Today, I ran ‘my own’ half marathon.
Almost exactly two years to the day since my first half marathon (that was, in my mind, botched).
Just over a year since my second half marathon (that proved that I am *not* a racer).
I finally proved to myself that I can run 13.1…my own way, in a time that I knew I could (yet never quite achieved in aforementioned half marathon race environments!).
It was my do-over that I have had in the back of my mind ever since that botched second attempt at a half marathon.
And I did it with no fanfare, no stated goal, nothing. (just a few quiet sherpas pushing me along – thank you ladies, you are truly, truly the best. Especially that 5:30 am text message from this one, who I love so!)
Because that’s how I roll.
Some say a goal isn’t ‘real’ until you write it down.
I call bullshit on that and say a goal is a goal no matter if it’s on paper or not.
So, I give you…13.1…my way.
Up we woke, at 5:30, pitch black, but thankfully, relatively warm (57 degrees), clear skies, no rain (windswept rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, egad!).
Out the door by 6 am, and it was still dark, and honestly, that first mile in almost darkness felt so bad ass, I loved it! (though I was straining my eyes to find bunnies, since I knew it would be prime time for them!)
I probably went out a little too fast, feeling all bad ass and stuff (LOL), and after the second or third mile, I started to go into mental brain mode, but a spate of 6 bunny sightings perked me up.
I started to break the run up in my head into pieces, and just think of the next ‘spot’ along the route I’d created that I would be happy at, while chanting ‘let the run come to you’ (also a la this girl!) and ‘run the mile you’re in’ over and over in my head.
Somewhere around mile 7 or 8, I started hitting a wall. Too early, in my book, and I started to wonder if last week’s 12 mile redemption run would be my best run of this ‘secret’ training and this one would soon turn shittastic.
Well, it didn’t hit the shittastic zone, but there were a few miles in there that I was thisclose to a bit of a hissy fit. My legs felt so.tired. And I stupidly (in hindsight) wore my new replacement Brooks Ghost 4s (thinking – same shoe – shouldn’t matter that I haven’t worn them yet) and was feeling blisters forming. On. Both. Ankles.
A different fueling strategy (one Honey Stinger around the one hour mark, a Healthy Bite a la this girl around the 8 or 8.5 mile mark, and one more Honey Stinger around mile 11, with water, of course) seemed to helped, but I just kept burning out fast.
Saving grace was a bit of a walk ‘stop’ as M got two pages (did I mention he was on call last night and this morning? trooper, my sherpa, isn’t he?) and I tried to talk myself down. I was again, thisclose to hissy fit status and almost wanted to cut out the little loop add-on I added to get us to 13.1 (reasoning that 12.8 was ‘close enough’ even though I knew I’d be pissed at myself after). What did M say to that?
“We are running 13.1 miles today. If we don’t do that loop, I’d call that a fail, wouldn’t you?” <-man, does he know how to turn my mental wacked brain back on to myself, doesn’t he?!
After that tough love talk, we powered through the last of our run, two bloody heels and all, and did it. Stopped, held hands, caught our breathe and realized we did it….
My ‘secret’ goal? Anything under 2:30 and I would have been thrilled.
Today, we ran a half marathon. 13.1 miles. My (our) way.
And I couldn’t (again) be more proud.