Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Big "D" Half Marathon

Well, as you know, on my bucket list was a FULLmarathon and then purposely only AFTER that feat was completed, run a measly half marathon. A few weeks ago, Blake and I accomplished this along with our long time friends, Kelly and Andy.

I was so happy that I had already completed the full nearly five months ago, because training for this run, was VERY laid back; too laid back. At most, I ran 2 times a week for the 8 weeks prior to the race. I took the advice of a flight attendant I met almost a year ago who ran marathons with a busy travel schedule. She told me, "as long as you get your long run in each week, you'll be golden." Well, I followed her bare minimum advice and was kinda worried towards the end that I wouldn't be able to even cross the finish line.

Kelly & Andy had talked about running the full with us last year but unfortunately they weren't able to, so when I found a race in Dallas after we alread had plans to be there visiting family, we asked Kelly and Andy again and they were all in. Although we didn't train together or even now how much each person had trained until the week of, we were happy to have them with us for the big day!
Waking everyone up bright and early!
Throughout the weekend, the Midwest had been experiencing record breaking storms filled with hundreds of tornadoes, torrential down pours and severe thunder storms. We monitored the weather for 24 hours and had been told there was a good chance it would be canceled last minute Sunday morning at day break. I wouldn't believe it and kept telling myself, I was running 13.1 miles NO MATTER what kind of weather.
Leaving out hotel room for the race while it was raining.
We woke up at 5:50AM Sunday morning right as the storm line was hitting Dallas, it did start raining but it was nothing like Kansas had experienced over night. With rain coming down, the four of us headed to the Dallas Fair Grounds to wait to see what the weather was going to do.
The four of us "before."
At 8AM, the rain had stopped and we were off. It was getting hot and oh, so humid. Kelly and I had never even talked about goal pace until we were at the start line. At this point, a PR (personal record), in these conditions wasn't on my mind. As we got towards the middle of the race, a cool front blew in while we were running near White Rock Lake and it felt INCREDIBLE. I had this amazing burst of energy and started thinking, this could be a great run. Then the rain started at mile 6 or 7 and honestly, it felt GREAT! I was wearing a hat, so it wasn't bothering me. I prayed that the rain would continue withe the super cool breeze because I was afraid of what the humidity would do, if the sun came out. I felt so energized and was enjoying everything about the run.

Kelly was by my side and starting with the rain, her legs and calves were giving her problems. I tried to remember all my training tips I read and was trying to help her out, throwing out ideas left and right. She would stop to walk and I would keep jogging, doubling back once I got too far from her. The following 3-4 miles, I couldn't get a feel for how she was or what she was thinking. I would keep trying to get her to think about anything but running, like the beautiful Highland Park homes and what people were wearing but I never got a response from her.
During this time, while she was walking more and more, I didn't know if she wanted me to go on, since we knew her dad was behind us a little ways. I never asked her and then something clicked for me, around mile 11, as she was having more and more problems; This was my race, not to take advantage of this amazing amount of energy that I had at mile 11 of a 13.1 mile race. I could have easily sprinted ahead and tried to catch the pacer who had passed us 4 miles back. This was my race to help a good friend finish a race when everything was telling her to stop. It was exciting and I probably ran a couple of the last miles backwards, talking to her and begging her to keep going. I decided I was going to be in-her-face-screaming-supportive-running-friend until she told me to run ahead and just go. And thank goodness, she never did tell me to go ahead.
I probably told her only one more mile for the last three, once closer to the finish line, I ran ahead and yelled to the crowd to scream for "KELLY," before doubling back to grab her hand and drag her. It felt amazing holding her hand as we crossed the finish line together and I was so HAPPY that she hadn't told me to run on at MILE 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13. Because of her, I got to experience the high of helping someone finish a race and that felt just as good as crossing the finish line myself.
**In full disclosure, because of how great I felt physically and energy wise, I am terribly excited about running another half and really giving it all I have to see what can do. I'm still on the quest for the perfect running weather as well!**


Amanda said...

You are a sweet friend. That was a great post! I love to read about your running adventures.

Jessica Tondre said...

Sounds like you were a great running coach! Congrats on your first half!!!

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