For about 13 of the 16 weeks I dealt with extreme shin splints. I even did six weeks of physical therapy for them. During three of those weeks I also had IT Band issues and had therapy on that as well. Many mornings after a run you could catch me looking like this...
I DID NOT GIVE UP!
There were so many reasons for me to give up on this goal. I had the shin splints and IT Band issues to deal with, the early mornings, and just all over pain early on. The old me would have just said, "Running is not for me" and gave up. I'll tell you what really kept me going. It was the fact that I was so "out there" on Facebook with my running and all the encouragement and support I received from those who had been there or those who were inspired by me doing something I'd never done before. THANK YOU!! (Oh, and the fact that my thighs and butt were getting smaller. Ha!)
I must point out, in case you've forgotten, had never ran a race before, not even a 5K. Here I was training for a half-marathon. To say I was scared is an understatement. I didn't even realize how many miles were in a half-marathon until I'd been in training for three weeks. DUH! Once I figured it out, I immediately thought to myself, "There's NO WAY YOU CAN DO THIS. Are you freaking crazy!?" But, I continued to show up for training.
13.1 miles - The red part is the half-marathon map.
When I first saw this map I was a little nervous, but didn't become too freaked out until we actual drove the course. There were SO.MANY.HILLS. To be exact, turns out the first nine miles were nothing but hill after hill.
I actually rested well the night before the race. I'd eaten properly for the three days prior to the race and hydrated well. I'm so thankful for the help we got from our training group. I woke up early and prayed over my shoes before putting them on. These shoes and I have spent lots of time together training.
The first part of the run was pure adrenalin. I enjoyed running with a few of my running friends. Several of us stayed together to almost the very end. The route was beautiful, but the hills were killer for me. I had not been able to do much hill training at all because of my shin issues. We ran intervals the whole race. We ran 3 minutes and then would walk 1 minute, over and over. By the end of mile 9 we decided we should have ran 2 minutes and walked 1 minute instead. We had pretty much exhausted ourselves through the hills. It made it very hard to stick with the run 3, walk 1 the last three miles. We did change it to run 2, walk 1, but even that proved too difficult for me the last two miles.
Before the race, the furthest I had ever ran was 10 miles. Let me tell you, miles 10-13 took everything I had mentally and physically to finish. By mile 11, I was fighting tears and by mile 12, I just cried while I ran. I literally felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. The bottoms of my feet felt numb, my hips were hurting, my chest was hurting and honestly, I just felt like I was looking down from above myself wondering what in the heck was going on?!
When I came to the very end, (you know the part where everyone was standing and cheering?) all I wanted to do was walk in. But, I sucked it up and did my very best to make it look like running. I had envisioned running hard across that finish line with a HUGE smile on my face. It was anything BUT that. As soon as I crossed the finish line a few of my friends were standing there. I just bent over, out of breath, and bawled.
Here's the video my husband captured of me coming in to the finish. I'm the one in the bright pink. (It's not a great video.)
I could not have trained and gotten over that finish line without my running group. I love them and the encouragement they shared.
Michele and Shea - the two I ran with the most. Lots of good conversation on those early mornings.
Michele even provided some much needed comic relief there towards the very end. :)
Love these girls as well - even though I mostly just saw their backsides during our training. Ha!
The majority of our group gathered together at the downtown YMCA before the race.
Priss & my fun husband! I LOVE them!
and obviously a glutton for punishment!