A half marathon has always been on my bucketlist. I just never realized how much work actually went into preparing for one! Back in October my friend Melissa talked me into training with her for the Phoenix Half Marathon. I was like heck why not, I am just finishing nursing, the weather will be great because lets be honest it's Phoenix in the winter, and having a partner will make me more motivated to get my butt out of bed at 6 in the morning! And the journey began. At the beginning I honestly kept wondering how in the world i would even run 4 let alone 13.1. I thought that there was no way my body would ever get to that point. For those of you who knew me in high school I was not a runner. I just never have been. I sprinted my freshman year. But endurance was not even a word in my vocabulary. My friend got injured just after christmas but I was too determined to quit because I had put way too much effort in thus far. So I continued on my own. Lets be honest, I was exhausted! I just never realized how much time it would take. But it became this love hate relationship. Oh the sunrise and the crisp morning air. Pure heaven. Heavenly Father definitely knew when i was having my rough days, because oh the most beautiful sunrise would appear. Perfection. It's like running helped me to REALLY breathe again. I forgot what that feeling was like. Everything else goes out the door and it was just me and running.
I started having nightmares two weeks before that I would get injured and i would be so crushed if that happened. (Honestly I can't imagine how an olympian feels haha!) Sure enough I rolled my ankle on one of my runs. I almost started bawling right on the spot. I luckily could walk it out and got to run the rest of the way home. It continued (continues) to be sore each time I ran but luckily I COULD STILL RUN! So thankful for that. I also got new shoes the weekend before the race at road runner sports. Honestly they are amazing. Highly recommend them. The shoe dogger was awesome. My times went down from 9:30 miles to 9:00 miles. I thought it was a fluke. But i guess wearing the right shoes, along with the right size (yes that's right I was wearing a half size too small in my previous shoes. go me.) Race day quickly started approaching and so did the weather reports. Friday Sunny. Saturday 80% chance of rain. Sunday Sunny. Seriously! Rain!?!?! In arizona!?!?! I let it freak me out a little. Or a lot. I honestly had never once had to run in the rain during my training. Of course it was supposed to rain on race day. And it did. Luckily it didn't pour.
My friend got to still race so we started out the race together in the rain. it stopped. Then started up again two other times during the race.
All I have to say is that I psyched myself out so much. We started behind everyone because there were sooo many people and our bib's just registered as soon as we crossed the starting line. I held back at the beginning because I was convinced I was just getting excited and that i would probably be exhausted if I tried racing the whole time at that speed. I honestly passed people the entire time. So I thought I was going fast. It wasn't until mile 11 that I really realized how much energy I had left and how little I had left to run. So kicked it into gear. I really ran the last mile and sprinted the last quarter mile. My average pace ended up at 9:44 (which included walking while I was drinking) which is faster than my original goal when i first started this adventure. But somehow I still felt so disappointed in myself because I had been running so much faster in the past month.
I keep reminding myself. Michelle you ran 13.1 miles. far more than I ever could have imagined possible and faster that what my original goal was. I have never run in any race before, let alone a half marathon. All I can say is I can't wait for the next. I am officially an addict. Running is officially my thing. I never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth but here i am!
So many times over the past year I have gotten discouraged with the things my body can't do. The restrictions that have been put on my health. It has been a learning curve. Each day it still is. It has gotten easier. Much easier. But watching my body change and be able to run that half marathon... was liberating. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity. For the love that grew for running. And for this body that I have been given. I have been blessed.
So, I have decided to count this a victory!
I am woman. I am strong.
But that does not stop me from setting goals for next time.
- trust my body. listen to my body.
- run like I have trained
- i got a running watch to make sure I am truly at the pace I want! woo! (feeding the addiction)
|running across the finish 3.1.14|
Here's to future races!!