I am over-joyed to say that I ran a half marathon! I’m still on that runners-high and looking for more races to fill my year!!
I cannot even begin to explain what an amazing journey this has been! Ups and downs like any journey and moments of self-doubt, but I did it! I could not have done it without all of the amazing friends I made through our running group and my family’s support!
Let’s start with saying we’ve had a very unusual winter here in Texas! More cold days than normal (which I will not complain about that) but all of our long distance training runs were basically cold. Like bundled up cold! So to see the forecast for the marathon showing 70 degrees and 95% humidity, I was about to die! I absolutely do not like heat and humidity. At all……..
So our race weekend started with annoying weather and pasta! Our running group had a pre-race dinner Thursday night. Delicious pasta! This is a picture of the few of us from the half marathon group that made it to the dinner:
I took Friday off work so I had time to rest, which was needed since Grayson was up all night Thursday night! I met Veronica Friday around 11 to pick up our race packets and check out the Expo exhibits. Lots of awesome running gear but I did good and only bought a headband =D
And then it hit me. oh my goodness…….. I’m running a half marathon tomorrow! and the mental games began! can I do it, the heat, no I may not finish… Headed home after lunch with my aunt and sweet friend Alva and took a much needed nap! Uneventful night after that. made tacos and took it easy! stayed plenty hydrated! went to bed at a decent time and actually slept good (after the voices in my head shut up).
And then it was the day! I woke up at 4:30. plenty of time to get dressed, make sure I had all my gear and eat my pre-run meal (greek yogurt and English muffin – winning combo for me). I left my house around 5:30 and headed straight to Luke’s Locker. we met there for a pre-race picture with the entire running group (half and full marathoners). And thanks to Luke’s, we got to use clean restrooms and not porta-potties!
After all the good lucks at Luke’s, we walked over to the starting line (nice 10 minute walk from Luke’s). we headed to our corral and lined up in our respective pace sections. OH, did I mention at this point it was RAINING? Yeah. factor that in to the heat and humidity! Any ways, we took some starting line photos as we waited in line with the thousands of other runners!
And then it was 7! The elites took off and we were able to watch the marathon elites from where we were standing. Amazing!! About 10 minutes later, we finally crossed the starting line! AND WE WERE OFF! And of course, not even 4 steps in and I was losing junk! go figure luckily Angela was still behind me and picked up my towel for me. And then we were off again!! That was the last we saw the rest of our running group as we maintained pace with the 2:45 pace team. OH hey… guess what! it was still raining! It probably rained for the first 3 to 4 miles. Not a hard rain but enough to make a mess everywhere! We paced with the 2:45 group for about the first 6 miles then we both started getting goosebumps which I then learned was a sign of over-heating. GREAT! So we started pouring water on our heads and down our necks to cool off and we backed off the 2:45 pace team. We took the next couple of miles easier as we worked back up to a good pace. At that point, my left foot was hurting! Ended up with some blisters from the wet shoes. THANKS RAIN! Then we were in the home stretch! Less than 2 miles to go and oh man were we done! Around mile 12 the 3:00 pace team caught up to us so we started sprinting! We were determined to stay in front of them! And we did!! Although, I’m not sure I would have if I didn’t have Angela pushing me to the end! We made it back to The Woodlands Waterway and started heading towards the finish line, passing people. That’s right, PASSING PEOPLE! I thought I was about to pass out! And then I could see the end!! We were in the finish line chute! TONS of people cheering!! Oh, what an amazing moment! And we did it! We crossed the finish line and of course, I’m in tears! I wasn’t sure if Ben and Grayson made it to see me finish at that moment but I knew I finished! We headed over to get our medals and a finishing picture! That’s when I saw Ben and Grayson! I ran this race for many people – I ran it for my mom and other’s who cannot run, I ran this race for me but most importantly I ran this race for them! I want Grayson to grow up knowing he can do anything that he wants when he works hard for it even if there are times that he wants to give up. And it’s ok to have those moments – that is why he has us! To always pick him up and reassure him that he can accomplish anything. I wanted to give up cause of the heat, but I didn’t! It was a long 26 weeks of training with many moments of doubt but I never gave up! I ran with my heart those last 6 miles. I ran knowing that my husband would be proud of me (he also told me I had to finish or else he wouldn’t pick me up – thanks Ben ;)) and that Grayson will always have this moment to look back on with me even if he won’t remember it! And I’d run it all over again
A couple of extra shout outs:
VERONICA ~ my sweet amazing friend who agreed to train for a half marathon with me! I would NOT have made it through the training without you! thank you for being half as crazy as me!! I am beyond blessed to have you in my life and I cherish every mile we run together!
ANGELA ~ I cannot thank you enough for sticking by my side every step of the way! you are an amazing person! and even if this was your last half marathon, i know you will be cheering us all on for many miles to come!!
MICHELLE ~ you are awesome!!! you seriously brighten every mile with your positive attitude!! i know we will have many more miles together and i am so happy this training brought all of us together!!