I ended my training runs last weekend with a very successful 12 mile run. What made it successful in my mind was that I ran the whole thing. I came away with confidence that this weekend though my time may not be fast I would be fully capable of running the whole half marathon.
As this week progressed so did a cold that I was fighting off. Between nerves, my cold and sinus drainage issues, I threw up twice yesterday...which did not set the stage well for this morning. However, I slept pretty well for a pre-race night's sleep. I woke up feeling good, excited and once again confident that the race would go well.
Kyle agreed to run this race at my pace. Stride for Stride with me. Much like our last 15 years of marriage. We have been together, step for step, encouraging each other to be our best, helping each other when we feel like we can not go on, and laughing, celebrating and crying together.
We took off. I felt great (well I could have done without the person behind me who said, "One tenth done, 13 more miles to go." The race was going well. I felt like this was going to be a great run. At 2.9 miles all of a sudden a man near us yelled out, "I am in the WRONG race!!" I thought he was just joking around and really saying, "Why did I sign up for a half marathon?" Nope. He was literally in the WRONG race! He ran 2.9 miles of the half marathon all the while believing he was running the 5k. I felt so bad for this guy. It did provide a nice little laugh, but I could not help but feel bad for him. We ran on, met some people along the way and had a few brief conversations. We entered the park area of the run and hit 5 miles. We were greeted by WIND. Lots of WIND. So much wind that as we passed the 6 mile mark it blew over. I put my head down and tried to convince myself that it was not going to be windy once we got out of the park area.
We hit the half-way split mark and we were at 1:12. This gave me a sudden burst of energy. I just might make 2:30 for the half. But my energy burst was short lived and as we exited the park I began some negative talk. "I can't do this..." That sort of junk. Then at 8.5-9 miles it happened. I walked. I also cried a little. I felt like I was failing. I walked for .1 of a mile and then started to "run" again. My legs were complete lead. I felt like I could barely lift them. My energy was GONE. I spent the next 4 miles walk/running.
At mile 10, my husband told me once again how proud he was of me. How he was so proud I set a goal and I was completing it. It was right around this time, that I had convinced myself that I was not failing. I reminded myself that I had a baby less than 14 months ago. That I was doing something that 1 year ago I did not even think was possible for me.
We pushed on. As we approached the last .5 mile I was determined to run it in to the finish. So I put in my headphones and jammed to "Best Day of My Life".
We rounded the final corner. Only .1 of a mile left to go. Kyle turned around and said, "Take your headphones out!! Someone is cheering for you!" I pulled out my headphones and that is when I heard it "Go Charissa, You DID IT! Yeah Charissa! Go! You Got This, Finish Strong!!" Whoa. The emotion flooded up immediately. I began crying. I could not control it. Kyle once again said, "Do you hear it? They are cheering for you!" As I crossed over that finish line I knew I had not run the race I had set out to run, but I was extremely proud of the race I did run. My heart was full. My 12 week journey came to an end. Now two more weeks until I attempt this crazy thing again! I am proud to say I DID IT, YOU CAN TOO!