I did it! I met my goal at the Brooklyn Half yesterday and finished in under 2 hours at 1:58:22. I’m elated. It was such a fun and inspiring and challenging day, I can’t wait to share a full race recap with you guys. For now, I just wanted to leave you with a few quick thoughts from the day…
- I felt really emotional when I crossed the finish line–not because I accomplished my goal (I wasn’t even sure I did yet, I will tell that story later) but because my body felt so good. I’ve finished other halves where I felt like I couldn’t walk. I hadn’t run one in 2 years because of terrible tendonitis in my knees. As I waited for my husband to come across the finish line (just a few minutes later), I felt overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude over how good and strong my body felt after 13.1 miles–absolutely no pain, and with that little inkling that told me I could run a little more if I had to. Nutrition and strength training have changed my body and my life. I would really urge any runner who is not strength training to start if they want to avoid or at least limit injury.
- My husband is my biggest supporter, and also my favorite person. I just wrote a post last week talking about how great it was to run with him again–we did our last long training run together, an 11 miler, a week ago. Our training for this race though was very different. He’s had an insane few months with a full load of classes (studying for his Masters) and working full time so he wasn’t focusing on speed-work or a PB. He just wanted to stay in shape, have fun, and cross the finish line happy and healthy. We were running very different races, but we started the course together. To be honest, as much as I love running with him, I couldn’t get comfortable; I kept wanting to make sure that he was ok with our pace and that frustrated me because I wanted to focus on building my speed and getting my legs and my breath in a rhythm. Although he was fine with the pace, he knows me and could sense that I wasn’t in the groove I wanted to be in. He literally set me free; at the first water station he patted me on the tush and sent me off saying, “Go run your race girl, go get it.” As soon as I left him, I knew it was the right thing. We were on the same course but were set to take different paths that day. I grinned as I scooted off to mile 2 and looked forward to hearing about his adventure on our journey home. I’m so grateful to have a partner that values and encourages my autonomy and pushes me forward towards my goals.
- I have a new and very solid respect for the marathon distance, and even the half. When I have run halves before, they have been tough and I have always thought, “Wow, I can’t believe a full is TWICE that.” With my goal in mind for this half though, and my first full looming in November, I’ll admit that it was a bit difficult to fully stay in the day. I’ve read so many blogs and race reports of really impressive runners–some of them qualifying for Boston on their very first try. While I have no expectation of that, I will embarrassingly admit that I have been secretly doubling my half time in my head and holding onto that number. Admittedly, it occupied some space in my mind during this race which I found both annoying and ridiculous; I needed to focus on the task at hand. It was SUCH a challenge for me to finish this half in under 2 hours, but it was also invigorating. I know that this is a distance I can grow in; I can do speed-work and intervals and I can try to get a little bit faster and stronger each time. That is really exciting to me. It’s also humbling, because the work is so arduous. At the 10th mile or so I was able to fully let go of that baseless number and release myself from having any expectations for my first full marathon (crossing my fingers I can maintain this sanity). I RESPECT the distance. Finishing healthy will be my only goal. Stay tuned.
We’re off to Philly for a couple days now to celebrate my husband’s birthday and his finishing of a brutal semester. It looks like we are going to catch some rain while we are there which is fine by us–we may just hole up in our hotel room, order room service and movies, and dig into some serious R &R. We are headed to Portugal later in the week so chilling out for a couple days sounds perfect. Like I said, full race recap soon. Also can’t wait to share our travels! Enjoy the rest of the weekend! x