Here we are, waiting for the start of our latest challenge - completing a half marathon! Yup, 13.1 miles of torture for those of us who are unprepared. That would be me. I signed up last spring when I had high hopes of many hours and miles of running throughout the summer. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. But, I felt like I had made a commitment, so here I am, hoping that I have the mental fortitude to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, for the next few hours...my friends were ready, and they were a very encouraging that I could do this!
There is the map of my efforts throughout the course. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall morning for a run/walk along the coast. So, I focused on how happy I was to be there! I saw some friends along the way, and lots of friendly strangers who provided so much support. You can see that mile 8 was when I really started to slow down. It was during that mile that I struggled to remove all my rings because my hands were terribly swollen and the jewelry was starting to cut off the circulation in my fingers! I've never had that happen before. That was scary, although not as scary as when I stepped wrong on my formerly broken ankle and it gave out on me. I thought I was done at that point. Fortunately, it was fine.
It was shortly before mile 10 when my biggest help arrived in the form of the 3 hour pacer. She was running her 268th half-marathon (WHAT?!) and extremely determined to maintain her pace group! She had factored in walking up the last hill of the course, a bathroom break before mile 12, and calculated in other factors, such as fatigue during the final stretch, for her group. She was such a fantastic push to the end that I hunted her down after I crossed the finish line to give her a big hug and a great big 'thank you'.
Knowing that my friends (Who rocked this race!) and my family were all waiting for me to finish are what inspired me to keep moving forward even when it really hurt. Also, that bling around my neck was a pretty good incentive for someone as 'loony' as I am!