If you saw me run earlier this year you would think someone was beating the shit out of me. I could barely run 5km and I sounded like some dying animal every time I took a breath.
*Fast forward a few months and a 15km race under my belt*
I will admit. My training for it was not the best. A couple of mid runs, a few short runs and only one long run a week or so before my race. The long run was 18.5 km and I felt pretty good so I figured I could dig deep and throw in the last few kms.
Running your first half marathon is a big deal. Matt is my number one encouraging coach and a chance had come up for him to climb some mountains and it fell upon my run. As much as I wanted him there I thought about it and told him to go for it. We both can do something amazing and celebrate upon his return.
I had my parents, my twin sissy and her husband, Brad there for support. It was an emotional few days to begin with as Matt had left early Saturday morning for his Mexico expedition. I headed up to Markham and started to mentally prepare myself. I was up dressed and forcing a bit of food in my tummy Sunday morning. I was anxious, nervous and pumped. I had some amazing words of encouragement from Matt on my blackberry and my sister was just a pillar of whatever I said went. Brad stretched me out and got me ready. I actually choked up a few times before the start wishing Matt was there. He was there really. I had certain things he would say would just pop up in my head while I was running along. Kept me going.
The weird thing is, is that the run itself was a complete blur at one point. I don’t remember much from the 12-15km mark. I do remember my friend Ceri, popping up and running with me at 11km and then again at 15km which was just a great boost for me.
18km mark I did well.. but fatigue started to set in. I had to dig really deep and keep pushing myself. My legs could keep going it was my mind that was tired. I got a message from my sister at the 19km mark which choked me up. She said “Look at you! Seriously, look at you! Fucking brilliant! You’re my hero! You can do this – You are blowing everyone away!!!” I just kicked up my pace and went for it and I didn’t stop. I past by Brad whom I didn’t even recognize I was that focused. Saw my dad as I was entering the last 0.5km and gave him the thumbs up. I heard my name being called over the PA there egging me on and one last push and I crossed the finish line.
I did it? I f*cking did it!!! I didn’t even see the woman trying to put the medal around my neck. Medal on my chest and I immediately went to my sister and started crying. I was overcome. Amazed at my accomplishment, amazed at the support from my family, and wishing Matt was there. I could imagine him running the last couple of km’s with me egging me on, pushing me and I just kept crying. a half marathon under my belt before I
turned 30.. and I did it!
The race event had offered breakfast for the runners. YUM. I walked in, smelled eggs and nearly barfed. There goes breakfast. The bananas I took did me just fine. Brad stretched me again after the run. Bath, food, bubbly, and I was relaxing still in shock over what I had just done.
I messaged Matt over blackberry letting him know I finished and my time! if I concentrated really hard I think i could have heard his “WOOOOOOOO” all the way from Mexico City. I don’t think I can even explain the excitement and words that were exchanged between the two of us. What I do know is that we both will have massive smiles on our faces when we next see each other.
What did I learn from this? That basically I have the ability to do whatever I want to do. That sometimes I am stubborn enough to push through mental barriers and push myself to the limit. As well, that I have NO desire to do a full marathon 🙂 21km for now is enough. I now know that I can do this. I will do it again.
For now I will ice my hamstrings and relish in what was one hell of a race and a well deserved medal.