Sunday, August 21, 2011
Hobble Creek Half Marathon
The day started early, 4:30 a.m., we got ready quickly and then spent a lot of time in the parking lot waiting. Not our best shot, but not bad for a phone shot in the dark.
We got to the top of the canyon with just enough time to make a quick porta potty stop before the gun went off. I've run this half more than ten times and had some of my best, and some of my worst races on that course. Yesterday I started the race with my favorite mantra "Run your race, and enjoy your run", but this time added in "To everything there is a season...A time to listen to your body, and a time to get uncomfortable in order to progress. A time to push your pace, and a time to refrain from pushing. Yesterday was a day to listen to my body, and to refrain from pushing. It was tough, I was antsy and just wanted to run hard, but I knew that if I wanted to stay healthy, I would have to take it easy. So I ran, I enjoyed the beautiful scenery, I chatted with other runners, and tried not to focus on my pace. I do my best thinking while running, and my brain was on overdrive.
The night before I had read an article in Runners World by a newbie who was planning to run his first half marathon. He had watched a lot of races and was scared to be that guy that everyone "admires", he said "I've admired so many people from the sidelines...I've clapped for the ones who really looked bad...What if you trip and begin with a bandaged ankle, what if your nipples bleed, what if you vomit, cry and collapse? I've seen people do all these things and I've admired them" As I read the article I laughed, but yesterday morning as I ran slowly, I kept thinking, I don't want people to "admire" me, I just want to run like I'm used to. For a brief moment I started to get discouraged, and then I gained a little perspective: Friday night while picking up our pre-race Olive Garden pasta, I saw four different people who were in wheelchairs, I noticed each with their various struggles and at the time thought that I was grateful to not have that as my challenge in life. During the race I was reminded of the people in wheelchairs and realized how amazing it was that I could run. Fast or slow, I can run, walk, skip, dance, or move any way I want. I had been feeling restricted by my speed, but it struck me what a small restriction that really was. Any bit of pity party I had been having went away, and I really just settled down and enjoyed the rest of the run.
I had an amazing support system at the end, and loved having Tim, family, and friends, there to cheer for me. They love me fast or slow, and often are the ones that get me through a tough race.