I ran the farthest I've ever run in my life: 6.2 miles
I ran the hottest I've ever run in my life: 86 degrees.
I ran the fastest-long run I've ever run in my life: 1:00:08
I am so proud of myself.
Let me break it down for ya, shall I?
All week I have been psyching myself out a little too much: Ah, my knee hurt a little. Shoot, my calves are tight. Crap, I just ate half a pan of brownies. Dang, I only slept 6 hours. Ugh, it's So. Dag-um. HOT!"
Mostly these freak outs happened because I'm really good at freakin' out.
I really shouldn't have.
But I was freaked out up until the moment the buzzer went off at the start line. As soon as I started jogging, I realized how silly I'd been for worrying so much. This is a never ending lesson I keep learning. Like patience.
For the first time in a very long time, I am finally happy with my body, my weight, my size, and pictures of myself.
My awesome hunk of a man who is so tan!
Anyway, the first mile was great. It was emotional. It was all I could do to suck back the tears. I don't have a good explanation for this, other than it's just incredible to be running alongside so many others from so many different backgrounds, who are all running for a significant reason. It's also overwhelming to recognize you're doing something you never expected yourself to do.
I really loved when a mom pushing a jogging stroller passed me. I only loved this because the back of her shirt said "Doing it for Duncan." I have no idea who Duncan is. I have no idea why she was doing it for him. But it meant something significant enough to her, and him, that she woke up early, loaded her toddler in the stroller, and ran 6.2 miles on the hottest morning of the summer.
A couple miles later I saw this Duncan at a drink stop with her, he looked about 8-10 years old. While I was getting water at the finish, she urgently was telling someone they had to get back to the line to watch him cross and finish. Maybe his first race? Maybe he has MS? I don't know. But it was neat.
Most people really, really, really, hate hills. I used to be one of those people. Now I love them. As we headed up the first big hill on the course, racers started slowing, walking, and taking breaks. I shifted my pace to my toes and kept at it. My mantra all the way up? "You got this. You've trained for this. You love hills. You're good at hills. Keep going. All these people are looking at you thinking: man, she is great at hills!"
It's okay, I'm a little narcissistic sometimes.
It was pretty bad. Luckily, thankfully, the course was about 70% shaded. There were also 3 "aid" stations, all of which I jogged through, sipped a couple swallows, and dumped the remaining ice cold water down my back. Each station popped up just in the nick of time to cool me down again. We passed a sign at the high school that said 86 degrees. It was around the halfway mark.
It didn't hurt! I was really surprised. Although there was a point near the beginning where it tinged a little, but other than that it was fine.
Running is so unbelievably mental. I kept telling myself things like: "You are strong. You've trained for this. You know how to run hills. You can do this. This feels great. Keep breathing. Stay relaxed. You're stronger than you think." I think it helped. If I had remembered to write things on my hand, I would've written: You're stronger than you think. Endure to the end.
After I rounded the corner at mile 6, there was quite a big hill. I was tired. I could feel salt on my cheeks. I could feel my arms and face tingling and chilling a little. I started to worry that I would get dehydrated and collapse with heat exhaustion. That psyched me out. Enough so that once I made it up the hill, I walked for a few seconds. After a gal I had just passed passed me, I picked it up. Then I saw Scott walking toward me. He picked up my pace and ran next to me with words of encouragement. He pushed me and got me through. On the straightaway to the finish, something exploded a little inside and I ran faster than I've ever run in my life. I sprinted to the end. It almost felt like I was flying. It was glorious.
Two steps after the line, I stopped and wanted nothing more than to collapse on a bed of ice water.
But I did it!!!!
My goal was around 56-58 minutes. When it was forecast to be so hot, I knew I'd have to tack on an extra couple minutes. When my knee gave me grief, I knew I'd have to slow it down a bit. When I passed Mile 1, I was at 8:04 minutes
Mile 2: 17:04
Mile 3: 27
Mile 4: 37
Mile 5: 46
Mile 6: 56
So I'm very pleased with how I did. I really wanted to be a sub one hour, but 8 seconds is okay with me. I averaged a 9:40/mile pace which I am very proud of, given the conditions and it being my first big race!!!
All in all, it was a spectacular morning. I accomplished something I never dreamed possible even just 4 years ago. I have never thought of myself as a runner. But, these days, I'm getting there.
I'm stronger than I think.
And so are you.
Peace, love, and happy running!!!
p.s. Hubby finished in 46 minutes and 4th place for his age division. Rock on Baby!!!!
I also realized I need a running buddy for the 1/2 marathon coming up!!! It's much better running alongside someone.