The final week of training messed with my head. The physical requirements were minimal: I did my Monster Monday lift, ran 4 miles Tues, did 1hr of Spin on Wed, and ran a simple 2 miles on Thursday. And then that was it!! I felt so STRANGE doing nothing Fri/Sat, but there was only one word on my training sheet for those two days: Rest. So I did! I tried to rest my mind as well, which proved to be a lot more difficult than resting my body. I was excited, I was nervous, I was anxious, and I was scared. I tried my best to sleep on Saturday night, and ended up dreaming of the race.
Sunday morning came around and the weather was RAINY and WINDY on Hampton Beach. My umbrella turned inside out, and so did my belly. I had not anticipated the possibility of inclement weather. However, as the runners gathered at the start, the rain slowed to a mist and my fear turned into excitement. With the sound of the gun we were off! I had prepared a very carefully planned playlist that got me through. I checked my watch at every mile, and at every mile it was the same- I averaged between 7:30 and 8 min pace. I stopped to take an energy gel between miles 6-7 and took a few cups of Gatorade along the way as well.
Miles 10, 11, and 12 were the toughest. There were next to no supporters, as everyone wanted to be at the finish. Thank goodness for the 2 little kids sticking their hands out for high fives- they saved me!!! It was a true mental test for those last few miles. I kept thinking about all my training: my early morning runs, my speed workouts, my lifting sessions, my determination to overcome injury, and my promise that I’d finish the race. Before I knew it, the FINISH line was in sight. I spotted my friends and family, cut over and gave some high five’s and crossed the finish line with pride and joy. 1:40:44!
After reflecting and letting it all sink in for a day or so, I am able to realize the incredible accomplishment that I achieved. It was no miracle, no feat of extraordinary measure. No, it was all possible because of one thing: persistence. I trained for 9 long weeks to get my body ready; I put one foot in front of the other [pun intended] and kept at it. If I had attempted this race without training, or even with only 4 or 5 weeks training, I would’ve been setting myself up for failure. By following through on a well thought out plan, I best prepared my body and mind to take on this challenge. I realized that I will always be able to accomplish anything I put my mind to. BUT, I must do it with 100% of what I have; persistence and consistency are the keys with which my dreams will turn into reality. In the face of road blocks [like myankle injury], I must always keep my eyes on my goal and persevere.
Completing this half marathon 4 days before my 30th birthday fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution and huge goal for me. I am proud and excited to have it under my belt. I look forward to training for and completing the FULL 26.2 next October!