This past Saturday I ran in my first ever half marathon. I set a goal back in January to run a half marathon, and on Saturday I accomplished that goal. I am not going to lie, it felt good, it felt awesome crossing that finish line, and it was also one of the hardest things I have ever done. I love the fact that you are never too old to set a goal and achieve it. Sometimes when you are a busy mom, wife, or chick, you get caught up in the day in/day out stuff, and goals seem like something you will set or do when your kids are older. I look at my stack of books that I have piled on my nightstand, I will hopefully one day read all of them, but right now, I am lucky to make it till 9pm with my eyes open.
Throughout the training process I had setbacks that I wrote about here, and there were days I wanted to quit. I am not a morning person, but the only time I could run during the week was in the morning at 5am. I am also not what you would call a natural runner, running up my street is still hard for me! I think part of this goal working was having a training a program that laid it all out for me. It was easy to follow and adapt to my schedule, and I loved not having to be in charge of it, because if I was I am sure I would have cheated on a few days.
Most importantly this half marathon meant doing something I never ever thought I would. Again, I am not a runner, I hate running, but I did it, I ran for 13.1 straight miles. This half marathon also meant something numerically, I turned 28 this year and my brother died when I was 14. I have now lived half my life without him. Something at the time I never thought I would be able to do. You can read more about that here.
I am still processing my thoughts and emotions from the half marathon. I was not mentally prepared to run those 13.1 miles. I felt like quitting at mile 4. I was so nervous and stressed that I couldn't eat or drink anything before the race, I do not suggest that. You need all the energy you can get. I think I got so caught up in the whole not wanting to disappoint the people supporting me, or who have encouraged me, and I lost focus on the whole goal and reason why I wanted to run in the first place.
I won't go into every mile of the race because truthfully for me, this race was like child birth, you try to forget the pain as quick as possible, and move on to the accomplishment. But I do want to take some time to say thanks. Every single comment, prayer, status like or picture like on Facebook, every message, email, text, you name it, I read it, and I am so incredibly thankful for it. A lot of people had a hand in helping me cross the finish line. I didn't train with anyone, or run the race with anyone. Physically I was by myself, but mentally you all were with me. My music on Saturday kept getting interrupted from all the text messages I was receiving during the race. Normally I would be annoyed, but on Saturday I was so thankful for those little dings!
I know my brother would have been proud of me for doing this. And no, he was not a runner, so it's not like I was trying to fulfill a dream he had. Andy was the kindest person you would have ever met, and he believed in people. He saw things in people that they would only recognize years later to be true. I am sure he would have been in the front row the whole time cheering me on, and although he would have found the cowbell to be obnoxious, he would have been ringing one himself. Because that's who he was, my brother.