As I made my way from the gym to my apartment on Sunday, I checked my phone and got a really fun Facebook notification. My friend Keyani had completed her FIRST half-marathon in 2:38 and had tagged all the friends that gave her support not to give up along the way.
It totally made my day! She and I had been emailing back and forth for several months. She’d get nervous about the distance and worried she couldn’t do it — and I would encourage and tell her she totally could.
One thing I love is to support and motivate when it comes to running. I had no problem emailing some kind words and vibing her some run-love. So when I saw that she had came and conquered the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon, I was elated! I felt really happy for her and excited that someone new had crossed another finish line.
I asked her to share a few words about the process with you guys so you could celebrate with us and hopefully gain some inspiration yourselves:
I “fake trained” my way to 13.1 miles — honestly. With the help of some expert running friends and the internet, I found a good training program for the half marathon. I started off so motivated! The fall weather was nice and 3 miles in my neighborhood seemed easy, even with the two monster hills!
I ran a 5k in October and a 10k in November and I was feeling great! Then, the snow and ice fell and I was forced to train on my treadmill. And that’s when it all went downhill! Somehow, I started believing I was fast and in shape on the treadmill….until the weather broke and I was able to run outdoors again. That same three miles was so painful! I couldn’t breathe and each step hurt!
I was also attending many happy hours, eating out and had many days without training. I was also trying to manage my 2 and 3 year old girls! I was just plain tired of training. How do people do this and not give up????I was so afraid I wouldn’t even finish the half. I wouldn’t get the highly sought after Tiffany finisher’s necklace. I would be a quitter and would never live it down. I tried one last time with an outdoor run. Get a change of scenery I thought….that would help. I ran almost 11 miles around the monuments through Georgetown and back to the Capitol. It was the best run EVER! I got my mojo back! I just might be able to do this after all.The big day was even more awesome than I imagined. So many runners. Experts and newbies like me. All shapes and sizes. Ipods and headphones and tutus and some even in 80s prom dresses! Such a feeling of team spirit! I ran a good race and kept my pace. After reading an awesome article by Jeff Gaudette, “If you run slow, who cares”, I was no longer worried about my time. I just wanted to finish and not stop. I was motivated not to be pressured by faster runners….people I knew who could run the same race in half the time. People who run and train everyday. People who would probably say my 2:38 was slow but WHO CARES?! I ran it and earned my necklace just like the winner of the race!The best thing about the race was the supporters! All the funny signs and “free high fives” along the way. People who yelled at you to keep going. That’s all I needed for that boost of energy when I wanted to give up.
It was the lady holding a sign with a picture of her son who she lost to leukemia. It was the man in a french maid outfit dancing with a sign that said “I’m watching you.”
It was the bands blasting music in the tunnel. My legs felt like jello at mile 11. I knew all of my family and friends were tracking my pace so I couldn’t stop. I made my way back to the Capitol for the last stretch and something in me gave me that final boost of energy. I saw the finish line in the distance and my heart started racing. I’M ALMOST THERE!!!
And when I crossed the finish line I cried like a baby! I couldn’t believe I did it. I finished a half marathon. Me! Someone who STILL hasn’t fully developed an appreciation for running. The working mom with two toddlers found time to actually train and run a half marathon! Wow! My husband, who has been my number one supporter, was there at the finish line with my little girls who yelled in unison “GREAT JOB MOMMY!” My friends were there teary-eyed too :-). It was definitely top on my list of all time great experiences!This race was everything I expected and so much more. I can’t wait for the next one! I’m not crazy enough to do a full marathon yet though 🙂
I love it! I came to work Monday and got the rundown of the race from my co-worker, Kim, as well. She also ran her first half-marathon Sunday! Reading Keyani’s words and hearing Kim’s fun stories got me super excited for the fall race season. I’m actually considering only training for halfs this fall — just because I don’t know that I want to fully commit to full marathon training. To be seen…
Actually, all day I had been stalking my friends who were running the half on social media. I was returning from Florida so I didn’t get to run but boy was I was jealous! The weather was great, and I’ve been told Nike did a fantastic job putting together an uber organized race with plenty of water stops, food, great t-shirts and of course those coveted Tiffany necklaces at the end.
When I saw that Anne had run yet another PR (she’s been knocking them out lately), I felt so motivated to PR my next half-marathon. I have never trained to race a half — only fulls. With a half PR of 1:51 now (that’s w/o training!), I feel like I could easily crush 1:45 or less with the right training.
I actually was so motivated that I wanted to see how fast I could go on the treadmill for an extended period of time. I clocked three miles at 7:30 on Sunday and it was rough. But…I figure, if I keep doing that occasionally, eventually 7:30 miles won’t feel quite as hard and I go longer.
Anyway, I was reminded again today of the beautiful, motivating spirit of running and all that crossing that finish line represents in our lives.