3.5 years ago my wonderful sister-in-law asked me if I would run the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K with her. I laughed because I hated running. I could barely run 1 mile in high school, and was pretty slow at that. But, I agreed and started training with the Couch to 5K program. I was quickly amazed at how much I enjoyed running and how great I felt with each mile ran. I fell in love with running and after my first 5K, continued to run a few times a week. Fast forward to my surprise 3rd pregnancy 2 years later, and a friend and I decided to run a 1/2 marathon 8 months after we had our babies. I trained really hard all through the winter for my 1/2 marathon. Quickly losing my baby weight and feeling really great about myself. Most of you know what happened next. After being very sick for 2 (strep, fever, etc) I tried to pick up where I left off in my training and ended up with a hairline fracture in my right foot (4 weeks before the half marathon). I had to miss the thing I had trained so hard for. So, I immediately signed up for a new 1/2 marathon, the MO Cowbell. It sounded fun and flat (thank goodness). I honestly didn't train as hard or as well as I did over the winter. We moved in the middle of training and that threw me off. However I was so ready to mark a 1/2 marathon off my bucklet list! Here is what happened the weekend of the 1/2 marathon.
My hubby, kids and myself stayed over night in a hotel Saturday evening to be closer to the race. We swam, went out to a nice dinner (something we rarely do) and hung out in the hotel room. We had a suite, so that was awesome! I tried to go to bed around 8:30, but could not fall asleep. Add loud children outside the hotel playing basketball into the mix and a baby who was up a few times during the night and I got about 5 hours of sleep total. I guess baby girl not sleeping through the night consistently has helped me, b/c I wasn't too tired on Sunday morning to be honest. I got up around 5 am, went and got an egg mcmuffin with cheese (closest thing to what I normally have for breakfast), coffee and water. I will quickly say that I spent a bit of time in the bathroom due to nerves...thanks for that nerves. I tried to mentally prepare myself for the race by pumping myself up! I was hoping to leave our hotel by 6:45 am to get to the race before 7, however we left late, then hit traffic. The hubs ended up having to just drop me off close to the race and I ran for it. I had to get all my gatorade gels, water bottle, phone and everything situtated, then hit up the restrooms...which was a nightmare. I spent 20 minutes in line and ended up missing the National Anthem, the Cowbell "sing along" and the start of the race. Yeah...I started 6 minutes late. I was so nervous. However, once I started running, my body and my mind just kicked into auto pilot. Training really does do wonders!! I couldn't use my runkeeper app to track how fast I was going b/c my phone would run out of batteries, so I set my phone stop watch (ha!) and tried to kind of keep track. I was running about a 10:45 minute mile. Right on target with my training. Around mile 6 my left foot started killing me. Now, I've had 2 back surgeries and I'm still dealing with numbness in my left foot due to a ruptured herniated disc, so this came as no surprise to me. However, I still had a long way to go and was kind of freaking out. Right at that time though someone cheering on the runners had a sign that said "Your feet hurt right now because you're kicking so much ASS!" I about cried. It was exactly what I needed at that moment and I kept right now. I saw so many signs, received high fives, encouragement and honestly I was smiling almost the entire way. I also continuously heard my hubby telling me "shoulders back!". I was feeling great until mile 11. I hit a wall. I could tell I was slowing down, but I only had 2 more miles and I refused to walk. My overall goal was to not stop running. I knew once I hit mile 12 that I was good to go! I saw the finish line and just kept going. Seeing my husband and my 3 kiddos at the finish line cheering me on was awesome! I don't know what I would've done if they hadn't been there. I finished the race at an 11:01 mile pace and overall I ran the 1/2 marathon in 2:24:13. Not very fast, but I did it. I'm proud of myself and I'm more addicted than ever to running and cannot wait to run the next one!
Here is a picture of me and my cheering team after I finished! Baby girl was not impressed and fell asleep. I guess I took too long! :)
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has encouraged me along the way. Thank you God for the ability to run and for the mental strength to keep going. I am not going to lie and say that this is hasnt' been hard, because it has. The past 6 months have been hard for me. I'm still not eating as I should, and I still struggle with over eating everyday. BUT, I know that through HIM I will make it past this and will be stronger on the other side!! Here's the next 1/2 marathon. And in the words of my 8 year old "Mommy, are you going to run a marathon now?" I hope so! Much love to all of you!!