I woke up Sunday for the Sandy Ridge Half Marathon with only a few hours of sleep and a stomach ache. I was not feeling the race at all. I even had bad dreams about it, so I was really wishing I could have stayed in bed all day. But I got to the race, and that’s the toughest part. I didn’t have a certain time I wanted to get, at this point, I was just hoping I would make it to the finish line. I was really surprised with how small the turnout was and a little nervous this would make me slow down later on when everyone was spread out.
Surprising when I started out I felt pretty good, my first mile was 9:40, my fastest mile in a half marathon yet! I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep this up the whole time, so I kept it at a steady 10 minute mile. Yes, it’s slow, but I’m not a pro at this. Around mile four it started getting real warm and I started getting the itch of wanting the race to be over soon. But I’m not a quitter, so I kept going. Somehow mile 8 came up real quick, almost to my old street! I had a great feeling, and even though my legs were getting sore, I was so excited to head down Long, experience it as a race and not just a regular run. Hoping that my parents would make it outside in time to see me, I came up to signs on both sides, writing on the street, and my family sitting in the driveway. I’ll admit, I did tear up, and I got the encouragement that I needed.
Making my way on to Detroit, I really felt the lag of last weeks race. My legs were getting tired and I was drained. I started thinking how crazy I was for running a second half just a week after the last one and I was 6 days away from another race. But my thoughts were quickly distracted when all of a sudden a small dog was running next to me. I was more worried he was going to get hit by traffic or end up too far from home and eventually just let him run next to me. This lasted for about two minutes, and for my first encounter with a dog, I’m glad it wasn’t a bad one.
Mile 11 came and I spent a lot of time thinking. Here I was this far in the race and I still hadn’t walked, my pace was ok, and my legs were falling apart. I really wanted to walk, but I had come this far, and I knew if I walked, I would be so disappointed. My pace dropped and I made it to mile 12, a water stop, and it was just what I needed. This was it, I was almost done and my time was still pretty good, I suddenly had some energy (not much) and I pushed through the pain to get to that finish.
Two hours, fifteen minutes and 54 seconds after I started, I finished. I ran my third half marathon, and my first without walking. I was also just a few seconds off from my PR, which to me, was a PR in its self. I received my finishers medal and I got a second medal for getting 1st in my age group, woohoo! A day that started off in all the wrong ways ended up pretty good. Not only did I end up doing pretty good in the race, it was my dad’s birthday, and the Packers won! A day of celebrations indeed.