Monday, September 10, 2018

Half Time

When I finished my second half marathon ten years ago, I confidently spoke the words, "Bodies were not meant to run that far. I'm never doing that again."

And I really stuck to my word on that one. I still enjoyed running, but I had forever cast aside the thought of endless training and grueling work just to self-propel my body 13 miles across some pavement. No thanks. 

Two of my neighbors, Lena and Trisha, kindly invited me to go running with them last spring around a track while our kids played. Cool. I thought. Workout while my kids get a playdate. Mom win.

This arrangement was working so well we started doing it weekly, inching up to 5 miles each time we lapped together for these outings. We felt so good after our runs and our kids continued to love the setup, so we began running bi-weekly. 

For those of you who see where this is going before I did, yes. This is how you get conned into doing another half marathon by people you once trusted as friends. :)

Lena suggested we run the Top of Utah Half Marathon with her in August which was months away when the idea was first presented. "Suuuuuuuuuuuure, Lena," I said while I winked at Trisha like, "We're not really doing that, right?" 

Before I knew it we were all signed up and were being shuttled up a canyon at 5:00 in the morning. We even recruited another neighbor, Jennie, and Teresa hopped aboard the figurative and literal bus as well. 

Yes, I intentionally wore my Flash shirt in an effort to channel my goal for speed. You see, the reason I ended up agreeing to this torture is because I had run my first half marathon in 2 hours and 3 minutes. Wanting to beat that time, I ran my next one in 2 hours and 5 minutes with much disappointment. I HAD to get under 2 hours!

Lena and Trisha helped me work on pace and endurance as we trained. We figured out how fast we'd need to go to break 2 hours and cheered each other on when our pace was up to snuff. In the week leading up to the race I was almost effortlessly running 8:30 miles making me think I might make my goal after all. Provided I just wore the right t-shirt to keep me mentally on track.
Here we are at the starting line!
And we're off! Bless Lena for taking this picture. Ha!
It should be noted this race is pleasantly downhill. A nice, gradual downhill for 12 of the 13 miles. As every race should be. With the help of a great course, an honest six months of training, and an ear full of Jim Gaffigan to keep me smiling while I ran, I felt SO GOOD the whole race. 

They had pacers to help you stay on track and I was able to stay right with the time I was shooting for. I didn't even walk until mile 11, you guys! And that was only for a minute so I could chug some Gatorade. It was incredible. It was just neat to have worked so hard for something and to see all my hard work pay off. 
I finished under two hours and seriously almost cried at the finish line. I did it!
We all met our goals! It was great to be a part of a group of women supporting each other and cheering each other on through a hard achievement. I'm so proud of us!
This was Teresa's first half marathon and she knocked it out of the park. I was so impressed she had the gumption to try something hard to see if she could do it and she did!
Much to my surprise, I heard my name during the post-race festivities. Thinking I had won something in the raffle, I went over to claim my prize. My prize was a TROPHY for FIRST PLACE. Hahahahahaha. What?!?!?! I've never won anything in my life!

It said first place in the Women's Filly Division. Unsure what this was, we did some quick Googling and saw that meant I beat all the women who weighed more than 145 pounds. I've always been self-conscious about my burly stature, but it finally served me real good!

I was also dying at the hilarity of this trophy situation because Jeff's dad used to refer to me as a sassy young filly. Now I've finally got the trophy to prove it! 

Turns out training (and a convenient altitude descent) makes all the difference in the enjoyment of a race. The day after the race I was already Googling where to take these filly legs next.
But before I could think too hard about running again, I had to treat these little ponies to an ice cream treat for being good boys for Ben and Haley while I was gone. Victories all around!


Rebecca said...

Your trophy! When you showed it on Instagram, I neglected to see the running figure on top. I thought it was just a rock! Ha! That's a much better-looking trophy now that I'm noticing the whole thing!

Way to go on working hard for something and reaching your goal! You are an inspiration.

LC said...

I love this post! How cool that you have pictures of you actually running and finishing your race. And not just after you’re hour later....