I began training in July for the Thunder Road Half Marathon on November 14. A variety of injuries and food poisoning caused me to stop training. Once I felt better, it poured for five consecutive Saturdays and I just never returned to my running schedule. (It's easy for me to make excuses not to run.) Until today, I had not run any distance since mid-September. Jesse and I debated registering for the race, but ultimately decided not to since it cost $100 per person.
Despite no longer training, knowing that the race was coming up this weekend had been weighing on my mind. Friends and family members have been asking me about the race. One of my Zumba friends even told me, "Good luck on Saturday!" as we were leaving the gym on Monday. I knew I had to complete the 13.1 miles by November 14, since that was the goal date I gave myself four months ago. When I commit to something, I expect to follow through.
After a family day at the Nature Museum and Freedom Park, I decided to go to the greenway while I had the motivation and the weather was so pleasant. I left once everyone else laid down for a nap. I packed my GU (energy gel), filled my water bottles in my hydration belt, and wore my arm band for my phone. The first few miles were great, with a 12 min/mile pace. The route I chose was a trail run, which I didn't struggle much with during the summer. However, the rocks and roots are now covered by thousands of wet leaves, and there were countless puddles and deep mud from endless days of rain. My shoes and socks were soaked, causing blisters that slowed me down significantly. After walking a few miles, I picked up the pace again once the sun began to set. The greenway is not the best place to be when it's dark. I had to run (aka nearly crawl) the last 1/2 mile in the lit parking lot because the greenway had become black. In just under 3.5 hours and with only 2% battery charge in my phone, I completed the 13.1 miles.
My biggest challenge the entire time was the chafing and pinching caused from my arm band. It was more agitating than the blisters between my toes.
|ETA: what my arm looked like the next day!|
I did all of the prep work for dinner before I left, but abandoned the family for dinner time. Jesse could have easily been irritated at me for leaving him during the most stressful time of day. As soon as I walked in the door, Jesse started playing the Chariots of Fire theme song, then asked me to stand on the podium (aka step stool) and gave me my medal.
Apparently Jesse and Jackson created my medal together.
The Country Music Half Marathon in 2010 was an exciting adrenaline rush and I finished the race much faster. However, today was a far better experience. I was mentally stronger throughout this "race". My body, the same body that carried four children, did not fail me during the 13 mile course. And the medal I received afterwards was so much more meaningful!
Now on to new goals...