Moving Forward, Learning From The Past.

Well, this weekend was a disappointment in some ways.  I had my 8th half marathon on Saturday morning.  Everything was perfect.  The weather, my food intake, my training was complete.  I had prepared as well as I could and I was feeling great!

Saturday morning came.  I got up, had my breakfast, did my usual morning stuff.  Everything was on track.

I got to the race venue early, like I usually do.  I found a few of my friends near the hospitality tent like we’d planned.  I took my final pitstop in the ladies room.  We took our group photos.

P2P group 1

Then more people came and we took another….

P2P group 2

We lined up and the race was on!  I felt really great.  I had left my watch at home and decided to just run.  No worries about my time, I just wanted to go out and run my best no matter what my time was… of course I still had a goal time in mind, but it really didn’t matter, much.

Felt great through the first 8 miles or so. Saw some amazing scenery.  Enjoyed the breeze off Lake Michigan.  Smiled and thanked as many volunteers as I could.  Then it happened.

My toe started stinging.  Like it does when you have an open cut.  Great.  I’m bleeding.  This isn’t good.  And it hurts.  Bad.

I stopped and took off my shoe to see if I could rearrange my sock and make it better.  Confirmed it was bleeding.  Also now my heel had a blister started.  Awesome.  Now it hurts worse.  I walk a bit.  Run a bit.  Ouch.  Walk more.  I think about quitting.  Seriously consider my very first DNF.

Then it hits me.  Who really cares?  It’s a beautiful day!  Enjoy the walk (it didn’t hurt so much when I walked)!  Just get to the finish line in one piece!

So I did.  I walked quite a bit, the first time I’ve really ever walked at a half marathon.  The 10 minute pacers passed me.  No biggie.  Then the 10:30 pacers passed me.  Meh… whatever.  Then the 11 minute pacers passed me.  For some strange reason this made me very frustrated.  I think it was because I knew if I kept walking I would not finish in less than 2:30….. which seemed like forever.  Plus, I really wanted to get that shoe off.  Like now.

So I ran.  As best I could.  It was slow, no doubt, but I was at least trying to get the finish line.  I wasn’t going to quit.  No way.  I’m NOT a quitter!

I ended up finishing in 2:24, which is about 8 minutes slower than my slowest time up until that day.  About 15 minutes slower than I was hoping for.  I was disappointed, but mainly I needed my shoe off!!!!

No finish line selfies with my friends. I hobbled off to gather my flip flops from my bag that was in the bag check.  I sat down and peeled off my shoes and socks and surveyed the damage.  Yuck!  But it felt SO much better!

I found my friends.  They all did so well!!!  I was so proud to have been there, even though I didn’t get to see them finish (way ahead of me).  They shared in my grief over my time, but were proud of me for finishing.  For pushing through and not giving up.  I’m pretty proud of that too!  (The pic above is me with five of the most amazing women I’ve ever met!)

In the end, I got my medal, I learned something about myself…. and I have another chance to get that finishing time I wanted in three weeks!  This isn’t the end!  This is just a learning experience…. and I keep moving forward!  One amazing step at a time!

Never give up!

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