do you ever wonder what the f*ck you were thinking when you signed up for a race? (yes, i know this is a christian blog, but seriously? sometimes an eff-bomb feels good.)
when i went to bed on saturday, i wasn't sure i was going to participate in this race. in fact, i didn't even set my clothes out. may 20th is the two-year anniversary of my dad's death and i was feeling pretty emotional. actually, the whole month has been pretty difficult, emotionally and physically.
my alarm woke me up at 4:10. i turned it off and decided i wasn't going to go; i laid in bed and cried. by 4:30, i drug myself out of bed to shower and get ready. my dad would not want me to use him as an excuse not to complete something i had committed to. i wanted to be down at the start line by 5:35, but because i wasn't prepared, i didn't get there until 5:55. luckily, it ended up being the perfect time. the race started at 6 and my corral (g) started at about 6:10.
this half-marathon was a humbling experience for me.
you know how when you decide to walk, any running you do is a bonus? well, i decided to walk the whole thing. i started out with a group that was walking. it was a slow, sustainable pace and would finish before the four hour cut-off.
ten minutes into the walk, i started running. it was not something that i decided - it just happened. i was not running fast, but i was not walking anymore. after that, the first six miles became a blur. i was alone inside my head thinking about my dad.
at mile seven, i sat down on the sidewalk and bawled. several people asked me if i was okay and if i needed a medic. i replied (while crying) 'no, i'll be okay. my dad died. i'm going to finish, i just need a minute.' i was vaguely aware of their faces as they moved on. i am sure they thought it was weird (ahem, awful, ahem) that i was out there running a race, not realizing that i was actually talking about a two year anniversary. thank you to anyone who stopped and made sure i was okay! after, i don't know, 15 or so minutes i was calm enough to get up and run again.
the rest of the course, i was more aware of my surroundings. i waved to all the spectators, volunteers and police officers along the way. there were a lot. the course took us in and through a firestation, getting high fives from all the firefighters. there was also a cute motorcycle parade around mile ten. some elvis impersonators at mile eleven. i think i missed most of the 'sites' that this run is known for in the beginning of the race.
i was passed by about twenty people, who were walking when i was running. apparently, some people can WALK faster than i can RUN. how's that for humbling? :)
at mile twelve, i stopped running. pretty abruptly because the person behind me almost ran into me. (sorry about that, dude!) lots of people were encouraging, saying 'almost there' or 'just one more mile', but i was pooped. all that angst or sorrow or whatever energy had disappeared.
when there was .1 mile left, the marathoners joined us half-marthoners to the finish. yet another humbling experience to realize that they doubled the amount of miles i ran, but in the same amount of time. yikes. i ran to the finish line and received my finishers medal. i really am a fan of races that give out medals.
the clock time was 3:20, but my official chip time was 3:09:03. i honestly can't believe that this run was slower than the platte river half when i ran all of it but first ten minute and the last mile. oh, well. i guess my focus was not on time or pace. this race felt... not easier, but perhaps, took less concentration?
anyway, dad, i hope i made you proud.