Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2 time half marathoner!

I am literally cracking up… Did that just happen?! Indeed it did. I am a 2 time half marathoner! I was utterly under trained…. I blame the brutal winter and all of the random dogs I continue to encounter on my country roads. Don’t get me wrong- I had 2 10-mile runs leading up to the half. But I was messing with my gels and Gatorade vs water. Water DOES NOT work for me, but Gatorade gives me raging heartburn. So, I endured the heartburn on race day. Friends have mentioned Nuun, but I did not have time to experiment with it before race day.
I went to Nashville with a wonderful group of ladies for the Country music marathon (part of the Rock n Roll marathon series). In hindsight I can say it was fun. In the moment it was hot, hilly, crowded, and emotional. I knew going in that I was under trained with literally no elevation training. The course was way hillier than I expected- and way curvier. I don’t do curves and turns well. It was 25 degrees hotter than my hottest training running this time.  But! I ran side by side with a new (and wonderful!) friend, Abby. We were only apart for about a mile when she stopped for a quick potty break and I walked (yes, walked) ahead. She was so supportive and encouraging. I am 99% a solo runner. Not at all used to carrying a conversation on a run. But her and I made it through the 13.57 mile race together. And it was awesome. Did you catch that? 13.57? It was NOT a half marathon… we coined the term “ultra half” because it was longer than 13.1. Every runner we talked to said it was 13.5-13.8 miles. You may think we are being petty, but after 13 miles of hills (and more hills!!) you are ready to STOP RUNNING. And the “point one” is doable. .57 is just mean. ;o) unless you’re training for a full then it is just life, I guess. I jokingly compared my additional 4 tenths of a mile to 26.2… my friends who are full marathoners as well as half marathoners cracked up and said I wasn’t even close. I don’t know that I’ll ever know, because 26.2 is not on my radar. At all. Overall, the trip was a success. We all crossed the finish line… we earned our medal. Or as my son would say “we wonned the game”
The idea of a “girls race weekend” sounded amazing. In the moment it was the weirdest emotional feeling I have ever encountered. In retrospect, it was pretty awesome.  My husband is crazy supportive and he took wonderful care of our 2 kiddos while I was gone. Even when my daughter came home from school puking. :( But when I was in Nashville, I felt such guilt. Not just a guilt you can shrug off and ignore, but a pulling, gut wrenching guilt. I thought I should not have left my family for this. I should not take time away from my family to run… They NEED me there. And the truth is, they do need me. They need me to be the best mom I can be. In order to do that I need to take ME time and my “me” time is spent running. I will not feel guilty about completing a physically challenging run that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world- because that is what gives me the courage to be a mom for another day. Not to mention the fact that when I am running I get to spend alone time with God and in prayer. That is so centering, too. Why would I deprive my family of a more patient me? A more understanding me? An improved version of me? Every single run improves a person. Every one of them. The quick 2 miles, the emotional 13.57 miles. They are all worth it, because I am better than I was before I laced up my running shoes...  
And it’s gonna keep getting better, because training for my next half starts in 2 weeks! ;) ;) 

 Women who run are amazing. These women rocked Nashville. and I'm glad I was with them!

We  are finished! We killed it! Well, we didn't kill it, but we badly bruised it. ;)

After race beer. A MUST!!!

Not a PR, but I'm proud nonetheless.

 It means everything to me to add another medal to the awesome bib and medal rack my mom got me! It has my favorite bible verse on it. Hebrews 12.1 :)