While visiting family for Christmas back in Illinois, my “step-mother” told me that she was thinking about walking the St. Louis half marathon. She’s done about 4 or 5 half marathons before, and I figured if she was coming to my city to do one, I would do it with her!
Now, I figured that walking a half marathon would be easy in comparison to running it. I mean, it’s just walking, right? All I would need would be a month before the big day to get several training walks in, and I would be good.
Yeah, I didn’t figure that we’d have one of the snowiest Marches in history. I also didn’t figure that I would be so busy substituting. But, I did manage to get a couple of 5+ milers in, and squeezed in one 7 mile walk last week. I knew I could do half of a half marathon, so I was pretty confident.
Yesterday was the big day. I woke up earlier than I ever would to work out (who wants to be up at 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday? Yuck.). I was relaxed the whole time we were waiting to start. It’s just a long walk; it’ll be a piece of cake, I kept reminding myself. However, right at about mile 2, I began to have my doubts. What was I thinking? Since when is downtown St. Louis hilly? I still have 11.1 miles to go?!? It probably didn’t help that it was one of the warmest marathon days that they’ve had. They eventually closed the course for the full marathoners because it got too hot (nearly 90 in April!).
However, by the time I got to mile 9, a new thought emerged. My energy had renewed itself around mile 4, and I was invigorated. I might want to run it next year! Well, run would be an exaggeration…jog/walk will probably be a more accurate description.
When I caught sight of the mile 12 marker, adrenaline took over my body. My wing-man (my step-mom) was super warm, and needed to slow down. All I wanted to do was go faster. She had been telling me since mile 7 to leave her. Now, at mile 12, I knew she would finish–she’s not the kind to quit that close to the finish. I deliberated for a bit, before taking off. I wanted to prove to myself that if I could finish this year’s half marathon running, that I would be able to start next year’s half marathon running. I felt like I was flying for the mile. It was the last .1 of it (that was uphill, of course) that was really challenging. I wanted to stop to walk for the last two blocks. By this point I realized I had blisters that I’d been ignoring for most of the walk, my knee and lower back was aching, and my asthma wanted to hold me back. But, I was determined to run it through the end. Although I only ran a mile and .1 of it, I felt incredibly triumphant when I crossed that finish line.
Now, I think I’m going to sign up for the Halloween 10K Fun Run. I can’t believe that I actually enjoyed a half marathon. I may be a little crazy for wanting to do another one…