I’m running my 2nd half marathon this morning (and by the time some of you read this, I’ve hopefully already crossed the finish line).
No, I didn’t blog about it. No, the entire world didn’t know my intentions. No, I actually did not train for this.
I signed up for the Mankato Half Marathon on Sunday, May 20th less than 24 hours after I had run my first half marathon in Fargo, ND. I had full intentions at that time, that this race would be my PR. I had run Fargo, after 2 prior failed attempts to reach my half marathon goal due to injury, in such a way that was one giant celebration of all I had struggled through, and it really was a huge party for me the entire 13.1 miles.
I always wanted to push myself harder for my 2nd half and felt fully confident in the fact that I would achieve that today. Heck, if I could just have been able to either 1) not have to urinate due to nerves during the race I’d have at least a 90% chance of a PR or 2) just get way better at scouting out good port-a-potties that wouldn’t cause me to lose almost 5 minutes off my time.
Had I know that my entire summer was about to unfold the way it did (read: I got diagnosed with a 6 cm right tibial stress reaction less than a month later and spent a hot, sticky summer in a walking boot), I would never have signed up for this race on a total runner’s high.
The point of today is simply this…to have fun. I am going to try my darndest to go out there and complete the entire 13.1 miles in such a way that will not destroy my body. I am not going to let my injury from this summer define this moment. I will not let it win. My rehab of my leg has gone SO well that there is no hesitation whatsoever from either my coach or my sports doc that this isn’t a race I should at least attempt. Trust me…we have all had some pretty deep, soul-searching talks this week regarding this race. I’ve had to face a lot of demons this week. I’ve had some huge moments of weakness. Following my last run this past weekend of 9.5 miles that felt absolutely exhilarating, I had a brief relapse causing me to shut out the world. I went into a hole thinking that while the 9.5 was fantastic, there was no point in risking 13.1. I had some tibial pain that made my heart stop. I flipped out on my hubby and then went silent. There was a massive ugly cry in my post-run shower. I’d just had a moment of greatness out on the road and I was terrified that run would be one of the last again for a while. Every single time something goes my way, I wait for the other shoe to drop. No more.
While I will not be attempting a PR today (if I come away with one, it will be a miracle of epic proportions and I actually will be INSANELY ANGRY AT MYSELF), I am going to get in as much mileage today as my body allows. If I get a shirt and a medal at the end, that’s awesome. This race, just like Fargo, is a party for me.
I’m celebrating me. I’m celebrating the life God has granted me, and the two legs he allows me to use on a daily basis to experience life in such a way that I find so much joy. I’m celebrating you all for standing by me this summer and encouraging me when my stupid walking cast/boot “Beauford” got the better of me. I’m celebrating my coach and all he has taught me through everything we’ve had to fight this year and the fact that after all my freak-outs, he will always have my back. I’m celebrating my sports doc, Renata, who has seen me at my worst and still calls me her friend, not just her patient. She has literally pieced me back together. I celebrate my HUSBAND who is, quite possibly, the most patient man on planet earth. He will, once again for the bazillionth time, wait tirelessly for hours at a finish line just to see me cross it for 5 seconds because he knows it means the world to me. And today I celebrate KRISTI, who is running today as well and this will be her FIRST MARATHON. I could not be more proud of my friend for how much she has already accomplished and for achieving her dream today.
So while I didn’t tell you all, it’s for a reason. A lot of times when you have a blog, you feel there are unspoken expectations (I realize this is ridiculous), that sometimes a blogger can place on themselves because you have readers following your journey. Today there are NO expectations other than what I have outlined above. If I only run 1 mile today and have to call it quits, I can walk away with a smile on my face because I accomplished all I set out to do today.
See ya at the finish line…at whatever mile that may be.