Monday, September 28, 2009

Half Marathon recap: lessons in humility

First of all...I DID IT! I survived and I made it across the finish line! We're in full move transition, moving day is October 1, so stay tuned for pictures!!!

Race report:

The course: AMAZING. It was 55 and SUNNY when we got to the start and that is my PERFECT weather for running! Half was on winding roads in the country in East Hampton, some was on a dirt road in a beautiful trail, and the other half lined a beach.

My race: UGH, if there ever a lesson in humility, this was it! As of Friday night before the race, I was NOT running. I was exhausted, sick, coughing and blowing my nose. I went to bed at 8:30 after a WONDERFUL meal cooked for us by Alyssa's wonderful mommy. I told Laurie that if I still felt the same way in the morning, this would not be happening. I woke up the next day rejuvinated and alive! I felt better than I had in a week. Sleep is a miracle worker. Why was this race such a lesson in humility? Well, I was slow. REALLY slow. But Brian had made me promise to come back in one peace, so I had to keep that promise. I started with Laurie but quickly lost her because, well, she's fast! (Her time was 145:49...CRAZY runner!). I missed the Mile 1 marker, and right before I saw the mile 2 marker I thought "I can not do this." But when I saw the mile 2 marker, the countdown began. If I could get to mile 9, I could finish. 7 more miles. My first three miles were 10 minute miles, including stopping at every water station and drinking/walking for 30 seconds. By the time I hit 5 miles, my time was about 1:01, still decent with all my water slugging!!! After mile 6-7, I started to fall into a SLOW rhythm, but it's where I needed to be. I made a few friends along the way; one liked my shirt and we discussed the red dress run. Another was named Carrie, who I met with her friends around mile 6, and then again around mile 10. She and I chatted for a mile or so; she had flown in from Hong Kong the night before to do this! Around 11, I met Wendy. I'm honestly considering doing a "missed connection" on Craigslist for Wendy! She lives 8 blocks from my new apartment, super funny, and I gave her one of my cough drops! She had been sick too, I didn't feel so alone. I lost her in the middle of mile 12 though; I felt nauseous and almost threw up! My lesson in humility took place as I was passed by every. single. person. I usually can do a bit of passing, but seriously, I got passed by everyone. EVERYONE. I was so sad, but I prayed the whole time for Laurie, my husband, my family, anything that came to mind to distract me. I kept repeating these verses:

-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
- I submit my body to the plans of God (I think that's a verse...)
- I have the mind of Christ.
- No weapon formed against me will prosper.
- I am beautifully and wonderfully made.

And then, in mile 13, this was my mantra: YOU ARE INVINCIBLE. And the famous "Remember the Titans" line, "Fourth quarter...fourth quarter....fourth quarter...." Yes people, I needed extra oomph to finish this race!

Mile 13-13.1: I rounded the corner to the sound of cow bells, cheers, and race commentators on loud speakers. I saw people everywhere cheering me on. I saw the clock click onto 2:28. NO WAY I was having a 2-3-0 in my finish time! So I sprinted. I mean SPRINTED. 2:29:44! At the end I ran passed my new friend Marie, whose husband Steven was running in his first half! To add to the lesson in humility: I started dry heaving at the end of the race. Badly. Thankfully there was nothing in my tummy to throw up, but a few people stopped to see if I was ok...embarrassing...yes I got over it.

I got some post race goodies and split like a banana! We returned to NYC around 4ish after regrouping at my friend Alyssa's AMAZING Hamptons home. Pictures of the kitchen will be shown.

Final thoughts: This race was HARD. I was passed over. and over. and over. I had trained, but this flu/cold/sinus infection almost got the best of me. I am a runner. I ran a half marathon. I am a runner. My legs are sore. I am a runner. I will do this race again. I am a runner.

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