as promised, i am back && ready to continue the story of how i came to run my first half marathon!! after completing my first 5k i went on to run seven more! in the meantime, i completed my first 10k as well, all of which were HUGE milestones for me. see, each race i run has something special about it. whether i PR or not, there is always something unique to each race that i can recognize as a great moment. sometimes it's the people i meet or the cause for which i am running, but all of it matters && all of it impacts my life.
as the day of my first half marathon approached i grew more && more nervous. two weeks out i completed my last long run before the race && i came home in tears questioning how i would ever finish a half. my husband comforted me && reminded me of what i already knew, believe in the training. when in doubt trust && believe in your training because it is exactly what got me to run my first half!
the morning of the race came && at that moment i was just anxious && excited. i could not wait to cross the finish line! my sister && her boyfriend came out to support me as well as my husband, which meant the world to me [races start pretty early && we made a trip out to brooklyn, NY so i was thankful they could all be there to support me]!
after finding parking && going to pick up my packet the whole idea of the race became surreal. with the NYC skyline behind me i began to get the pre-race jitters. a RUSH of emotion came over me && i didn't know how to feel. was i excited? anxious? nervous? scared? probably all of the above. i began to warm up && stretch out all while just breathing it all in. NYC is a beautiful place && this race actually took place in brooklyn, NY all along the water && it was BEAUTIFUL! i couldn't have asked for a better place to run my first half!
with the NYC skyline in sight i toed the start line. immediately i felt scared. would i be able to finish the race? would my time be what i want it to be? && while all this worry flooded my mind, the horn went off && i just began to tell myself to trust my training. the first few miles were great. i found a woman whom i was able to pace with && was feeling great. as i got deeper into the race [probably about mile 5-6] i started to have my doubts. it was an abnormally hot day in april && the heat was wearing me down. all i could think was if i could just get through this, i would feel so rewarded. i kept glancing at my garmin with each passing mile hoping to come in around the 2 hour mark. when the later miles hit && i found myself having to stop to walk i realized a 2 hour half wasn't in the cards. && while this may have dragged some people down [&& believe me it did for a moment] i just let myself see the bigger picture. the bigger picture being that i was running a freaking half marathon! i didn't care if i came in dead last, i was going to finish this thing, bottom line.
i remember seeing the finish line && thinking oh my god is this for real? at that point it felt like that finish line was a mirage. as soon as it was in my sight, i picked up my pace. && as i drew closer, i mustered up every ounce of energy i had left && sprinted into the finish! everyone was there waiting as i received my medal && damn did it feel good. i remember going over to my sister && collapsing into her arms. i know she wanted to cry [she gets rather emotional over these things] && to be honest so did i, but i didn't let myself. i just wanted to relish in the most amazing feeling that is completing a half marathon!
don't be fooled because while i may have been on cloud nine for a while after the race, i was soon hit with the feeling of pure exhaustion! we all grabbed a bite to eat afterwards && then i went home && pretty much crashed && burned. when i woke up one of the first things i did [after chugging a bottle of water] was sign myself up for another half marathon! it seemed crazy at that moment, but i just loved the rush of the race! so, just like that i found myself heading into my next half marathon && it was only a month away!
stay tuned for my next post which will cover my second half marathon as well as my journey to training for my FIRST MARATHON!!