If my rough calculations are accurate, since November I have run about 200 miles and have spent 32 hours on the treadmill, road or bike path . In January Chris and I decided to train for and run our first half marathon. We printed off our Hal Higdon training schedule and hit the road running (no pun intended).
I know that many people run half marathons like it is no big deal. But for this athletic wannabe, it was a challenge I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete. When I was a freshman in high school, I thought it would be a good idea to join the Cross Country team. My first race (a 5K) proved to me that my body was not meant for running. I finished second…to last. That memory is still engrained in my mind. My greatest running fear you ask? Reliving that exact moment. You’d think after completing several 5K’s, an 8K, a 15K, and a 10 mile race and never finishing last I would have overcome that fear by now.
But today…I am proud to say that both Chris and I started, ran and completed the Southwest Half Marathon in Palos Heights, IL. And neither of us finished second to last! Goal accomplished!
Here are some highlights of the race:
- Having some awesome friends come out and support us. Thanks to Troy who rode his bike throughout the route to cheer us on and thanks to Kelly and Megan who were at the finish line to celebrate our accomplishment.
- Finishing. My past few long training runs didn’t go so well for me. I wasn’t sure what today would hold, so my goal was to finish. If I was able to run a 10 minute mile, then great. Well, I did both! Chris on the other hand…blew me out of the water! His average pace was an 8:44 minute mile. His secret to success you ask? Eating Chocolate Chex for breakfast. haha! Way to go! 🙂
- Seeing a husband push his wife in a wheelchair the entire race. The route we ran was 6.5 miles down one side of the road and another 6.5 miles back. It was neat because you saw all the runners at one point or another. There was this particular man who was in the top 20ish runners who was pushing his visibly ill wife. I literally started crying as I watched such this precious, love filled, gesture that I am sure wasn’t easy for either.
- Using a grandpa as my pacer. Literally, there was this 70 year old grandpa who I ran the entire race with. I’d like to think that I’ll be running half marathons at age 70. But considering how my knees feel right now, I don’t think that will happen.
- Accomplishing something that I never thought possible! It has been a goal of mine for a while now to run a half marathon. I kept putting it off because of the fear of failure. Now I can check it off my bucket list!
I leave you with some pictures from the day. There are a few more pictures on the way, so I will post those later. Now on to icing my knees and taking a nap!
Happy Running everyone!
Pre-race photo. Just to clarify. We accidentally both wore the same shirts from a previous race 3 years ago. Matching was not planned or purposeful!
Post race picture! 13.1 miles later, we’re alive and well to tell about it!