Thirteen Point One
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.