I’ve been walk/running on and off for a couple years, nothing serious, nothing fun, just a means to burn calories. I don’t remember why but about a year ago I decided to push myself a little more. It was a struggle. I’m not designed to run. I had muscle cramps and shin splints, a bout with tendonitis. I had all kinds of equipment that made getting ready to run quite the ordeal; compression sleeves, heart rate monitor, belts, bike lights for night runs. It took forever to get out there.
In November I made a commitment to do something more. I could run 5 miles, there was no reason I couldn’t run a half in the spring. I found The Best Damn Race Orlando on google and it was cheap, probably the only reason I signed up. Four months should have been plenty of time to train. It wasn’t, not for me at least. I’m lazy and by the time Christmas hit my training ceased to exist. Christmas cookies and glasses of wine become much more enjoyable then running. My longest run was 8 miles, and that was in January, almost a full two months before the race.
A week and a half before the race I set out to do 10 miles, the last long one. I hit 7 and crashed. I was tired, bored, my feet went numb. I sat in my driveway and cried. I wasn’t ready and it was my own fault. I told Brian (my husband) I was going to cancel, I didn’t want to get hurt. But he talked me down from my emotional ledge and convinced me to go, do my best and walk as much as I had to. The only person I was competing with was myself and I could finish. And so I did.
I spent that last week hydrating, trying to eat right and mentally preparing. We headed to Orlando Friday night for packet pick up, a quick dinner and an early night.
The morning of was a whirlwind of nerves. I nearly missed that start because I somehow missed all the signs and went the wrong way to line up. I got in the back and was just going to do my own thing. The whistle blew and I went, and went and went. It was a beautiful, cool morning in the 50s and I remember every mile. I hit mile 8 and couldn’t believe how good I felt, how happy, how proud. I had never gone that far in my life. I didn’t hurt until mile 10….11….12…it got tough, I slowed but I didn’t care, I was going to finish. And I did! And I did it that time I was hoping for! 2:45:07.
I was so excited I nearly missed getting my medal because I wanted to tell Brian all about. It was the most amazing feeling. I thought I would cry, I even brought tissues but I was just too happy! I stretched, drank more water, and then we went out for tacos and tequila. (For those of you who don’t know me yet, I LOVE TACOS!) It was the perfect day, until about 4:00 when all of the muscles in my legs started cramping and I had a headache for two days after. But I would do it all over again, and plan too, but with more preparation, more training. Now I have a time to beat. 😉