What an amazing experience. I knew it would be hard. I knew I would finish (well, I really HOPED I would at least). What I didn’t know is how emotional I would be at the finish and how proud I would be of myself.
I can’t tell you how many times I looked down at my arms to see the names of people that supported me. Knowing I was doing this for someone other than myself helped me continue on…even when I wasn’t sure I could.
It was really chilly when the race started, but we were full of smiles and anticipation (Mac ran with me…I was SOOOO thankful that he did this with me and for Terri being our coach and biggest supporter that day!!)
We lined up between the 12 min and 13 min mile spots (I finished at an average of ~12:30 so I guess I called that right!!). I’m not a fast runner, but one of my goals was to finish…check. The other was to not be last…check…I finish with 400+ people in my dust 🙂
The first 4 miles went by really well, pretty painlessly. Then the fear I had anticipated (even though I never had it happen before, so I’m pretty sure I jinxed myself)..I needed a port-a-potty. I trudged on, though, alternating between running and serious power walking.
Once I reached mile 8, I saw the giant blue plastic hut and it was YELLING my name. I stood in line (wasted 5 minutes!!), went in, had the worst gag reflex I’ve ever experienced and I came back out…mission NOT accomplished! And of course, as I exit, I hear my name. My good friend Niki saw me and encouraged me on…thanks Niki, sorry you had to see me there 🙂
I trudged on again. Mile 11 – FINALLY a row of blue angels (never thought I would refer to a port-a-potty as an angel) across the street. It didn’t look as if anyone was going over there, and I didn’t care. JACKPOT – new, clean, unused! I was thanking God, trust me!! I emerged a new woman to finish the race strong at 2:47. I really wanted to come in under 3 hours so I was really happy. When I crossed the finish line, I walked around for a few minutes just taking in the experience, the people, the atmosphere. Then Terri ran up to me and hugged me…and the water works came!!!
I am so happy I decided to do this. I also know for sure that I’m definitely not ready to graduate onto a full marathon anytime soon!
I did suffer one small injury –
The rest of the day (and a good part of today, truth be told) looked a lot like this:
Terri, Mac and I decided to do this race again next year and I’m already looking forward to it (I have a PR to beat now!!)
I’ll share a few more photos when I get them (although Terri revealed that she still has pictures on her camera from last summer…so no guarantee on timing :-))