I did it!!!
It's amazing to see how far I have come in such a short period of time. This time last year, I was struggling to run 3 miles still, let alone fathom running 13.1. It's pretty incredible.
I had a rough go of it the last few weeks, with an IT band injury. I knew I was prepared for the race--I had done all my long runs and I strength training, but I was still nervous. I hadn't run more that three miles for over three weeks in an effort to heal my legs. Friday night, I was a hot mess (let's be honest...when am I not a hot mess??). I was scared out of my mind, I felt like I was developing a cold, etc. Then I got a wonderful package from Erin, who sent me a good luck note and a little gift (headband pictured above). It seriously made my day. And when I say that, it means that I sat on my bed and cried, overwhelmed by how blessed I am. I have the GREATEST friends. :)
Saturday morning rolled around, and I was feeling much better. I sprung out of bed (literally) and 4:15 a.m. pumped and ready to go. Typically breakfast of banana and toast w/ peanut butter, and I felt unstoppable. We got on a bus, which drove us up the canyon to Tibble Fork Reservoir. The race started promptly at 6:00 a.m. and after a quick dash to the porta-potty, we were off!
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The course was just gorgeous. I would do this race all over again in a heartbeat. After running 8 miles down the canyon, the rest of the course was on the Highland Trails and through golf courses. Only the last 2 miles were really on the road. There were aide stations every couple of miles, and I grabbed a cup of water at each one. I also ate a couple shot bloks at miles 5 and 10 (thanks to Erin!).
I started experiencing hip pain around mile 3. Thankfully, it just felt tight throughout most of the race, although that was probably the result of the copious amounts of ibuprofen I took before we left. The last 2 miles were incredibly painful, but at the same time, I was sooo pumped because I knew I was going to finish. As I reached the final stretch, I saw my mom (who is super speedy and finished way before me) and she ran almost to the end with me. What an amazing feeling to cross that finish line--I was exhausted, mentally and physically, and in quite a bit of pain, but at the same time I was just so thrilled. Seriously guys, I ran a HALF MARATHON!! And I just loved it.
I am so blessed to have been able to run. After my injury, I was scared because I love running and I didn't want to have that taken away from me. I have done a lot of research and will be taking a little time off to recover and improve my running form, but don't worry. I already have multiple races planned for the fall. What can I say? I'm hooked. Yipee!