It’s finally here! This was me on Saturday on the way to the expo. We made a stop in Rosslyn, where I didn’t realize, but was happy to see, that the Runner’s Village/finish line area (i.e. where you find your family) was right by the Starbucks and Chop’t we frequent. This point I am a ball of nerves. I am always a ball of nerves before a race. I think it’s a slight fear that people will see me fail, but I got to the point this weekend realizing, you can’t fail if you show up.
I was nervous that would be running this race with Sandy (the hurricane) and that I would be barely finishing. I kept praying and praying that this race would give me the boost I needed to keep training. I don’t want to give up on my marathon dreams, so I needed to get my mind back where it needed to be, and this race was hopefully going to do that.
I bought this shirt at the expo, and I would like to think that it had something to do with the actual outcome of the race. I was just really taken with the message and I think it started the whole mentality change when it came to how I was running this race.
On the Mall. Can you tell how awake, energized, and not nervous I am? Yeah me too. TPWSNBN had to continuously give me pep talks on how I wasn’t going to come in last, and I wasn’t going to die either. I was very unsure.
I was also very cold.
The Race Started and I was off. I planned to run until it wasn’t comfortable. But then something strange happened after the first two miles. I decided to see if I could run the whole thing. As each mile plucked by my legs felt heavier, but I wanted to see if I could. I knew the last mile and especially the last 0.2 would be difficult as it was up hill, but I wanted to go for it. As I neared the final portions of the last full mile, the sides of the route began to fill with marines. Until that was all I could see. A sea of marines all screaming and cheering us all on.
I ‘marined up’ and took the hill at a slow run, but I didn’t stop. I kept on. Suddenly the finish line was in front of me. I made it. As I crossed that threshold I felt something I had never felt before. I felt like a runner.
I am not sure what about this race made me feel like I had ‘made it’ – surely I should have felt this after my half marathon, but while I felt proud and accomplished then, I didn’t really feel like I had done my best. I felt like I walked a lot and took a lot of allowances with myself to just finish the race. The combo of an injury 1 month out and the lack of 3 long training runs I didn’t get to do I think set me up to be in a ‘JUST FINISH IT’ mentality. I plan on taking a different approach for my half marathon in December, and all races afterwards. Just because something seems like it may be impossible for me to accomplish, doesn’t mean that it is.
I wasn’t as fast as I have been in the past, but I also wasn’t as consistent.
I had a blast when I didn’t think I would be smiling at the end. I was smiling, with tears rolling down my face.