First of all, a very sincere thanks to all of those out there who sent words of encouragement my way, especially through blog comments. I ran by a group of supporters twice today holding various signs and cheering the runners on, and one in particular stood out.
A complete stranger is proud of you.
I’m not going to lie. I almost teared up at that. Today was a surprisingly emotional day. My mom sent me a text message this morning part way through the race. She wanted to be able to be at the finish line, but between work and an overall busier life than mine, just couldn’t. When it fully sunk in that she wouldn’t be there, I had to fight back tears for a moment. My children weren’t at the finish line either. I never voiced that I wanted them there. I don’t think I thought of it until today as I was running, otherwise I would have seen if my in-laws could have timed it so they could be there with my little ones. Truthfully, the magnitude of what I was doing today didn’t hit me until I was doing it. A mini marathon might pale in comparison to my husband’s Ironman last year, but it was a big deal for me. I can honestly say I wasn’t aware of what this race meant to me until I was about 4 miles into it, and it made me sad that my friends and family wouldn’t be there to cheer me on. So, again, surprisingly emotional day.
Today was awesome, plain and simple. The first eight miles of the mini were freaking amazing. I felt awesome. I hit a hitch afterwards. My IT band HURT. I ended up walking on and off for about a total of a mile between mile nine and eleven and even stopped for a moment at mile 10 for some stretching because my hip hurt so much. The last two miles of the race my hip cooperated with me enough that I ran a comfortable 12:50 pace. My unofficial Garmin time for 13.44 miles was 2:55:44.
Yes, 13.44 miles. Who’d have thunk all that weaving and dodging walkers would have added that much extra mileage.
I’m extremely proud to have finished. I’m excited I made under 3 hours. I’m a little bummed that I didn’t make the 2:45 time I thought I could make. I was well on track for it until wretched mile nine. But that little bit of disappointment doesn’t diminish what I did today. I ran a mini marathon, and I have the medal around my neck to prove it. I’m sore, tired, and burned off approximately 1460 calories today.
So, post race thoughts.
- The crowd
- The group of guys dressed up as Spartans
- The man pushing the girl in the wheelchair for all 13.1 miles
- The two girls helping the guy walk the race. The guy had some physical disability and walked very, very, very slowly
- The encouraging signs, especially the “A complete stranger is proud of you”
- Crossing the finish line
- The first eight miles
- The awesome weather. A few minutes worth of a light drizzle around mile four and perfect weather for the other 12 miles.
- My mom’s text message wishing me luck
- The various “good luck” messages between last night and this morning
- Crossing the freaking finish line
- The walkers. I can’t tell you how many I nearly ran into and trampled because they would stop walking in the middle of the course to mess around on their phone, tie their shoe, etc. And then one of them complained about nearly being trampled by the runners. Well, maybe you should wait to start until after all of the runners are on the course. Unless you can walk at a 11:45 pace, wait to enter the course, and then you might not be ran into when you stop walking every 10 feet. Just saying.
- IT band pain
- Not making the 2:45 time.
All in all, today was a stellar day.
And guess what.
I’m running another mini this fall. Possibly even two. There are four minis I’m eyeballing, one in September, two in October and one at the beginning of March. This racing stuff is seriously addicting. So, I have all summer long to become a stronger and faster runner. I will destroy that 2:45 time.