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© 2018 Michele Matthews

Thirteen Point One

April 16, 2018

 

 

I did it y’all.  I set the goal.  I worked my butt off.  I reached the goal.  To say that I am proud of myself is an understatement.  Four years ago, when I first attempted this goal I did it for all the wrong reasons.  I was caught up in other people’s hype.  I hated every second of training and eventually I quit.  I quit when I got to 11 miles.  So close.  For the longest time I told myself that long distance running was not something I needed or wanted to do.  I was comfortable running my 3-5 miles.  Then I had to stop lying to myself.  Being comfortable is fine but for me, that often turns into complacency and I’m looking for another challenge.  I hated the fact that I quit, and I had to prove, if only to myself, that I wasn’t a quitter and I could complete a half marathon.

 

Once I reached the trail, the first thing that I noticed was that it was hot.  I wore shorts and a long-sleeved shirt underneath a short-sleeved shirt.  I got rid of the long-sleeved shirt as soon as I got there.  I was not prepared for the heat.  After all, I trained all winter long wearing 2-3 layers of clothing.  Even my final training run the week before was in the upper 40s and windy.

 

The trail was flat and shaded – for the most part.  There was a stretch of trail between miles 6-8 where there was no shade and the sun showed no mercy.

 

I was doing great for the first 9 miles.  Running a mile and walking for 60 seconds.  Then something happened.  Between the heat and my thighs rubbing together I couldn’t focus.  I tried to keep running but I ended up walking a lot more than I had planned.  I may have run a good portion of mile 12 but I honestly do not remember.  I did run across the finish line and for that I am so grateful.

 

My time was 2:42. Less than three hours (original goal) but more than the 2:30 which is where I thought I would end up.  Afterward, I was beat.  My calves were screaming, and I hadn’t experienced that before.  All I wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed.  What I actually did was take a shower, go to the mall and treat myself to my favorite $30 mascara (that’s right), then I headed across the water to see my man, then I went to church, then I got some sushi and some sauvignon blanc and curled up on my couch.  It was a great day.

 

 

 

This was an amazing accomplishment for me.  I will do it again but probably not in the near future.  I don’t care how prepared you are, running 13.1 miles is hard work.  Right now, I have my eye on an 8K and a 10K, in May and September, respectively.  Then we’ll see.

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