Well faithful readers, I swear I haven’t forgotten you. I’ve just been enjoying life.
You’ve heard that I raced a half marathon in November. Here’s how I made it!
The Short Version: My bestie and I were at the start line of the St Augustine Half Marathon on November 16th. We ran the entire race together and crossed the finish line arm in arm a few hours later. I admit there were tears but they were from overwhelming joy and it was fantastic.
The Less Short Version: Dwyer and I lined up at the start line of the St Augustine Half Marathon. It was tense for me. We literally found our places at the at start line as the gun went off. It took me a little while to work out the jitters but a few strides in, I found the 11min/mile pacer and focused on staying with her. It was slower than I wanted to run and slower than my training sessions but it helped me calm my nerves and settle in. Dwyer and I ran like this for over half the race. I felt great and was kept thinking, “Holy Crap! I am actually doing this!”
The halfway point of the race was at the bottom of a bridge. I was hoping to take a short walk break, suck down some water and a gel. However as we came down the bridge, past the race dj, and around the water stop I heard it. Dwyer lives in Tally and St. Augustine isn’t that far of a drive. So, her compadres drove in to cheer us on. Complete with a portable stereo playing Eye of the Tiger on repeat. Did you know, Eye of the Tiger will fit on a regular CD 11 times in row? I couldn’t help but laugh and smile from ear to ear as I heard the sounds of Survivor and then a bunch of adults having a scream-a-long. It was even better when they got in the car and followed us as we climbed back up the bridge.
We continued on an average 11 pace until mile 10. At that point I tried to convince Dwyer to talk a few walk breaks at the end of each mile simply for the mental break. She was not having it. I love her dearly but by mile 12 I needed to take a minute and shake the demons. So I did. I didn’t let her get too far ahead of me, the visions of the two of us crossing the finish line together still dancing in my head. Then we hit the last bridge. Dwyer is fantastic at climbing and I was great at racing down the bridges so we kept each other on track even though we would split up a little bit ascending, until the last bridge. She hauled up that thing and down the other side before I could even think.
Unfortunately, she over did it and I found her sitting on the sidewalk on the other side. After a little pep talk and a few test steps she decided she wasn’t going to walk it in. So we slowed down and ran it in together. Finishing just the way I had envisioned – arm and arm, smiling ear to ear and laughing to another scream-a-long to Eye of the Tiger. OK, so maybe I hadn’t envisioned it in exactly that way but I wouldn’t change it either. Dwyer is good, no long-term injuries or damage and is considered another half soon.
I seriously considered signing up for another half marathon immediately after. There’s a local half in the Fort in March. But sitting where I am right now, I am glad I didn’t. I needed a break and I took it. The huzz and I have been working on the house, traveling, actually spending time together – you know stuff married people do. It took awhile but I think my battery is finally recharged and I’m looking toward new goals and new adventures.