After the disappointment of my first half I honestly approached this race with much trepidation. I was worried I would injure myself again, but, worse than that, doubt was stuck in my head, a little voice questioning “What if I finished uninjured but see no improvement? What if I just suck at this whole running thing?”
I tried to approach this race as I would any long run, just a week prior we had run 11 miles at approximately a 9:30 min/mile pace. I did my best to hold on to that, reminding myself that I did have it in me. The only difference this time would be the number pinned to my shirt and the 1,000+ runners around me, even my running partner would be the same as Kameron and I agreed to stick this one out together.
I could easily break this race down, mile by mile, it is still very clear what went through my head as we ran, each little victory (like hitting mile 5 injury free) and every minor defeat (slowing my pace more than I wanted to at mile 8), but I’ll save that level of tiny detail for my personal space, my private journal, as a reminder to myself of each step, a record of how far I’ve come as I continue this running journey.
It did feel good to get past the point of my previous injury and then to keep going but I won’t lie and say that the race was a breeze, my mind went to many places over those 13.1 miles, every now and then my inner couch potato would yell at me “Why are you doing this?!”. What helped along the way was the amazing views (Westerly, RI is a beautiful place) and the fact that the course was well laid and the race well staffed, never did I have those moments of shocking solitude like I experienced during my first half marathon.
At the end of the morning (which was technically mid-morning for most seeing how it wasn’t quite 10am at that point) I crossed the finish line just as I intended to, running. I finished with a new personal record and feeling pretty damn good. Sitting here 3 days later my muscles still feel a little fatigue but my body feels good. I am proud of my time (2:17:57, 10:32 min/mile) and will gladly tell anyone who asks (or more likely anyone who decides for any reason to talk to me the next few days, possibly weeks).
Now, while still on this high, it is time to regroup, recoup, and prepare my body for a small series of 5K races this fall before training starts for half marathon number three.
**sidenote: the title is not original at all - we saw this on a fellow runner's tee-shirt and, well, it just fits!!**