I'm happy to say that it has been a year since my half marathon. Yes a whole year. It's still hard to believe that I did the half marathon in the first place but here I am, Alive, still running and able to do at least a 10k one a month. See every since my half marathon I have kept up with the cardio. Once a month I do a 6 Mike run to not only test myself but to also to test myself as a person.
So I put that to the test over the weekend. I decided to do the 10k race that the wicked triple holds and to see how I would do. It also would be the official first race of the fall season. I figured I could not only get my six miles run done for the month but also get the season started right.
So I managed to get up at 5 a.m, have a cup of coffee and then go out there and do the race itself. Let me say that I had butterflies. I felt nervous because it had not only been a whole but I also am weird with crowds. Usually I feel compelled to keep up with the quicker people but once we took off I was able to slow down and get to an appropriate pace that would suit me.
Not only did I manage to keep a good solid 9 minute pace but I was also able to do two miles out of the six in the high eights . Lately I haven't been doing to well so it was quite impressive to have those numbers show up on my watch.
In the end I got second place in my age group, got a medal and felt amazing after I ran my ass off. I can say that seeing the medal I won made me feel like my efforts were worth while. After all I had kept up the 10k runs for over six months. For me that is quite the accomplishment.
For the first time in a long while I had to stop while I was out running. Normally I powerhouse through a run and do my best to keep going. The reason is that if I normally stop then my legs feel like lead and I end up not wanting to run anymore. So I usually do my runs with the intention of not stopping. I just keep going until I make it back to the house. Yet while I was in Atlanta I realized how different it was in R's neighborhood and I had to take a moment to walk up a very large hill. Getting down is obviously not the problem but getting back up was another story.
That day was in the 70's, supposedly, and I hadn't ran in about four days. So while R was at work I decided to take Ataneq with me so that he can get tired out and really experience running with a dog that actually has stamina. The first mile was pretty decent and I could tell that Ataneq was into the run. Being a Husky he needs the exercise. What I didn't take into account was the heat and the fact that there was very little shade. So a few times I stopped not only for him but also for me. I was cramping a little and I really wasn't used to the hilly terrain.
We managed to get the three miles done but I can say that it took us both a bit to calm down and really settle. I made sure Ataneq had enough water and I even used a cool rag to get his coat to cool down and from there I put him in a cool room and turned on the ran while I took a shower and cleaned up. By the time I got out he was relaxed and seemed pretty happy to have gotten some exercise. For me I just felt good to get outside and to run the three miles. I had been mostly walking and hiking on this trip so it was good to get back out and do my usual routine of self love.
But now I know that I definitely need to work on running up and down hills and I have some experience with running with a dog. I can definitely say that a dog/running companion is in my future.
Back in October I ran my very first Half Marathon. I trained for about six months and I can tell you that after I race I was so happy that I decided to challenge myself. It was something I didn’t think I would ever be able to accomplish and I never saw myself becoming a runner. I especially didn’t see me sticking with it for as long as I have. What drives me though is seeing the results. I used to run a thirteen minute mile and I now can run somewhere from an 8 minute mile to a 9 minute mile. To me that is crazy and seeing myself grow is wonderful to witness.
For me the ultimate goal is to be able to run without looking at the watch all the time. After the Half I discovered that I no longer really care about the time. It’s weird, I used to be really obsessed with it and there were times when looking at the watch would change my mood while I ran. It determined where I would go, if I would stop completely or kick it up. It was all on the watch and what the watch said.
The other day I finally experienced what it was like to just naturally let my body decide how far to go and what pace to be at. The only time I looked at the watch was to see what it would say when the watch would beep or to see how far I had ran. The time didn’t really matter to me and I just let myself glide through the run. It was almost like I had been doing it my whole life.
I think after I had accomplished something so big and just seeing the time I made that it boosted my confidence and made me realize how much I really do love the sport. It’s strange how things chance and how our futures can be changed by one decision. I love running and I love being able to run. Not many people love it and there are some who can’t run because of a disorder, an accident, or have difficulty with the process.
I am very fortunate that I can run and that I enjoy it. It’s an exercise that I will continue to do and challenge myself in.
So the half marathon was quite a lesson for me. I learned a lot about myself but I also learned something about the people I know. Specifically, our neighbors. My neighbors have been a big motivation to keep running and helped me to keep up the program. There were several times where I ran with my neighbor and just being able to have a buddy for a little while and give her that encouragement helped boost my mood towards running. It even got me up early in the morning and getting the training done before I even start the rest of my day. It was strange to get used to but it was a nice change of pace.
After a while my neighbor and I went separate ways, you know life likes to take twists and turns. We both got super busy and just stopped running together. Of course that didn’t mean that I stopped running all together. Even though I lost my partner I knew that I needed to do this for myself. So I kept going.
From there my neighbors helped me by making me smile, showing me that little things can make or break a day, and to just believe and have fun with the moment.
Of course put all that together and then boost it x10 and you have these amazing people who are out there when the race starts at 7:30 and are cheering you on. Then they stay and cheer you on at the half way point and even wait for you to cross the finish line. To me that is amazing and quite honestly one of the best gifts I have gotten. I never expected them to be there and to be cheering me on like that. I certainly didn’t expect the beautiful posters they made and the gifts I recieved for finishing the race.
I love them dearly and I am so glad to have them in my life. Them cheering me on and being there for me while I took on this huge challenge made the race fly by.
SO thank you, my wonderful neighbors.
By the time you guys read this I will be on my journey but I just want to jump back and talk about the half marathon I ran.
So I trained for six whole months and I learned quite a bit about myself. One of the things that I learned was that I really have trouble progressing and without all the support I had I am sure that I wouldn’t have accomplished the race. Training for six whole months I learned that I can go longer distances but after mile nine my feet really get beat up. I can physically feel my feet hitting the concrete. I also learned that I get runners high if I really let myself go. During the race I felt amazing and had no trouble. Of course that changed when I hit mile 8. I started to really slow down and for the rest of the race I was dreading this decision to do thirteen. I was even imagining a scenario where I had quit and stopped.
Yet I looked ahead and there were two people who I admire. I’m not going to call them by their names but I will say that they are so amazing and they are relationship goals. They dance, run, and train together. It’s so amazing what they have accomplished and you can tell they both love what they do and each other.
They are what really kept me running most of the race. They were a set pace that I was able to manage keeping up with.
Towards the end of the race I remember this guy being next to me and he was in this blue T-shirt. I could hear his breathing and something in me set off and I took off in a full sprint at the end. it was my last set of speed I had and I had managed to use it when it mattered most.
I am really proud that I was able to accomplish something so hard and do it in a record time offfffffffffffff 2 hrs and 7 minutes! Ya’ll that is amazing for a very first try at a half marathon.
So yea if you work hard you will succeed. I learned that we humans can do anything and the payoff is so worth it.
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