As the race began I had one negative thought go through my mind during the first mile. I thought, "Can you really do this?" But I refused to hear those thoughts. Instead I looked around and watched the passer-bys (that would be the people passing me) :) I did not care. I fell into a nice 10:30ish pace. I put in my head phones and began thinking. I thought about how the last race was symbolic of the journey of my life and marriage with Kyle, and how this one was a symbol of how sometimes we have to do things by ourselves. How sometimes we need to see just how strong we are all by ourselves. I did have a group of friends catch up with me around 1.5 miles and we ran until around mile 3 together but then went our separate ways and paces. I continued on by myself. Telling myself how good I felt. How good the sun felt shining on me. How strong my legs were. How I could not do this just 6 months ago and now here I was running and not even feeling winded after 6 miles.
I made it to mile 8, still feeling good, then mile 9, 10, and as I approached mile 11 I began to grow weary. The race was getting long, my once strong legs were growing tired. My water that was once full of ice cold water now only had a few drops of warm water remaining. "Keep going" You are almost there. I hit the 11 mile mark at 2 hours and 7 min. I only had 2.1 more miles to go and 23 min to get my ultimate goal of 2:30. It was doable. But I just could not keep the pace and intensity it required. I was alone. Those around me were either passing me by or beginning to walk. As I hit 11.1 I allowed my feet to slow and began to walk. But guess what? This time I did not feel sad, or defeated or like a failure. No, instead I said, wow. I just ran for 2 hours and 10 min. without walking. Ok, let's finish this race. So I ran when I could and walked when I had to. We rounded the last corner and I was so excited I could see the finish line off in the distance! I still had close to a half mile but I could see the large balloon with the words FINISH! A few of the girls around me began to walk. I cheered out, "Come On Ladies! I see the finish line!!" I was excited to reach it because I knew 3 things:
1. I could finally stop running.
2. I was about to PR.
3. Best of all Kyle and my dad would be waiting there for me!
As I crossed the line I felt accomplished, tired, sore, and ready to do it again!!