Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Before each deployment Riley and I make it a priority to sit down together and map out goals for ourselves. One of mine was to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. This past Saturday I ran the Country Music Half Marathon for the 2nd year in a row. This year, however, I was able to get a personal record (pr) during the race and finish in 1:58:05 (my old pr was 2:02 in 2007)AND check a major goal of my list! I've gotta say, though, that the race was the toughest half I've ever done. I don't know if it was the heat, the hills, taking off too quickly, or just an off-day, but I had to walk several times, and that's something I've never had to do before. The highlight of the race was getting to watch the beautiful Kenyan men blow everyone away running the whole marathon (and finishing in 2:13 & 2:14 times). It was an honor to get to run the same route as those champions. The low point of the race was at mile 6 when I had to talk myself into running another hour when I thought I couldn't make my goal time. Admist the highs and lows were the awesome crowds of cheering people, and some of the runners were a hoot, too. I tried to keep pace with a man running with an inflatable monkey on his back, but alas, he left me in the dust. My favorite runner was a tall African American man who came barrelling from behind shouting, "C'mon! This ain't no big hill. No hill at all! This ain't no big hill. No hill at all!" etc. It truly was motivating to push through the pain...and painful it was! I crossed the finish line and had a stranger help me sit down but while I sucked down a water and doused myself with salt water sponges. At this point I didn't know if I had reached my goal or not. I knew it was close and I knew I had given it my all. Riley skyped me that afternoon and was actually the one to announce to me my time and the good news that I had reached my goal! Hooray!