So I am certain that not everyone knew I was running this race and honestly I didn’t really put it out there because failure was a definite possibility. Not that I planned to fail or did but I had a really hard time convincing myself that I wouldn’t. Having the security blanket of Brent’s cell number on my race bib was nice but there were a few people I felt like I had to finish the race for myself included.
So the race break down – I didn’t do as well as I would have liked. I know – no one ever does. I wanted to keep up with Cara and Gloria the entire time but around mile 6 I realized I was in pain and by 8 I was not enjoying myself the way I had the first few miles. I decided it was better to slow down and finish and run when I could rather than push myself and end up hurt. This was around the time I passed the PBR stand near the turnaround. After a couple sips of beer I had a game plan and I stuck to it from mile 9 forward. Walk a mile, jog a mile, walk a mile and run a mile to the finish line. I know – not quite the plan when we left the starting line but I wanted to finish strong regardless of how far past 3 hours I ended up. The plan worked – more or less and I finished with a time of 3:13:35. No I didn’t break the land speed record or my goal of 3 hours. I did beat the sweeper bus and ran the last mile. For some reason mentally that was the challenge I wanted to defeat when I started to hurt.
Now for a few thank yous….
Cara, BobG, Gloria & Brent – you were there when this all started and running a mile seemed like a lot to me and you were there today when running 13 didn’t seem impossible. It was a mountain to climb and when I started to have a crisis of faith you guys were always there with a word of encouragement or support to make me think I could take that next step forward. There were days during training and even times during the race that it would have been easier to quit. When I finally made it across the finish line was I extremely glad I didn’t. It was great seeing you guys there. Thanks for being there – without you guys this wouldn’t have happened.
EdG – it is always great when you come down and like most of the people that live out of town we rarely see each other enough. I’m very happy for you getting your first 1/2 too and doing so in an impressive fashion.
Amber, Travis, Chad, MJ, Steph – thanks for the support after the race by either coming to the post-race feast or sending text messages to check on me.
Quick plug – thanks to Ron and the Raleigh Galloway Program. No – I never became a certified kool-aid drinker but I did advance significantly under the run/walk method. I definitely recommend the program to anyone that needs a little motivation or is a beginning runner – you can ask BobG how it works for veterans but for me it was reasonable. Don’t judge the program on my performance – I was not a star runner in their groups either but it did get me out early on Saturday mornings and took over planning a running schedule which I really needed.
Everyone else who I’ve forgotten that offered words of support or even of shock and disbelief. Thanks – running is not as much of a solo challenge when you have a network of good people around you. I am not 100% certain when our next run will be and honestly I need a few to rehab anyway but I think I am ready to explore the next challenge.