Half Marathon part deux commenced today and it was better than the last one and worse all at the same time.
Say wha-at? How is that even possible? Well chill out and I will tell you.
It was better because I felt better, the “issues” I had the last time were solved thanks to a little product called Prev. No they aren’t paying me to endorse them, they don’t have to, their product freakin’ rocks!!
The crew, pre-race.
I kept a good pace for the first 9-10 miles and only had to slow down to get a sport bean and drink some water.
The bad part? It rained the entire 9-10 miles. The rain caused large puddles on the course and the puddles were filled with mud. Awesome….but really not so much. We tried jumping over the mud puddles but then eventually you just think “uh jump? NO way, I am not even sure how my legs are still running, there will be no jumping.” So you just plow through those deep puddles and your shoes are filling with water, you have mud up to your thigh, you are cold and wet and you are thinking “the ONLY good thing about getting my shoes so wet and muddy is that now I HAVE to buy new shoes because these are ruined.” See? Silver lining in all things.
There was lightening too. Yup, lightening and thunder (obviously!). Anyone who knows me, knows that this would rate on my list of top 5 fears; right along with sasquatch, tornadoes, ghosts and aliens. I thought I was going to have a full-blown panic attack every time I saw lightening. Deep breaths Amy, deep breaths.
Wait! I haven’t even got to the worst part! At mile 11 (11!) I stepped in a puddle and rolled my ankle. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!? 2 miles to go and now I am limping along and cursing (out loud, mind you) and can’t believe my luck!! These 2 lovely girls stopped and asked if I was alright because they could tell I was injured, they asked if I wanted them to get someone to take me in and I said “No freaking way!! I am 2 miles away from the finish line, I am going to cross that finish line if it means I have to crawl!!” So I alternated walking and running even though the walking hurt and the running pretty much killed me. There was NO WAY I wasn’t going to finish this thing. Tears stung my eyes with every step I took, the pain was pretty bad.
But….. I ran across that finish line, and you know what makes all these bad parts not even matter at all? I pr’d (personal record for all you non-runners……. losers, JUST KIDDING!!) and beat my last time by 7 minutes.
Even with the rain, the mud, the lightening, the panic attacks, the rolled ankle…………even with all that, I still beat my time!!
Done! And in pain. But done.
And that is why I do this, that is why I will do this again. 7 minutes is great, but 10 minutes is better. The bad stuff sucks, but the good stuff is so good. All the crappy stuff disappears the minute you cross the finish line and realize that no matter how hard those last 2-3 miles were, you still finished, you still achieved what you wanted and you can’t wait to do it again.
I love being a part of something as great as our running community. I love the support you get, the people that are JUST as happy as you are when you cross that finish line. I love having my friends run me across the finish line. I love seeing more friends at the finish line cheering for me, hugging me, patting me on my back, helping me over to the medic tent to get my ankle wrapped. These are the people that keep me wanting to do this, they don’t give up on me, so how can I give up on myself?
And the best part? My husband came, even though I told him he didn’t have to because the weather was so crappy. He came anyway, I saw him at mile 7 and couldn’t believe he was there. It was a sight for sore (and very wet) eyes. Even better, he was at the finish line and got to put my medal on me. Best.feeling.ever.
Josh putting on my medal.
My husband, my friends, even my family
(who came to watch me but didn’t actually get to come because I told them to stay home and not bring the kids out in the bad weather)…. they are the reason I do this. The nerdy girl who preferred books and writing to any physical activity; SHE can DO something, SHE can BE better, SHE can ACCOMPLISH things that she never thought was possible.
My boss summed it all up tonight, “you did your 2nd half marathon and beat your time, congratulations, you are a runner.”
And for the first time, I finally feel like it’s true. But that’s just me being silly, I was a runner the first time I committed to the training way back in August for the first half marathon. I was a runner all those mornings I got up when it was still dark and pounded the pavement. I was a runner when I sacrificed sleep, nights out with my friends, and time with my family, so that I could run. THAT makes you a runner. The races, that’s just a shiny medals to take home; it’s all the times in between, all the time and dedication you put into it that truly makes a runner.
And now I have ANOTHER new time to beat…..and so it goes on.
We all pr’d!!!
My role model: this rockstar not only pr’d but placed 5th in her age group!! She is awesome!! You go Jess!!
For anyone even thinking about running; I say do it! Do it for yourself, do it for your kids, do it for your family, but most importantly, just DO IT!! Nobody ever says “Man I sure regret taking up running.” No regrets, just lots of great memories!!