This past Saturday was a pretty big one for me.
I ran a half-marathon. 13.1 miles. And here I am, with now only slightly sore muscles, somehow living to tell the tale!
Husband and I woke up at 4am to travel to New Braunfels,Texas for the Orange Leaf Half-Marathon. This in itself was no easy feat. If I am getting up for anything at 4am, it means that something is very important to me. The half-marathon was the very important something. If husband gets up at 4am for anybody, it means that somebody is very important to him. Thankfully, I happen to be that very lucky somebody.
The half started at 6:30 am. We got there in time for me to receive my info/goodie-filled packet, put on my snazzy, new half-marathon shirt and take a quick trip to the local port-a-potty. By marathon start time, I was ready and energized and even almost fully awake. Starting off was an awesome, unforgettable feeling. Colbie Caillat was playing in my ear and I felt at one with everybody jogging in the early morning air with me. We were doing this really big, awesome thing together. I felt inspired and excited. Mile 1 was a piece of cake. Mile 2 was no problem. Mile 3,4,5, and 6 were fine and fun. Mile 7 was exciting because I had run far enough to be turning around and heading back. I was also feeling encouraged. Though I definitely wasn’t setting any world-records,I was keeping up with a group of now familiar faces, and that felt good. Mile 8 and 9 were okay. I had mostly jogged the first half, and I was tired enough at this point to be walking and jogging. Mile 10 and 11 were when I really realized that my body wasn’t really happy with me. At all. I didn’t exactly train like I should have. I run about 3 miles daily. While I was gone and it dawned on my husband that 13.1 miles is a hell of a distance to travel by foot, he did some Googling. Being comfortable at three miles is apparently when you’re ready to start training for a half-marathon. I purposely didn’t research much beforehand. Dammit, I wanted to do it in July and I was going to. The half-marathon, I correctly assumed, is just as much (if not more) about what your mind, as compared to your body, is capable of doing. Because I am annoyingly stubborn and pig-headed, I knew I would do it. (Assuming that I didn’t pass out and get put on a stretcher along the way.) My best friend is sweet and instead calls this “will-power and strength.” You can go with those words instead if you’d like. I won’t mind.
So on mile 12, I saw the end in sight and, out of either stubbornness or strength, started jogging again. Shortly after on mile 12, I found a grassy area and threw up my water. And finally on mile 12, I jogged again, passed the finish line and made it to mile 13.1.
My husband was there, video-taping and cheering, “GO CHRISTINA!”, in that adorable country accent of his. Lights flashed as my picture was taken crossing the finish line. I was handed a beautiful, shiny medal. Husband told me how proud he was of me. I was proud of me too. It’s up there with the proudest moments of my life.
After the race:
My final time was 2:43:02. I was guessing it would take me at least three hours to crawl to the finish line. I didn’t crawl or take three hours so this was a major accomplishment in my book. The next day my body ached like it never has before. It was close to excruciating just to sit down to pee. (And if you know me well, you know I have to pee often. This wasn’t fun.) I felt rather elderly. But my eyes couldn’t stop looking at that beautiful, shiny medal. Don’t tell the rest of my body, but I think my eyes and mind are sort-of in agreement on this one. All of the pain was more than worth it. I finished a half-marathon!
(Ps: Thanks friends, for all of your support, encouragement and congratulations! Y’all are the bee’s knees.)