Last weekend, I was scheduled to run the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on Sunday. On Friday night (2 nights prior to the race), I had congestion, fever, body aches and chills and went to bed around 9. Not looking good. Saturday, I gradually continued to lose my voice and my throat was extremely sore but the fever seemed to have passed.
I had been loosely training for this race for months, and Jason and I were planning on running it together. I had not run a half marathon since we lived in California, so the idea of having to skip this race (and sacrifice $180 in registration fees for the two of us) was very disappointing. I had originally been working toward beating my best prior half marathon time, which was 2:01 at the Carlsbad Half Marathon in 2008.
On Saturday night, I decided that I would go ahead and give the race a try. I was nervous, because I wasn't sure how my body was going to respond to running, and I wasn't sure how hard to push myself. I figured I would just give it a go and see what happened. Surely I could at least walk a half marathon without being driven back to the start in an ambulance, right?
Mom offered to come over at 6 am to watch the kiddos so that we could head out to the race start. (A huge thanks to my mom for getting up at 5 am for us!)
The race started at 7 am. The weather was perfect - in the 40s for pretty much the entire race. I felt sluggish at the start, but not too bad. Eventually, I found my stride (and a little more breathing room between runners) and was on a good pace.
At the turn-around point, I was tired but not exhausted and was set to easily beat 2 hours. But on the way back, there were some gradual uphills that started to take their toll on me. Jason helped me to anticipate the hills (because he has run this route a million times and knows the landscape well). I slowed down a bit, but pushed through. Around mile 9, I got a side stitch that just wouldn't stop. It was very distracting to have this pain on top of my weary legs. Jason asked me if I wanted to walk and I said, "I am NOT walking."
I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 1:53:39. I couldn't believe it. I was 21st in my age group (out of 167) and 153rd overall (out of over 2300 people). I am still smiling to type this. I can't believe I did that. I hope that I can continue to do things like this with Jason and eventually with the kids (though I'm sure they will outrun me as they grow). And I'm thankful that I get to run with this guy for the rest of my life.
And this little guy wanted to wear one of the medals to church. And he did. The good thing about running a race at 7 am is that you still have time to get cleaned up and go to church... with your medal. :)