Saturday I thought I was scheduled to run 9 miles. However, I discovered earlier in the week that I had in fact jumped ahead of my training plan, but I decided to try the 9 miles anyway because I
relished the thought of spending over an hour and a half running wanted to see if I could do it. I was more than a little apprehensive since my longest run before that was the 7 miles I ran 2 weeks prior, but I really wanted to try. All week long I kept looking at the forecast because I was worried it would rain, but Saturday morning ended up being a runner’s delight: low-50s and partly cloudy. I dressed in long pants, a t-shirt, a light hooded jacket, and a visor and headed for the park nearest our apartment, the one with a 1.3 mile loop. I knew the biggest obstacle to completing this run wouldn’t be physical pain but mental weakness, so I was determined not to let boredom or frustration or fear get the best of me. I started off with a slow warm-up jog, and after feeling a little too warm for the first 1.3 miles, I shed my jacket and was very comfortable for the rest of the run. When I had completed 2 laps, I veered out of the park and into a nearby neighborhood, where I completely another 1.2 miles and then stopped to drink some Gatorade G2 (grape flavor-yum!). At this point I was feeling good, and I was enjoying listening to my Little Women audiobook, but I knew I still had over half of my run to finish. I steeled myself and just stuck to my run/walk intervals of 5:1.
I didn’t hit a wall until after I had finished 7 miles. Then I started to feel like I had been running forever and would never finish. Many of the runners I had seen when I arrived at the park were gone, and I wanted to leave, too. I started repeating to myself, “I can do all things through Christ” over and over, and I thought of myself at the finish line of the half marathon, finishing strong. I couldn’t give up. I had to keep going, but those last 25 minutes seemed to last twice that long.
But finally, after 1 hour and 43 minutes, I made it. 9 miles. It was TOUGH, but it wasn’t impossible. My hips and my left knee bothered me quite a bit on Sunday, but today I feel great, so I’m very happy.
Ever since I decided to try and run a half marathon I have had this doubt in the back of my mind that this goal was too big for me. That doubt was part of the reason I was reluctant to blog about it at all. After all, I’m an overweight, non-athletic woman who just two years ago would have laughed at the thought of running one mile, much less 13.1. So when I ran 7 miles two weeks ago, I was excited, but I also thought, “Erin, that’s only a little over half of the distance you’ll have to run for the half marathon. Are you sure you can do this? Are you sure you WANT to do this?” But after Saturday’s run, I know that not only do I want to do this, but I CAN do it, and I will do it.
April 17, here I come! And you better believe you’ll read all about it. 🙂