Monday, October 26, 2015
26.2 miles?! anyone that does that for fun is CRAZY!!
those are the words that i have come to hear over && over from my amazing co-worker! every time we discuss my upcoming marathon, he cant believe i do all of this for fun! but lets not get ahead of ourselves, there are still three more half marathons that happened in the meantime && a few other important races as well! after my first half, i signed up for my second which was not a pretty one. this one took place in morristown, NJ && was superhero themed! sounds pretty awesome right? well, lets just say i wish my super power that day was to be able to instantly cool my body! again, we were having some very abnormal weather for the time of year && had one heck of a hot day in may. my mama came out to support me this time along with my husband && she was super nervous that i would be braving the weather && running this race despite the heat.
of course i was not backing down so i once again toed the start line to yet another race. this race was a bit more intimidating than the others, since there were many more people running than i was used to. as we all squished together at the start i instantly got that nervous feeling. i knew i wanted to push hard in this race && beat my previous PR but i questioned how i would do it in the heat. i was afraid if i pushed myself too hard that i would pass out somewhere. while this was not what happened to me, i will tell you that there were plenty of runners laying on the ground that day. some passed out, some being taken by ambulance. it was all a blur as i ran this race that went from road to paved trail && then back out again. i prayed silently for these runners && thought of my mom, anxiously waiting to see me cross the finish line in one piece.
this race really tested me but i of course would stop at nothing and although i did not beat my PR, i did finish && that alone was a huge accomplishment given the conditions. && honestly, i felt like it was a really big accomplishment period! my moms first words to me were "wow! you don't even look tired." i couldn't help but laugh. of course i was tired but i just had that glow. the runners high that lifts you up for a while before suddenly, you crash && burn.
my third half marathon was to this day the HARDEST thing i have ever done in my entire life! the unique thing about this race? it was a trail run. did i sign up for a trail run? not exactly. see, i signed up for this race because i was excited about the theme. it was called the "Beat The Blerch" run, after a comic written about distance running. "The Blerch" is basically a fat little cherub who sits on your shoulder && tells you to eat the extra slice of pizza, or have the cake, or just to workout later. but, you get the point. [&& if you are into running i highly recommend reading the comic sometime because it is hilarious]! cute little fat guy && a food themed race, what could go wrong?
about two weeks prior to the race i received an e-mail about the upcoming course. as the words read, there will be some "LEGIT trail running." i thought to myself, well i have always wanted to do a trail run, no time like the present. plus it said "some," so not all of the course would be trail running. well let me tell you i was DEAD wrong! my husband was signed up to do the 10k that day so i said good bye to him && toed the start line to my third half marathon! i was again nervous && this time the nerves stayed with me for a while!
as soon as we took off && started out going up hill into the woods i thought to myself, "good lord what have i gotten myself in to?" let me highlight a few things from this race: one, there were two parts of the race that actually went out onto roads && i'd estimate that to be roughly two miles of the race. two, imagine that you are hiking the hardest trail you have ever hiked, NOW imagine running it instead. three, the terrain consisted of roots, rocks, fallen trees, gravel, boulders, && the list could go on. four, && probably the BIGGEST highlight, i ate shit around mile 8!
that's right. i totally fell face forward into the dirt after being tripped up by a tree root that was hidden beneath some leaves. when running this race it was super important to keep focused on where your feet were at all times && i swear this thing just kind of jumped up out of nowhere. luckily, the way i fell, i was able to just push myself back up in one swift motion && just keep going. i was already 8 miles in && just way too invested both physically && emotionally to give up; && truth be told, we were in the middle of the woods, there really was only one way out!
a really nice woman who was behind me started talking to me after that && we chatted back && forth a bit trying to keep one another going. all the while i could not help but to think of my husband. in the back of my mind i knew he was out there somewhere, enduring this grueling course && it was absolutely not what he signed up for. it really wasn't what any of us signed up for! somehow or another i made it out alive && set a PR! i remember the moment i saw the white tents above the trees. "oh my god, the finish line" i thought, && i took off. i didn't realize you had to do a bit of a loop to get there, but i just pushed && pushed because i wanted this craziness to be over. with tears streaming down my face i ran my heart out && as i looked up standing there was my husband who i thanked god was alright. he jumped in && ran the last little leg with me before i took off full speed into the finishing chute.
that race is a race i will remember until the end of time. there are hardly words to describe what i went through both physically && emotionally that day. i didn't actually know the extent of the damage done until i got home && was able to get my running tights off. i was pretty beat up but still in good spirits because we had a wedding to attend that night [&& i may have signed myself up for another half].
in the month of october i ran a 5k, 10k, [actually 6.66 mile "devil's run"] && a half marathon! each of these races holds a special place in my heart. the 5k was for parkinson's disease, which my grams suffered from before she passed away in 2012. that race became a HUGE moment for me when i ended up taking second place female overall! i knew she was looking down on me that day && i ran with all my heart wanting to make her more proud than ever. she was ALWAYS my biggest cheerleader! i can always remember her telling me no goal or dream was too big; i just wish she were physically here to see me now.
the next huge moment in october came at the 6.66 mile devil's run where i took first place female in my age group! i was on fire that day once again just running my heart out. "i have no idea how i pulled that one off" were my first words to my husband as i crossed the finish. to later find out i had placed was just proof to me that all my hard work was paying off!
my fourth half marathon was just over a week ago, again a race with big accomplishments for me as i beat my half marathon PR by over 18 minutes coming in at almost 2 hours flat [2:00:10]!
november 15, 2015. that will be the day i cross the finish line of my first ever marathon! how am i so sure i'll finish? because i will stop at nothing to finish! run, jog, walk, sprint, CRAWL if i must, i will cross that finish line head held high! plus i always remember one thing, trust your training. the day is quickly approaching && i have lots on my mind with regards to it. but, maybe it's best i save that for tomorrow's blog post. the night is coming to an end for me. after all, this early bird has to be up to run in the morning!