**This post is dedicated to my sister Jess, who just kicked the crap out of the Newburyport Half Marathon and who inspires me and pushes me every day to find my running mojo again, and today, well, today I think I may have gotten it. Thank you sis, you are the best. And PS, love that the titles of our posts today are similar, without even meaning to be!). Maybe we’re related or something.**
Today, I just ran.
Today, I felt vindicated over my previous half marathon
fail bad run.
Today, I pretty much snuck in my 13.1 do-over in (basically) super secret mode.
Today, I ran almost 10 miles of the 13.1 half marathon that my sister ran.
I didn’t register (because I knew it would freak me out.).
I didn’t start with the racers.
I didn’t train for it, I didn’t carb up for it, I didn’t even forgo wine last night as I
probably should have.
Because all of these things freak the hell out of me. It’s completely mental. I know this. So why not outsmart myself?? And outsmart I did.
The race conditions were ideal. The course was (mostly) flat. I came to the half marathon to cheer on my sister and Scott, but did wear running gear and did bring my inhaler, because I told myself that we’d run 5-6 miles or so and be good with that. Just a little Sunday jaunt waiting for Jess and Scott, right? Right??
M and I set out about 10 mins after the start time. We let everyone go on, get rid of the crowd. I took a port-a-potty stop (no lines, score!). The temps were perfect. I was happy we were running, but also had in my mind that we’d just run till we felt like stopping.
First mile in, I told myself, ‘yeah, no, not going far, let’s do 3…’
But then I hit my stride. M was being chatty, keeping me going. He felt good. Made me feel good, confident.
And the funny thing about this race? No mile markers (for the most part!) and that was HUGE for me. I didn’t figure out that water stops were every other mile (happily didn’t put two and two together!) and the route was beautiful. We kept at it, we caught up with some of the other runners, and we got cheered on by bystanders (even though we didn’t have numbers on! We just blend in, I guess). We kept going.
Saw my mom around mile 4 (but thought it was only mile 3) and she told us she’d meet us at mile 5 and mile 8 (it was a loop, so the rationale was, run to mile 5 and then be done). Except she wasn’t at mile 5. There wasn’t even a marker for it (I don’t think?) and then suddenly, we were at mile 6. M grabbed a Gu and I had a little bit of it. Got a boost knowing we were at mile 6 (pleasantly surprised) and then looped around and kept going. Beautiful course. No word from my mom, so we kept on. Hit mile 8 and got some gatorade. Was, at this point, pumped that we had gone that far.
All told, we ran almost 10 miles. I’d estimate we ended around 9.5 when my mom met up with us.
9.5! And I felt GOOD the entire time. We walked a couple of times for water and such. But I felt good. I just ran. I didn’t have much trouble breathing. I didn’t get any side cramps. My hips were super tight and sore going into the run, but I didn’t really notice any tightness until we finally stopped at 9.5.
I JUST RAN.
And it felt like the cloud that’s been hanging over me every time I have a crappy run had lifted.
We were running. And we were enjoying it.
Who knew I could ‘just run’ and it would work??
Honestly, the only reason I didn’t keep going to the finish was to see my sister cross that finish line (knowing she passed 10 miles about 10 mins prior to getting picked up, I knew it would be close).
And we just missed her finish by about 5 minutes. Missed her finish. I felt like the worst sister in the world. I felt like I totally failed her. All I wanted was to see her smiling face at the finish line.
And I missed it.
But her reaction? Uttering her PR (drained, tired, but thrilled!) and when I told her how far we went, she was honestly almost more happy with that than with her own PR. She felt like we ran this together. And you know what? She’s right. We did. She kept me going…I pictured her running happily and speedily and knowing that she was going for it made me feel like I could too.
And maybe, just maybe, my mojo is back. Maybe this is all I need…no pressure, no times to shoot for, no ‘race mentality,’ just running.
Today, I just ran. And it felt awesome.