Last Friday i worked a ten or more hour day. Even after i arrived home, i had to sign on and work some more. Because of work i didn't get to bed until 11:30. i had to resolve some major issues in the middle of the night and i was up before 5am.
i was anxious, wound up and everything before i even started my half marathon. i had missed packet pick up the night before (because of work) so i felt flustered and unprepared. i hadn't been running as much (barely at all) because of my foot issues. i even told my guy the morning of the race that i wish i felt better about running that day.
We started at 7:30am. It was cold and windy.. i realized right as the race started that i was alone. i looked at my guy waving me on from the side. My coach wasn't with me. The friends i like to run with weren't with me. It was just me and the pavement.
No one was depending on me to finish or push me. There was no one there judging the pace i set. i could walk or stop and not feel bad. This was about me.
About 2.5 miles in, i was looking ahead and all along this gorgeous country road as far as i could see there was a line of neon colored people. They were all there, like me, pushing themselves to do something hard--fighting the same battle as me, just them and the pavement.
It was beautiful and inspiring. i was alone...but i was NOT alone. We were in this together.
Around mile 4, my foot began to hurt. By mile 7 it was completely numb. But i just ran and ran. i ran through the pain. And it hurt, but it was worth it. By the time i hit mile 9, i forgot about it. i'm sure the pain was still there, but it didn't matter anymore. i had the strength to endure it.
There was a really long slow climb for about 4.5 miles with little reprieve. We were running into a 10mph head wind. It was tough. i didn't walk at all. Not for the whole 13.1 miles. i didn't have to pause to retie my shoe a few times, but i just kept running.
When i hit mile 12, i picked up the pace. The last .5 miles were hell. i had absolutely nothing left to give. At the home stretch, i could barely move...so i sprinted.
i saw Ian standing with a camera...doing a two finger whistle and grinning. i couldn't help but start grinning and laughing back. As soon as i crossed the finish line, my guy was standing there with my medallion.
i was exhausted, chaffed, overwhelmed, sore and so so so proud.
In fact, i ran my guts out. i have never gone that far without walking or stopping for a bathroom. And i beat my last time by over 6 minutes.
After the race my body went into shock because i pushed myself so very hard. i might have felt pretty crappy physically, but otherwise i felt amazing.
i gave it everything i had. There wasn't one moment where i could have gone faster or harder than i did.