I’ve been terrible at updating my blog about the half marathon and I have to admit, I started to get really drained out with running and was ready to just be done. Well, the weekend of the half marathon was this weekend and I was not very optimistic about the race. My training had been terrible (at least, according to me) and I hardly ever reached my goal for the weekly miles I set out to achieve.
I drove up to Greenville on Friday and got to spend some time with my sweet former college roommate. We grabbed dinner and I attempted to carb load for the big day. Afterwards we spent time time downtown at Spill the Beans in good company and played Dutch Blitz. We left about 10PM and I was ready to get some sleep so that I would be well rested before the race.
I woke up during the night on Friday about 1:40 and felt wide awake. I guess the anticipation of the race woke me up but I managed to get back to sleep. I ended up waking up at 5:30 and had a cliff bar and a banana and left my friend’s apartment around 6:30. There was a cold front coming through our state this weekend, so it was freezing on Saturday! I mean… there was ice on my windshield and that is the first time i’ve seen ice this season. I only had on shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I borrowed a jacket to wear, but the chances of actually keeping it on while running was slim since your body temperature quickly warms up with all of the running activity. My best friend, Kevin, from college was also doing the half marathon and he met up with me 10 minutes before the race so that I could give him his racing bib. Here is a picture that we took literally minutes before the race.
Kevin decided to run the first mile of the race with me but I knew he would carry on alone after that because he runs at a much faster pace than I do. After mile 1, he gave me a little pep talk. He told me to not worry about anyone else’s pace during the race, take baby jogs if I have to– but baby jogs will be better than walking– and that I could do it. Little did I know that his pep talk would echo through my head during the entire race.
I couldn’t get my nike running app to come on before the race, so I only knew how far I was going according to the mile markers. I approached mile 4 and thought that the first 4 miles seemed easy enough- when normally that is the hardest part for me. Around mile 6, I saw Kevin’s mom, sister, and aunt cheering on everyone running through. Kelly grabbed my arm as I ran by and yelled, “Good job Kristina! Great time so far!” It was such an encouragement to me to see someone cheer me on during the race. There were so many hills through the race, especially around 8 and 9, that I wasn’t sure how much more I could do. I got into my little groove and luckily made it up them pretty well. I got to mile 10 and thought, “This is the most I have ever ran and I have 3 more miles to go. I can do this!” I didn’t see a mile marker for awhile and I was running up hills so I felt discouraged because I thought the race would never end! I ended up meeting back up with Debbie right before mile 12 and it was such a Godsend. I was feeling so tired and worn out and ready to walk, but Debbie managed to encourage me the last mile. She told me that she wanted to cross the finish line with me and I knew that I could finish it. There was only one mile left, how could I quit now?! The last mile felt SO long, but finally we approached the stadium. The finish line involved us running in the stadium and around the outside of the field and almost crossing home plate. A wave of emotions crossed over me and I teared up because I set out to do something that I could have never dreamed of doing. It is truly by the Lord’s strength that I could even run the whole distance and perform the way that I did. I even finished far above my goal time at 2:14!
This experience has been incredible and I’m so glad that I was able to do it. I’m not sure when i’ll do another half, or if I will… but I will never forget the day that I ran my first half marathon!