I finally did it! Running a 1/2 marathon has been within the top 10 tasks of my Bucket List for several years. I am thrilled to have finally gotten my first long under my belt. I absolutely loved everything about this run. I adore running.A lot of people had told me about how encouraging this run is and in all honestly, it’s hard to put to words exactly how happy it is as a runner to see and hear people cheering us on literally throughout the entire 21.1 kilometers. People with signs, people with water and Gatorade, people with clappers, bells and whistles – There were even some people that had backed their car as close to the running path, opened all of the doors and blasted pump up music for us to hear as we ran by. My heart gets so excited just thinking about it! There were so many funny signs – One girl held a sign saying, “Why do the cute ones always run away?!” there was another guy that held a photo of Yoda and a quote bubble saying, “Stop running – You shall not!” There were even people holding out cubes of watermelon for runners to grab as they ran by. The encouragement was phenomenal and it was so cool to see random strangers cheering on and rooting for other random strangers! My mom and I both decided to do the race. I ran and my Mom speed walked. Not going to lie, we were both pretty nervous prior to the run. I’ll confess that I did not train. I 100% admit that I should have trained however, I did not. My Mom was a champ and trained for months leading up to Race Day on the first weekend of September. The longest distance I had ever run prior to this half marathon was a 10K which I had run in 1 hour and 1 minute.
I told myself that this being my first race – I would be happy to finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I figured that if I could run a little less than half the distance in an hour or so, this was a fair goal for myself. I think most marathon runners would agree with me when I say this, but the adrenaline from an official Race Day gives an immeasurable amount of speed, endurance and pain tolerance that a person would not normally have on any given training day.
As I ran and passed the markers 5K, 6K, 7K I couldn’t believe how fast and exciting the race was – When I had run my most recent 10K in June, my knee was starting to give out on me around kilometer 9. As I passed the 10K marker I threw up a Thank You Jesus for giving an extra dose of strength to my knee. It wasn’t until roughly kilometer 11 or 12 that my knee started giving me issues. I remember praying as a continued to run, “God I need you to breath new life into my knee, because if You don’t, there’s no way I’ll be able to finish this thing. I’m literally at the half way point and if my knee keeps going the way it’s going, I won’t be able to continue!” As I passed the 12K marker, the sharp pains in my knee instantly disappeared!
When I run, I’ll pick people that are slightly ahead of me and I’ll make it my goal to pass them in the next for while. The girl with the long pony tail, the guy in the lime green shirt, the lady with the yellow shoes, I keep pushing myself to get ahead of those around me. The run around Regina, Saskatchewan was beautiful – The weather was flawless!! Not too sunny, just a bit overcast, minimal wind other than a slight breeze that cooled you down and the route made the run interesting, run and exciting. We were taken through the busy streets, commercial areas and even residential streets!
As I passed the 20K marker we came around one of the last corners in the race. The large FINISH sign was in site and I realized that I still hadn’t passed the guy in the red t-shirt! We were in the final stretches God has continued to breath new life into my knee so I sprinted. It took everything in me! At that point you stop feeling parts of your body and you’re just in the routine to keep putting one step in front of another! I gave it everything that I had and bolted for the Finish line! I passed one person, tow, three, another – I was coming up on the guy in the red t-shirt and he looked back, eyes widened (probably because I looked like a complete crazy lady) and he started to speed up as well! I remember saying out loud to myself – I did not come this far to fall so close! I lengthened my stride and I swear God gave me just a little bit more juice because I pulled ahead of Red and crossed the glorious finish line!
As I ran forward towards the crowd of people cheering all of the runners that were completing their race, I burst into tears. 100% gasping for air and bawling… I honestly did not think I would be able to do what I just did. A lady came up to me right away, “Hey!! Are you ok?! You just did that!! You finished!!” Through tears and sobbing, I explained how happy I was to have finished. She hung a medal around my neck and gave me the biggest hug – My heart was so full. Complete strangers can be so nice to ugly cry-ers like me… I turned around and saw my time: 2 hours and 12 minutes. I had finished with 18 minutes to spare! I waited for my Mom at the finish line and when she crossed over, I cried all over again – We did it!
I want to encourage you to do the thing that scares you. This task on my Bucket List I continued to put off because I was scared of several things – I was scared that I’d get hurt, scared that I wouldn’t be able to finish – Or worse, scared that I’d love it and want to do it again! Truth is, that’s exactly what happened; I loved it and I will most definitely be doing the 1/2 marathon again! 🙂
– Stay Satsfied