I completely broke down and started to cry. I was so happy to see her, I needed her so bad at that point.
She ran up to me and I said:
“B, I can’t do this, I want to quit.”
“No you don’t. You’re doing awesome Amy, you have come so far, a year ago you couldn’t even run a mile and look at you now. You have run 11 and a half miles, you got this girl! Paxton and Josh and your family are waiting for you and in a mile you will see them!!”
She knew exactly what to say to keep me going. I couldn’t have done it without her. I was in pain at that point, I had no more energy left. She stayed right by my side and didn’t let me quit.
As I came over that bridge and saw people I worked with yelling for me, then I saw my family and my kids and husband yelling for me………and I just started crying and running harder…….and I crossed that finish line and felt like a rockstar!!!!! I turned to Brandi and just hugged her and hugged her, it was the perfect ending to a race I never thought I could finish. I can’t imagine it ending any other way.
I can’t explain that feeling, as my whole family came running up, embracing me, and crying with me…….best.feeling.ever.
It was worth the 12 weeks of training; it was worth all the sacrifices I have made, it was worth all the Friday nights I went to bed early to get up the next day at the butt crack of dawn to run, it was worth setting my alarm for 3:50 a.m. during the week to meet up with my girls to run……..it was worth it!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am NOT athletic. I prefer a book to sports, I am not competitive and I rarely finish anything I start. T-ball? Nope I quit, too scary to have balls flying at my face. Basketball? Uh-uh I had no idea where to go or what to do. Dance? Puh-lease, I am about as coordinated as a baby deer learning how to walk. I don’t do sports! My motto when it came to running? I don’t do it unless being chased.
So for me to finish a half marathon, it was nothing short of a miracle. Except it wasn’t. Why? Because I had an amazing running group to back me up, I had trained for 12 weeks, I had an amazing running partner Paula, and even more amazing running coach, Brandi. I also had a supportive husband and family who completely believed in me and never doubted me for a second, even when I doubted myself.
Thank you: To Paula Ridgway for always cheering me on, and being the best running partner a girl could ask for. To Brandi Lane for pushing me to do this and for being by my side every step of the way (literally). To Jan Taylor, Chris Oliver, Ben & Tricia Coffey, and Jess Morrell for sacrificing your time and weekends to coach us, help us, and never giving up on us. To Mary Gaffey for organizing our 4 a.m. runs and always believing in us and motivating us. To all my fellow El Dorado runners for making me feel like a part of a community and giving me motivation. None of these people HAD to do it, they did it because they are good people and they have a passion for helping others. You all will never know how much you inspire and change people.
I am so lucky to be part of a running community who believes in each other and supports EVERY runner regardless of skill or time. I am lucky to work at a place that encourages people to do their best and motivates you to be better and do better. I am lucky to have a family who believes in me and will stand in the cold rain to watch me finish a race I never thought I could do.
To anyone who thinks they can’t do this……..you can.
I saw a shirt today during my run that says it perfectly….
“Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE, because even in the word IMPOSSIBLE is I’M POSSIBLE”
and it can be….possible. You just have to want it bad enough, try hard enough, and work hard enough to achieve it. Regardless of age, body type, or athletic ability. It’s all mental……….and if you want it bad enough….you will do it.
And I did.
Pre-run peptalk courtesy of our fearless leader, Brandi.
4 a.m. running crew!!! You never know dedication until you get up to run at 4 in the morning. Couldn’t have done it without them.
I love this picture!! I am so happy and B looks like a proud parent………..this is right before I crossed the finish line. I am channeling Princess Diana and milkin it for all it’s worth.
This was my motivation the entire race……….my family holding these signs for me and waiting to cheer me on!!
I have the best sisters ever!!
There she is!!
Not the time I wanted, but I will take it. Just happy to finish.
Best running partner ever!
My biggest supporters! Love these girls.
My family. Wet and cold but cheering me on!
Half marathon? Check. Onto the next one?…………………… Yup, probably.