Ok, I finished my first Half Marathon. I will proudly display 13.1 on my car! I made it through that first mile, relishing on all of the cheering from people I have never met, loving the volunteers who had that sip of water or Nuun to keep me going. These were welcome additions to my Vegan diet. That sweet sip of Electrolyte made me think I was cheating…just a bit.
Thank you musicians for getting up early and playing for us in the cold. So many great signs to that made me laugh and distract that pain that was creeping up on me. One of my favorite signs, “WTF…where’s the finish?” The race was tougher than I thought! My very sweet boyfriend kept encouraging me even though my legs wanted to stop. He was chanting…”see” the finish, “be” the finish, you “are” the finish. Didn’t I hear something similar to this in the movie Miss Congeniality? I finally passed by the UT Alumni center, put my Horns Up in honor of my father, who was THE pitcher for University of Texas in the ‘40s plus my largest cheerleader in everything, and found my way to cross the finish line to grab that metal and title! I did it! Now what?
How do I celebrate, a great meal, Pulled Pork and Asian Cole Slaw-very non Vegan-with a few friends and hit the pillow early that night. Now it’s time for New Shoes. Yes, this is a reward. I am not finished with just one race. I have so much to improve upon. Time, endurance, pace, stamina all need work. New shoes are a motivator…a symbol…a new beginning! They are ready for me every time I want to slip them on and join my friends for a work out or Saturday long run. New beginnings are a chance to regroup, evaluate and plan for the next event. Just like the new year. Yes, I will run the Austin Half Marathon on Valentine’s Day. I am still half crazy.
I have found running is like life. There are ups and there are downs. New shoes help you conquer what the run and life presents you! Always run forward!
Some thoughts as I approach my first Half Marathon…
I have seen many Facebook posts from friends who are running their first Half. I am inspired by your posts. This will be my first and the journey began in May 2015. In the past, I have run a few 5K’s and even the Capital 10K. Yes, I even ran as a kid. I was a sprinter not a distance runner. All the formal runs were fun but not without tremendous struggle and very sore legs the next day. I decided it was time to train and I joined Rogue. The Couch to 5K class was my indoctrination to a formal running group. I was immediately inspired and impressed by the people who call Rogue their running home. I felt welcomed and soon realized that I was not the only first timer. There was so much energy and comradery that I was hooked. So I went every Wed at 6pm and early Saturday mornings. Yes, I still ran even in July and August when the Heat Index was 105 degrees. I was begging for cooler months. It was amazing that all of us beginners were struggling, sweating and ultimately bonding. Week after week. We were all improving together. Step by step. I soon improved my form, became stronger and could run more than a mile. Still struggling at first. I continued my training and then a coach suggested I train for a Half Marathon. I thought he was crazy. Remember, I couldn’t run a mile without gasping, and wanting to stop. But after months, I was running more than a mile. I couldn’t believe this. I wanted to continue so I decided to sign up for the Half Marathon training class. I asked my boyfriend to join for even more support and accountability. Thank you dear! Now I have to run more than 3 miles just at the beginning and eventually I have to run 13.1 miles. Luckily, I like a challenge and I have the support of my Rogue friends and coaches. Now it’s fall, it’s cooler and we are running in the dark. You can see us in groups wearing head lamps, blinky lights and reflective gear. During our midweek runs we sometimes run up to 7 miles…on a Tuesday night! I am officially crazy. Well, I’m only half crazy. It is a half not a full marathon.
Why do I run? I have always enjoyed some kind of physical fitness. I am also a self proclaimed Foodie, so exercise is essential. All types of exercise including spin class, body pump and even a charity bike ride. Running is another way to get fit. Its’ not easy, but I do leave the cell phone behind and escape for an hour or so. I have seen areas of Austin including the crazy hills off Scenic Dr. that I wouldn’t have experienced without the weekly planned Rogue Maps. The best part of running is the people that I have met. We share life experiences, talk about current events and slowly leave our daily worries behind.
It’s now Saturday before the very popular Austin 3M Half Marathon. The temperature is supposed to be in the mid 30’s at the start. Yes, I did want to run in cooler weather! I am nervous, excited and inspired. I have been careful about my diet, making sure I am hydrated and well rested. I realize I am as ready as I will ever be. I have trained well thanks to the Rogue coaches and my new friends. I will probably still struggle with that first mile. Of course it is up a hill, but I will find my rhythm, finish, achieve my first PR and have a great run with my new friends!
See you all at the finish line as we grab that metal and the title of 13.1 3M Half Marathon Finisher!