April 28, 2012
I was changing.
Instead of doubt and insecurity, I was developing confidence. I started accepting that I could do this. I was a runner.
I did great at the Get Lucky 7K. I 2917/8782 runners! I passed 1894 people! I feared I would embarrass myself and stick out like a sore thumb.
My only negative emotion was regret. Regret that I didn’t trust myself to sign up for the half marathon, only to run 13.1 miles the next day…on my own.
The time for regret and self-doubt were over. The human body will surprise you when the mind gives it permission to do so. It was on now.
My next race was the “Get In Gear 10K”. They had a half marathon offered as well. A few clicks of the mouse and an upgrade fee, and I was all signed up for my first half. I also signed up for a few other half marathons. Then I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon at the end of the year. Many dreamed of running a marathon. I was going to do it. No more doubts.
My weekday runs were getting faster and more comfortable. My weekend runs were getting longer. I was enjoying them. They were “me” time.
Three weeks before the event, Get In Gear hosted a free practice run on course. I headed down to test myself. The weather was back to seasonal. Rainy and cool. I was back to layers. It was an enjoyable day. Met and ran with a few cool people. My pacer was recovering from an injury, but was an experienced runner. I learned a lot that day. We started talking marathons and she agreed that I could pull it off by years end. We also got to talking triathlon, and that she could never do one (she doesn’t swim). She noted that there are short triathlon and that swimming and cycling are good for cross training. Another seed planted.”You can’t…” said my brain. “Just watch me…” I replied…
Race day was coming. The unusual became familiar. Tapering before the race. Carb loading the day or two before. Packet pick up. Bib. Chip. Shirt. Check. Scoped out the venue. No on site parking. Free parking and shuttle from a nearby lot. Check.
Race day was equally gloomy and damp. High 30’s. Misty. I was freezing.
I didn’t care.
Lined up in the coral…a little further up this time. Met a few other first timers. Lot of nervous energy and enthusiasm.
The run itself was a blur. Cold and wet. My foot cramped up at times. But otherwise, I was in the zone. The time just flew by. No stops. No walk breaks…just a brief slow down through the aid stations.
Had a little left in my as I saw the finish coming up. I kicked it up a notch.
Finish Time: 2:09:39
Pace: 9:54/mile-seriously? Under 10 minute miles for my first half marathon? Did not see that one coming!
Got my medal. Got my first official finisher’s photo.
My only letdown of the day…the medal was a cheap and sad-looking thing. That’s when I figured out how bling motivated I really was. I decided that it would be something I would check before signing up for races in the future. Otherwise a great day! I also won a $10 gift card and a running shirt while standing around in the cold waiting for the shuttle.
Confidence was building.
On my way home, I was thinking that I had to look into the triathlon thing. I haven’t ridden a bike since I was 12 and I didn’t own one. I have not swam in 20 years. 3 months ago, those would have been barriers. Now, they were merely technicalities.
Next up, Minneapolis Half-Marathon. They also have a full marathon that day. I started to wonder…