Monday, July 30, 2012

Done and done

Remember that half-marathon I was super nervous for last Friday? It's over. Yay!

 Me and Lauren carb loading at The OG on Friday night

I couldn't sleep Friday night. And then my alarm went off at 3:35 and it was time to get up and get ready and go. Every time I go for a long run, or have to roll out of bed in the middle of the night for a race, I think... "Why am I doing this? I'm never doing this again."

And then you get to the parking lot with thousands of other crazy people like yourself, and you start to get excited. By the time you're lined up at the starting line, the adrenaline is pumping and I remember why I'm doing this again.

 After the race -- we did it!
 I was so excited to have my family cheering for me as I sprinted to the finish line! (My mom and other sister were there, too, but we didn't get a pic with them.)

And guess what?? I finished in under 2 hours! I have never been a runner, except for short distance sprints until this last year. I used to try and run with my mom when I was a teenager and in my early twenties, and I would be fine for about a mile... and then I'd start to taste blood in my throat and my side would kill and my knees would kill (I do have bad knees), and I'd pretty much limp the rest of the way home. It was pathetic.

But then my mom and my sister ran a half marathon together and I thought, I want to do that! If they can do it, I can do it!

I ran my first race (a 10k) the month I got pregnant with Baby Girl, less than 2 years ago. The last couple of miles were so hard, but I made myself finish. The minute I crossed that finish line, the pain was gone, the exhaustion was gone, I was completely exhilarated. That sense of accomplishment was incredible--it was such a high. And I got hooked. But I also got pregnant. And had all sorts of complications and eventually got put on bedrest. So the running had to be put on hold. After I had her, I knew exercise was a great treatment for my PPD, and I kept thinking about that high from finishing my 10k. Feeling brave (and also wanting motivation) I decided to sign up for the Halloween Half, 4 months and 1 day after she was born. I did a couple of posts about that, and how hard it was, but what an amazing feeling it was to finish my first half-marathon. I did it in 2:27 or so.

Now, less than a year later, I shaved almost 29 minutes off my time! So you can see why I am so excited! But unfortunately, my cute sis is going back to college and the ballet program, so she has to stop running and get back into ballet-shape. Maybe sometime in the future we'll get to be running partners again. But for now, I'm just so thrilled that I reached this goal. I CAN do hard things! Because trust me, that was a HARD run by the end. I just forced myself to keep going, to keep pushing, knowing the end was near. And I've been feeling it all weekend. My left knee felt like someone hit my with a sledgehammer all day on Saturday. It's quite a bit better now, thankfully.

Forcing myself to keep going, to keep pushing, and achieving that goal taught me a lot about myself. About my body. About the power of my mind. About the strength of my will.

Remember that post from last week, about how I AM an author, because I will never give up, I will always write--no matter what results I get? I guess, now I can say, I AM a runner, too. I may never run a half in the 1:30's or 1:20's like some of my friends, but for the girl who couldn't run more than a mile not too long ago, I'm so excited for where I am.

What goal have you accomplished that you're proud of?


Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Very well done! And under two hours is pretty impressive too... You should be rightly proud.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

You are amazing! Truly! But, wow, now I want Macaroni Grill...

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Oh, wait that is Olive Garden. I'm eating there on Saturday. Whoop!

DL Hammons said...

Good for you girl! I knew you had it in the bag!! :)

Kathryn Purdie said...

Wow, Sara. I'm in awe of people who run any kind of long distance. I used to be a good sprinter. A LONG time ago I was the fastest my elementary school. Haha. But long distance has always been a killer. But I'm thinking I better start running again soon, especially if I'm going to have a career in writing. Hello, writer's butt! Anyway, a super huge congrats to you on a race well run!