As I am sitting here typing this I am almost in tears. Why? Because honestly this girl right here kicks some serious ass and I really cannot believe the things I have accomplished. It was sinking in as I was rounding the corner this morning finishing up running my fourth half marathon this year. Yes 4, yes I just started running last summer. Yes I weighed 272 pounds 2 years ago and yes I hated running up until last year. Yes I am not dreaming.
But I still feel sometimes the urge to pinch myself and make sure.....
But after today, after this race, I honestly finally feel bad ass, finally feel like I belong up there in corral 2 where I was placed. I finally feel like in November I will crush that marathon and take no prisoners.
The day started wet and rainy and well so went the race. But you know what I swear I live for this. Here in New England you never know what the weather will be so I make sure I do not hide out on a treadmill, I make sure I run in all the elements and that proved to be a good thing after this race. It was pouring out.
I woke up at 4AM, and began race prep. I showered got dressed, and got the family up. I know my little family, I am so lucky for them they keep me going! We trucked out to Providence for the Rock and Roll half marathon. Start time was 7AM and we got there right at 6. I like to be at races at least an hour early, I like to mentally prepare and stretch and today was no different.
I was ready for take off! No music this race, it was far too wet to risk. And no phone! No tweet updates and very little pictures! That is what rain brings LOL
I headed up to corral number 2 and waited in anticipation. The race did not actually begin until about 7:20, apparently there was some issues with the roads getting cleared. I was a bit bummed out because I had some water and gel right around 6:40 to get me ready for the race and was getting all pumped up in line and the waiting hurt a little especially in the rain!
But once we were off it was good. We heard the gun and watched the elite runners go and then about 1 minute later we were off!!!
The first few miles were a breeze, I actually felt really good and was on an 8 minute per mile pace. At about mile 4 I began to lag behind a bit and I realized my gel was wearing down, the extra 20 minutes threw it off so I tore open my packet and had half of my chomps pouch. I followed with some power aid zero and kept pushing. The next 2 miles were good.
Then came mile 6, and with that came the pouring rain. This was the hardest rain of the race. I am not complaining because believe me I was much happier running in cool rain for an August race than heat and humididty! But still it had its moments of misery and for me it was between miles 6-7 when it was just pouring. I just told myself I had to keep going. I began to think about everyone waiting for me to finish and knew that there was no other option.
Once I pushed through that point the next few miles were a breeze. It was a bit hilly this course, but honestly I was not bothered by them as much as I was in the past. I have been doing hill runs more this summer and was ready to tackle them head on. When I hit mile 10 I saw Damian. He is a newer runner who is doing amazing things! I was so happy to see him there cheering us all on. It gave me some encouragement to keep going to, it was perfect timing! Thanks for being there!
I hit mile 11 and kept going. By now I was feeling ok but I began to check my watch and get a little nervous about hitting that damn PR. I knew I wanted a PR today I had decided it when I realized it would not be too hto out. But mile marker 12 never came.
Well it seemed like it did not! I know we all have those moments in a race. It is the longest mile ever, you keep waiting to see the next mile marker and it seems like it will never get there. For me it was mile marker 12 this time around. I kept running and waiting for it, looking for it. I thought I might have missed it even! Just when I was feeling like it would never arrive, I saw it and felt a sigh of relief go through my body.
I began cheering loudly at that point I knew I had a new PR in the bag and I was home free! Having only one mile to me is my favorite part of a race and I booked it to the finish line. As I came in I must have been cheesing from ear to ear because I felt so freaking bad ass. Here I was in the pouring rain pounding out a great run and earning a new personal best time for myself. And I crossed that finish line and it was indescribable. Nothing can compare to the feeling you get coming to the end of a hard race like this. Simply nothing.
I got my medal and grabbed a bottle of water and 2 bananas one for me and one for my biggest yet tiniest fan.
Through rain and snow they have always been there at the big races, there to cheer me on. I love these 2 people more than anything in this world and honestly I ran to them with tears of joy in my eyes. I stood there clutching my daughter in my arms and at that moment I felt complete.
Her birth was really the catalyst for this healthy journey, forcing me to be reborn myself. Her life made me realize my own life had more value than I had given it these past 10 years. And her father, my anchor through it all. He has seen me at my absolute worst and loved me, and now as I get to my absolute best he supports me still. I am the luckiest girl in the world.
And I have a new PR to show for my hard work and training 1 hour and 47 minutes!!!!!