13.1: Completed!

I did it! And it’s over! I survived, and I didn’t come in last. In all honestly, it was actually pretty amazing. I was slow for sure, but I kept going. The adrenaline in the beginning was great and made the first four or five miles a lot of fun. I started getting a little tired around mile six, but I had a gel and some caffeine jelly beans that I ate every three miles or so. I won’t lie: the last three miles were tough. I was pretty exhausted by mile ten, but I just kept thinking, c’mon, you can always go run three miles. Just 30 minutes to go! So I powered through, and by the last mile, another surge of adrenaline was much appreciated 🙂

Jack and I ran most of the second half of the race together, which was so nice. He’s had some achilles issues, and the last few miles were really hard on him. My sister and my niece were there to cheer us on at the end. This was a great treat, since the race came out of the woods and then – surprise! – up a big hill. And then, just when you thought you were done, you realized you had to run around the track before you crossed the finish line.

So yes, it was hard, but I don’t think it was as challenging as I was expecting. The course was so pretty, through pastures and wetlands and the woods. Dirty Spokes, the company that put the race on, was wonderful. I’ve never done such a well-organized race. The shirt is awesome too 🙂

Afterwards, we had mimosas in the parking lot, went to the playground with my niece, and then headed to the Biscuit Barn for a well-deserved pigout. I had chicken and dumplings, some kind of crazy-good “fresh peas,” and mac and cheese. And of course, a biscuit (covered in honey, aw yeah):

20150418_113837I really thought that once I had accomplished my half-marathon goal, I’d be over it. I got a little bored with the long training runs, and I didn’t like that it kept me from spending as much time in the gym as I’d wanted. But I’m hooked! I can’t wait to start planning the next one. I’m not thinking about a marathon any time soon, but ya never know – maybe in a year or two?

Anyone who is reading this and might be considering their first half-marathon, all I can say is: you can do it. You don’t have to be the best runner ever, and it’s ok if you’re super-slow like I am. The race day adrenaline and camaraderie will carry you farther than you think. And the sense of accomplishment is insane. Plus, you get to eat all the carbs 🙂

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