I can officially check something off my bucket list! Well, it was never technically ON my bucket list because I never thought it was a realistic scenario. I RAN A HALF MARATHON…AND I DIDN’T STOP ONCE! Yep, little old me!
When we were living at Fort Irwin, my amazing circle of friends were very inspiring. Basically, we all worked out all morning long because there was nothing else to do in the middle of the Mojave desert! And working out was cheaper than Prozac! Pretty much all of my friends were runners, except me. I never understood how they did it. I saw absolutely NO JOY in running. I’d think to myself, “who in their right mind would ever want to run for FUN?!” I ran a bit back in Junior High and hated it…but then didn’t we hate everything about that time in our lives?! So I thought, why not…I’ll give it a shot. Well, last February I started running…so it wasn’t even a year ago. I seriously ran for probably .3 miles (yes, that is a decimal before the 3) and wanted to DIE. At that point I thought, I pray I never have to run for my life, because I won’t last very long! I was still not seeing the joy.
Then for Valentine’s Day, my love bought me a Garmin. I was seriously going to use the thing to track my heart rate in spin class…not for running! But then I thought, heck, let’s give this a shot with running. And sure enough, I built it up to a mile, and then eventually 2 miles…and then I hit a 5k and thought I was hot stuff! Actually, I hit a 5k and discovered what a runner’s high was! It’s amazing…it stinks until about 3.5 miles and then I feel like I could run all day long!!! And then it began…friends started signing up for the Long Beach Half Marathon. And they had a theory that if you could run 3.5, you could run 6 miles…and if you can run 6, you can get to 10…and then the adrenaline takes you the rest of the way in on race day. I must have been on a hormone imbalance, but after much persuasion by friends, I went to the Long Beach Marathon site and clicked the “register” button. Oh sweet baby Jesus, what did I get myself into?!
I started trying to improve my distance before we moved out of the desert. And by the time we moved at the end of May, I was up to a little over 6 miles. WOO HOO! And you know the theory, if you can get to 6 miles, you can do 10! When we moved, I’m not going to lie…it was difficult to not train with everyone. It made me a tad sad when I’d see all my friends running together in the desert and setting up Gatorade stands for each other on long run days…but I knew if I trained up, I’d see them all on race day. And I did just that. I trained up, and off to Long Beach I went!
It was so fabulous to see all of my old friends at the race. They are all each such an inspiration…Ryndee and Patty, you are just straight up superstars. Seriously, a full marathon ladies?! And we are talking amazing paces people! And Natalie, you ran a full in a cupcake outfit?! Seriously, that alone is dedication. And Melissa, you are not only a runner, but everyone’s cheerleader! She was so sweet in always posting motivational sayings on our Facebook walls when there were days that we wondered what we got ourselves into and didn’t want to train. And Gray…oh Gray…you are just straight up inspiration. And you had such a positive outlook on the whole thing. You knew this was something out of your comfort zone, but you weren’t afraid of tackling it head-on…with messed up IT bands and all! Love you ladies and so glad I was able to share the experience with you.
My goal going heading into the event was merely to finish vertically! Well, actually, my goal was to finish and not stop running. I knew if I stopped, the legs would tell me I was out of my mind if I wanted to start running again. Not to mention, my parents and little girls were there to watch, and I didn’t want my girls to see me walking. That would crush me! I wanted them to see mommy kicking some booty and running that race! And that they did! They saw me 3 times on the course. They had their shirts and signs to cheer me on.
The race felt awesome. I could not have asked for a better run on race day. Seriously, not one pain, and my body just felt good running. I felt the runner’s high from the starting line. I even had the crazy thought around mile 11 or 12 that I felt like I could do the full marathon! HA! That’s funny! I kept a great pace and finished the 13.1 miles in 2hrs 13mins! It was just an amazing experience. The race was such a high…everyone cheering on the sidelines, reading everyone’s signs (even the lady that had the bullhorn and sign that said, “You’re all crazy”). I can see the addiction with running…it’s all about race day!
Who knows what races are in the future for me. But I’m just so thankful I had this experience. The girl that couldn’t run .3 miles without wanting to die ran 13.1 and felt amazing. Ironically, I crossed the finish line to the Elton John song, I’m Still Standing! YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS! You just have to set your mind to it. And it feels great to be in the best shape of my life.
Here are some pics of the race…compliments of my mommy! And yes, I ran in a skirt…come on, you know me!!! And I rocked that race, skirt and all! Check out what my personalized bib was…
Until Next Time,
The girls waiting for mama to run by…