Total Miles Run: 16 (3 miles, 3 miles, 13 miles!)
No, not in the "George Bush on an aircraft carrier circa 2003" kind of way. (Sorry, George)
I really did it!
The week leading up to race day was a good one. In just a matter of a couple days, I went from begging and pleading for people to help make a miracle happen with my TMC fundraising (I had more than $350 to go as of last Sunday), to watching the money pour in. After an extremely generous donation from a couple that ultimately made me reach my $1000 goal early in the week, a lot of the extreme anxiety I had over blowing it on race day, or failing in my own eyes was washed away. I realized that if God could make big bucks get raised in a matter of days, He could help me run big miles.
As great a blessing as it was, it didn't stop me from having some serious pre-race jitters come Saturday. All I wanted to do was jump on the course and get this thing done with! Thankfully a lot of the jitters got channeled into pumped-uped-ness when I reached the Running Expo at McCormick place Saturday afternoon. All the runners, all the cool exhibits, all the swanky gear, and I felt like becoming a die-hard runner (as if I haven't been enough of one already).
Getting to sleep that night in our Congress Plaza Hotel room was pretty difficult, as you can imagine. In part, due to highly engaging episodes of Lock up , also in part to too much fun on AntiJokes.com (Q:Why did the airplane crash? A: Because the pilot was a loaf of bread.)
Morning came nice and quickly and I proceeded to force feed myself breakfast, get all gussied up for the run, and head to the starting line a mere blocks from our hotel. I have to say it was an awesome boost of confidence to have both my parents and two good friends in my entourage.
Once at my corral, I was already sweating from the humidity (hello, 80 degree morning!) and the anticipation. But the energy was awesome, the view was incredible, and the race got off without a hitch.
There were only a few things on my mind as I got going. One, I wanted to go at a pace where running the whole thing would be feasible. If it meant I had to run 15 minute miles, I was prepared.
Two, I could only hope and pray not to get an upset stomach from undigested food. Let's just say my stomach hasn't always been my friend on some of my training runs, and though I had access to the facilities, they were only every mile or so and with big lines (a lot of small bladders in this race!) so I told my intestines to hang in there!
Three, I did not want to face the humiliation of passing out in the middle of the race and spending the rest of the day in a hospital with an IV and then have to come back, tail between my legs, with such a report for all of you.
Well, clearly none of these mishaps would have been the end of the world, but in my high-achieving mind, they basically were. My goal and two disasters to avoid were accomplished.
|Mile 2, This is TOO easy|
-The shade of skyscrapers (also something amazing to look at while running)
-The copious ice/water/Gatorade stations
-The girl with the sign that said "Katniss Could Do It"
-My awesome playlist on my iPhone that had me mouthing the lyrics while I ran I was so into it
-The girl with the side that said "Ryan Gosling is at the finish line"
-Linda jumping in with me at mile 7 until the end to keep me distracted and to fetch me supplies
-Carissa and my parents cheering me on along the way
|Mile 7, feeling great!|
|Mere feet to go, and not feel so hot. Fake smile for the crowd!|
|Oh yeah, this sucks|
Again, because of my high achiever hard wiring, I'm having a hard time soaking up the congratulations and lauding right now. (Though, admittedly, I did already slap the "13.1" sticker on the back of my car and went out today in my official half marathon race shirt. *Gloat*) Instead, I can turn it to gratefulness for the people who supported me whether through fundraising, prayers, words of encouragement, or however else. Throughout this process I tried to make this as little about me as possible, and more about what was being done through me, and what I could do for others.
Will I do this again? Talk to me when I've fully recovered the use of my legs. Probably, though. I've already got plans to do a 10K in the coming weeks (pssh, 6 miles is a cakewalk now.) Hopefully I will continue running regularly because I've come to enjoy it and all its benefits.
But first, I'll have to get a new set of shoes. :)
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.