Saturday, May 4, 2013

American River Parkway Half Marathon

I did it! I completed it! I am happy that it is over!

At the end of 2012, I knew I wanted to run a half marathon. I am not sure what in the world possessed me to think or convince myself that I wanted to do it. With lots of reassurance from friends who had already run this half and a running/training schedule from my trainer at Fitness MD, I knew I could do it. My training began back in January! I continued to cross train at the gym (weights, spin, cardio) Monday-Friday. The long runs were saved for either Friday mornings or Saturdays. I am so thankful that my friend Stephanie decided to run the half. She and I trained/ran most of our long runs together and I am so glad that we did. We were able to chat the whole time and it made all of those miles run-able.

By the time the morning of the race approached, I was ready. Ready to run and get it over with. I got into the car to go pick up Stephanie and Jessica and I found this cute little note on the dash from John. I was crying before I even backed out of the driveway!

After bag check ins and a potty stop, we were ready to run!

We lost Jessica in the first 30 sends. That is really code for "She is too speedy for us". So proud of her for breaking her PR. Woot - Woot!

My only goal for this run was to run the entire thing without stopping AND that is just what I did. Stephanie and I started the  race together. At about mile 3, we had a good pace going, there seemed to be plenty of shade and I was simply feeling good. I mentioned to Stephanie that we could continue our Saturday runs and keep adding mileage to them and then we would be ready to run a full marathon this fall. I am pretty sure Stephanie wanted to reach over and punch me :). I was serious...and remember I was feeling good at this point.

As we continued to run and as we hit the 6 mark mile mark, two things crossed my mind. One, I couldn't believe that it was only 6 miles that we had run. It felt like WAY more than that. Two, I wanted to know where my family was. John had mentioned that they would be at the half way mark to cheer us on. With no sight of my family, I plugged on. At one point in the race, there was a slight hill to climb that took us up to the freeway and back down. Most of the runners slowed down to a slow jog or a walk. I knew that if I was going to keep up with my running the entire race goal, I had to plow up that hill. So that is just what I did. I just pretended I was at the gym, running CRAZY incline sprints. As I made it to the top and traveled along the freeway for a bit, i got a burst of energy/adrenaline from the cars/drivers honking their horns and waving to all of the runners. Miles 8 and 9 were super hard for me. My feet felt like they were on fire and it was hot for this girl who is used to working out at 5 am and running in the wee hours of the morning. The sun was hot and I was tired. It was the hottest day of the year to date! No Bueno! At mile 10, I sent John a text (yes, while running)that read "hitting mile 10...this sucks"! At this point, I had no ides if my family was even there. I left John with a lot of things/boys/games to juggle that morning. I got a text right back that said "We are waiting for you at the finish line. Keep running. You can do it"! I got very emotional and even cried a little bit. Just knowing that they were waiting for me at the finish line was HUGE. It made me want to finish this crazy run that I had started. At this same time, the song Hall of Fame by the Script had come up on my play list . I don't think I had really ever listened to the words or maybe they were just so appropriate for me at that moment. The part about "walking straight through hell with smile" made me laugh out loud and helped me to simply carry on. The part where it says "Do it for your people. Do it for your pride. Never gonna know if you never even try" pushed me to that finish line. Whatever is was, it was exactly what I needed to hear. I replayed that song several more times until I crossed that finish line.

I texted John at mile 11 and that is all it said  was "mile 11". He replied saying "I am at the finish line and we are all ready to give you a hug. I ran on. I texted him at mile 12 and I could almost hear him cheering me on. I had never been so happy in my life as I was to lay my eyes on this number!

After I passed the 13 mile mark, I could see the finish line. It was lined with family and friends, cheering everyone on. I spotted my family. My little guys (Garrett and Brody) ran with me across the finish line! A HUGE happy moment...a HUGE check mark on the bucket list.

I am so thankful for my family and their support. Training/running to log my miles was not easy to do during baseball season. John made sure I was able to get it done. He picked up the slack and I am thankful.

 (We are missing Carter in these  photos. He had to be at warm ups prior to his baseball game that day)

I have no desire to run a full marathon anytime soon. I am not saying NEVER but as of right now...I have no desire to do so!


Shelly said...

Yeah Raimi! You are so awesome! I am so happy for you!