#7 : 07/12/14 Jamestown Half Marathon, Jamestown, MA – 2:40:14 / Pace 12:14
I wanted to run a half marathon in 2014. It’s the next logical step, am I right? 5k, 10k, 10 mile …
In January I had a plan in my head. April = 10 miler; Summer = Sprint Tri; Fall = 13.1
Well, plans change.
After finishing the Newport 10 Miler I realized I had a running momentum thing going for me. I felt good. Ready. I had a feeling if I waited until the fall to go after 13.1, I might lose that momentum.
Off to google I went – searching for just the right run. I decided on the Jamestown Half. At the time all that mattered was it was a free weekend and early enough in the morning to not make much of an impact if anything was to come up. I also searched around for a training plan (not that I stuck to it 100% but I needed a base line).
As I got closer to July 12th, I couldn’t help but obsess over what was coming up. I had no idea what to expect. All I got from fellow runners was the Jamestown half is “Hot and Hilly”. Oh. Crap. What am I doing?
My short treadmill training runs were going fairly well. Between the time constraints and my body deciding not to run, The long runs – not really happening. Again. Oh. Crap. What am I doing?
I thought I had a nice Sunday morning run all picked out. Yea. No. About 2 weeks prior, it was brought to my attention July 12th was not a Sunday. Oh. What? I have to work the day before? I don’t get Saturday to sit around? I don’t get to wrap myself up in my blanket convinced there must be something wrong with my stomach?
I make a conscious effort to NOT talk about running 24/7… Really, I do. At this point in my running career I get a variety of responses when I start talking about running – “Oh. Another Race? What are you worried about? You’ll do great. You got this. You did 10? It’s only a few more miles. You’re Crazy.” or nothing at all and the eye roll.
Packet picket was a couple nights before at the Rhode Runner in Providence. Very easy and quick. It’s happening. The night before the race I was on edge ( you know – stay 50ft back… ) but ready? I think. I would be heading down to Jamestown alone, meeting my biggest cheerleader at the finish line – My sister !
Fast forward… Tried to sleep. Woke up early. Drove to Newport. Waited for the Shuttle Bus. Waited in line for a toilet 3 minutes before the start of the race. Adjust everything. Adjust everything again. START RUNNING.
I have to admit, the start of the race was pretty, ocean view but as I kept running, most of the scenery was not as beautiful as the Newport 10 Miler. ( shhh. yes, i was thinking about you NPT10 ) It was farm land and/or woods. I thought a lot. There was plenty of water and an energy packet. Mostly focused on my music and repeatedly telling myself DON’T STOP.
Throughout the run I felt good, took it easy. It was hilly but not too hot. After 5 miles, after 7 miles, after 10 miles, ok – at that point I kept telling myself “it’s just a 5k, just a 5k away”…
I didn’t stop running for 11.5 miles.
I hit a wall at 11.5 miles, I just could not keep going. I stopped. I walked. I broke down. My feet felt heavy, like I had rocks in my shoes. I stopped again to stretch out against a telephone pole. I stretched some more, took some deep breaths and put my head down. Unlike any other times and any other runs I got VERY upset with myself. I was PISSED at myself.
You know when you get angry at someone and they have no idea why? That’s how I felt for a few moments… WTF. Why did I stop, Why am I mad? This is your first half? While stopped and breathing someone clapped and cheered me on some more. So. I got going again. I knew if there was another hill I was done.
The last stretch was rough… I stopped here and there. Clenching my stomach with my right hand was the only comfortable position. Once I passed the trees and bushes, under a mile from the finish I knew I was in plain sight, no walking now.
Not far from the finish line I caught a glimpse of my sister and then her hand. She gripped my hand so tight, I thought for a moment “let go. I have to finish” but wouldn’t change a thing.
It took every ounce of energy to RUN across the finish line. I walked straight ahead through the runners corral. I think my sister and I found each other by talking on the phone?! I was worked up and ready to cry my eyes out…. but by the time we finally made it to the end of the corral to hug I had “walked off” most of the raw emotion.
There are not enough words to express how her being at the finish line meant the world to me and pulled me toward the finish line….. xo
The bonus of the day was seeing my boys a little while later, them inspecting my medal and asking “Mom, what place did you get?”. We got to have breakfast with auntie and continue on to a Second Beach party with close friends. My pace buddy that helped me achieve a non-stop 2013 Newport Pell Bridge Run, that close friend that told me a year or so before that, you should do a half and I responded with “yea. right. no thanks.”
It was an amazing experience and challenged every part of me. Mentally and physically. I didn’t cross the finish line thinking “I can’t wait to do that again”. Not this time.
I’ve never gotten that mad at myself for any other first…. weeks later I am happy it’s over. I feel as if I have put a huge “VALIDATED” stamp on my running resume. The last few years of running do have meaning, they were not frivolous – they brought me here.
13.1 – Check.
Unsure if I will attempt another ?! never say never…..