Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunriver 1/2 Marathon for a Cause

And now... I am a runner.

At least that's what the general consensus is.  I think after all the training I went through, my friends and family are tired of hearing me say "well I'm really not a runner..." But I reached my goal and it feels incredibly amazing.  I've logged more miles in the last 8 months than I have in my entire life before that. And while 13.1 miles may not seem like much to all those "real" runners, I can hardly believe what I've accomplished.  

I spent the week prior to the race feeling anxious and nervous but still confident that I would at least finish, if not achieve my ideal time of 2 hours.  Dad and Nadine came into town on Thursday, we picked up our race packets on Friday, and Saturday morning we headed to Sunriver for takeoff.  My dad, sensing my anxiety, turned to me in the car Saturday morning and said "it's just another training run... just with lots of other people..." I confided that I had, in fact, attempted to pretend to be running alongside "friends" during some of my training runs.  I knew from my 10k back in May that a race stirs up adrenaline and feelings of competitive nature.  But nothing could have truly prepared me for how this race would feel.  We took off at a slow pace as the race announcer counted down to start time. I had fully intended to stay with my dad but he made me promise to leave him behind if I felt the need to speed up.  I turned to him at mile 2, keeping an eye on my pace, wanting to stay just faster than a 9:00 mile.  "Is the elevation gonna bother you Dad?" I was still at a conversational pace and needed to speed up.  He was used to running at sea level (quite literally... as he lives in Cannon Beach) and we were racing at 4500' elevation.  I had trained here.  He had not. So when the opportunity to pass some of the slower runners presented itself, I slowly inched ahead figuring he'd keep up if he could.  By mile 3 I glanced back and he waved me on.  

I ran.  I thought about life.  I thought about how far I had come.  I thought about all of the people who had loved me, supported me and encouraged me through my training. The friends who passed by on my training runs, who rolled down their windows to give words of inspiration.  I thought about Joe and the kids at the finish line ready to cheer me on. My friend who was dragging her two girls out to wait at the finish line because she believed in me and wanted me to feel it.  I thought about the pride I would feel from both my husband and my dad, the two men I care to impress the most.  And I thought about my own pride.  I had a goal and I was accomplishing it.  My heart kept beating, my feet kept moving and only slightly did I ever slow my pace.  I rounded the corner to the finish and sprinted with all I had left.  I heard my babies cheering from the sidelines and when I glanced down at my watch to see I had beat my goal time by 6 minutes I threw up a victory punch over the finish line.  I was done and it felt amazing.  The smile on Joe's face as he wrapped his arms (and his sweatshirt) around me left me beaming.  My dad came in shortly after I did, gave me a sweaty hug, a high five and that gleaming proud smile I had wanted.  

We made it.  

We were done...

Until the next big adventure...   

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