Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Running Diary: The Finish Line

I was on my last week of training when I got a tickle in my throat. The kind of irritating scratch warning you a cold is approaching. At first I didn't panic, instead I took some time off hoping the rest would help. Then a runny nose followed and I knew I might be in trouble. Cold medicine only masked my symptoms so at the recommendation of a friend a took something called "Fire Cider". A concoction of apple cider vinegar, horseradish and a slew of other good-for -you herbs. I didn't care how it would taste I just needed to get better. I also took Wellness Formula capsules to help boost my immune system. I am not sure if it was the elixirs which did the trick, or my will to heal by race day, but by the time it was the big day I felt good enough to run. I had only run four miles a few days before to get my legs warm but I'd be damned if I wasn't going to cross the finish line, even if I wasn't at hundred percent.

My bro and I before the race.
The morning of the race I was a bit nervous. My longest run had been a little over nine miles and I wasn't sure how I'd do still being a little sick. However, I was determined to give it my best. Race time was 7:15 a.m., which meant a nice and early wake up call. The morning was brisk, with the high only in the 40's, but this was good for running. After arriving we watched our dad start his bike tour and then headed to the corrals to find our spot. I started along side my brother, as I figured he'd be my pacer for part of the first half of the race. I figured I'd lose him sometime after we reached a 5k. Even though there was a large number of participants I didn't find it to be an issue once we got started. I came out a little fast, as one usually tends to do in the beginning, but then was able to find my pace (thanks, bro). Shorty after the nerves had shed and I became focused. This was my race alone. Before I knew it I was passing mile eight and still feeling  good. 

Running like I stole something.
Of course until I  hit mile eleven. The last two miles were the hardest and seemed the longest. Overall I felt fine but my legs didn't want to move any faster no matter what I told them. Then I felt a twinge in my right hamstring. I knew if I stopped I wouldn't start again so I kept moving. Luckily my playlist shuffled to the most encouraging songs right when I needed them. Instantly I was powered up but seeing mile twelve might have also had something to do with it. As I came towards the finish line and saw the sea of people cheering the runners I felt both excitement and accomplishment. I scanned the crowd knowing some friends and family were coming to watch and then heard voices booming my name. I spotted my cheerleaders holding signs and couldn't have been happier to see them.  Their support meant the world as their encouragement through this process has kept me inspired and motivated. After I crossed the finish line I couldn't get rid of the smile on my face. I did it. I took a challenge and completed it. I found my brother and we congratulated each other. I'm glad we were able to run the race together. 

Just a few of my supporters!

So would I ever do a full marathon? My answer: Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I have two more half marathons to complete and then maybe I'll consider it. Maybe. I have to say this whole process has been interesting. My once negative thoughts on running are now gone. I no longer look at it as a chore but rather something we are made to do, and *gasp*, I enjoy it. And the runners high everyone talks about? I've experienced it but not in the way I thought. For me it happened during one of my long runs at around the fifth mile. This may sound cheesy but it was like I was floating, in that moment I felt like I could run forever. I also noticed I have the best ideas when I run. My mind is clearer and it also makes for a great stress reliever. This challenge has brought its benefits and I couldn't be more grateful. Now...on to the next one.

Inspire. Motivate. Move.


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