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Friday, April 24, 2015

Southern Utah Half :: I did it!

I love a good half marathon. I love waking up at 4:30am to go run 13.1 miles and be finished by 9am (I'm serious). It is the best way to start a weekend. I love the thrill, the challenge. I must be a runner, eh? 

Let me just start by saying, this course was amazzzing! To all of my fellow runners, I highly recommend it. My goal for this race was to finish in 2 hours. I did it! But let me give you the play by play ::

Starting Line: A little chilly, windy, very overcast..."Crap I forgot my plastic bag for my phone," "Need to find the pacer to keep up and stay on track for my goal..." "Oh no, why is she so skinny?!"

Mile 1: "Yeah, this is awesome! Just finished that first mile in record time, was that really less than 9 minutes?" 

Mile 2: "Okay, I can do this...maybe?" 

Mile 3: "What the heck was I thinking? This is not happening." I learned very quickly in my running career that in order to successful meet a goal time in a long distance race, you must establish even splits from the get go. I was trying so hard to do this and stay strong and in line with the 2:00:00 pacer but I was exhausted three miles in. I immediately decided I would have to give up. It was getting rainier and colder and lonelier. 

Miles 4 and 5: I had slowed down significantly by this point and I thought there way no way. I was contemplating thoughts of giving up and calling my husband to come pick me up. The only thing that kept me going was I was on a trail without access to the road until around Mile 6. 

Mile 6: "Wait, I just ran that first 6 miles in about 50 minutes?! Okay, maybe I can still do this!" 

Mile 7 and 8: All of the sudden, mile 8 showed up and I realized I was way over half way and in record time. I was listening to an inspirational book (I would) called The Magic of Thinking Big! and the author would say "Tell yourself 'I can do this! I am great!' Now say it out loud," and I would literally say it out loud. I definitely got some strange looks from my fellow running crazies. But this book kept me going and motivated. 

Miles 9-11: These miles dragged and I thought it would never end. Mile 10 itself felt like 2 miles and all of the sudden the weather switched and it was getting hot. Again, I was stuck in the middle of a trail, a little further from the road so I kept going. 

Mile 12: I met the most amazing angel, Janet. She was the sweetest 60 year old woman. She told me I could run past her but I told her she kept me going. We talked and distracted ourselves for 10 minutes through this mile. She was an inspiration and an angel. 

I had an experience years ago during another half marathon when I was at about this same spot in the race and someone came up to me and said "How fast can you run a mile?" and it pushed me to the finish line. Thinking back, I swear there was no one there and it had to be an angel guiding me. God is good like that. 

Mile 13: I did it...and I'm still under two hours. SPRINT to the finish line.

YES! I did it. 2 hour half marathon. I was elated. It was a joyous moment. My sweet husband was there to cheer me on. As happy as I was, I was also exhausted. My legs were dead for days. But definitely #worthit. 

Nothing quite like the experience of a race. It feels like the journey of life. Ups and downs, highs and lows, fast and slow, forward and back. All in under two hours. 

And to polish off the weekend, we enjoyed some solid R&R in St. George and stopped by Kolob Canyons on the way home. 


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