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I’m back… Miles in the sun

Well, yeah, I know.  You’ve heard this before.  But as of late, I haven’t had much time to post except for sticking an occasional deep thought into listeningandobservingoutloud.blogspot.com :D.  But, I thought I’d get back to giving y’all some info on my fitness life.  Interested?  I think I’ll have a great recap for you… 🙂

Well, my half marathon happened almost 2 weeks ago, Saturday on July 12th.  I wasn’t sure that I was ready.  I was a little scared.  For various reasons, I hadn’t signed up before the online registration deadline, so my only option was to sign up the morning of the race.  The race being in Frisco, CO we had a long 2 hour drive ahead of us before actually getting to the race.

Of course my pre-race jitters started fresh the night before.  I was so nervous and fluttery inside, almost literally twisting my stomach into knots and desperately trying to untie it again.  “Like my figure of speech? :P”  I went to bed around 11, not knowing if I could drag my weary body out of bed the next morning.  My dear sister charged up my ipod for me.

Race morning I was up bright and early around 4:15 or 4:30 as we had a departure time of 5:30.  I determinedly stuffed 6 cds onto my ipod in about 45 minutes, which I consider an amazing feat (just kidding) We were out the door at around 5:35, and I desperately tried to calm my raging stomach.  I prefueled for the race with a small piece of toast slathered with peanut butter and nutella.  It was good, except I was burping it up during the race.  Blech…

Well, Daniel and I talked for a little while up to the race, and I tried to doze.  IT didn’t work very well.  For about 30 minutes I read my bible and did my memorization, which helped me set the right focus for the day.

We arrived in the beautiful little old town of Frisco at around 7:30 after checking and double checking our directions.  We immediately found where the race sign-in was as we watched tall, lanky, short, stocky, tiny, broad-shouldered, and many other different kinds of runners come in and out of the building in pants, shorts, running skirts, etc…

Daniel and I parked by our friend’s car.  They had brought a group of about 14 up to run the half.  Daniel and I tacked on to make 16 or 17.  Daniel got in line to sign me up, and I made my way to the ladies room, which, surprisingly for a race, wasn’t very full.  I jogged back to the building, pasted my number onto the front of my shirt, went to the car to deposit some belongings, and then jogged back.  While doing something with my shirt, I dumbly ripped my tag that they rip off at the end of the race.  So I was on the edge of my seat, figuratively, the entire race, making sure it didn’t fall off.

All of our group of runners piled into a large van and drove up to the start.  I jogged around, stretched, and tied and retied my shoelaces about 15 times (or it seemed like 15) before the race started promptly at 8:30.

For the race there were actually 2 races.  There was a 10k and a half.  The 10kers and half-marathoners ran together for the first 6 miles or so of the race.   Then the 10kers split off to the finish.  A friend and I found a place right in the front, and although we didn’t sprint off from the finish like the front runners, we didn’t have to run over people.  Although a few people tried to run over us.

Sadly, I had to leave Rachel behind, and forge ahead on my own.  While I did, boys from our group whizzed past me at my slow shuffle.  It seemed like a shuffle compared to their pace.  I never saw my brother.  I think he snuck past.

I estimate I was going about a 11-12 minute/mile pace.  I didn’t have any ambitious goal for this race, definitely no time goal.  I just wanted to go in this race for fun.  I wasn’t looking for a huge PR, just a great time out in God’s creation.  Not that I don’t have a great time at every race.  This time was just a time to soak it all in.

Well, I clipped along and Miles 1-3 seemed to take forever.  Usually it’s the first 1-5 miles that take a long time.  It’s probably because I was focused on looking a the mile markers.  The Lord really gave me a good attitude on this race, and I was happy with how it went.   Miles 4-7 went along fairly well too until the hills came.  This course was mostly downhill in elevation, and the hills, when there were any, were short.

I made it a secret goal to run up all the hills without stopping, no matter how slow my running was.  At about mile 9 I saw the first front runner coming back, flying down the course (not as fast as Ryan Hall of course).  Runners followed him close behind, and my bro came along at about a 7:30-7:50 pace.  He was trying hard and I could tell! I gave him a high five and yelled his name.  I would like to think I’m his biggest fan.  🙂

At mile 10, there was a turn around.  The one thing that was really strange to me about this race was that they had no food at the stops along the way.  Thankfully they had about 3-4 water stops, but no gels or anything like that.  Oh well… 🙂  I stopped at every single water stop and dumped a cup on my head… I drank some too.

The race weather was perfect for running.  It was cloudy with a light sprinkle.  At mile 9 I took off my ipod and ran without it for the last 4.1 miles.  When we turned around at 10 miles, I really started to feel my legs giving out.  I knew I had to keep somewhat of a smile on my face though.  I met some of our group coming back and hooted and hollered for them on the inside.  I struggled up and down the hills until, out of breath, I got to the level part.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I thought, “It’s all downhill from here.” haha

Well, the last water stop appeared at about mile 13.  I whooped at the sight of the 13 mile sign.  I got a cup of water, waited, stretched.  I know.  I shouldn’t have stretched but I was a hurtin’ puppy.  Then I got back on the road and coaxed my legs back into action.  “Please Lord,” I pleaded, “please help me finish and finish strong.”

I pounded down the path, waiting for the finish line.  At .1 of a mile it never came.  It just kept going.  That dampened my spirits just a bit.  Well, I plodded on and when I saw the finish line, boy, was I excited.  I felt like I completely engaged and flew or (tried to fly) down the finish course.  I passed 2 people and came in at a blazing fast 2:12:47.  (You weren’t expecting that were you :D).

All in all I was very very very happy with the race.  I learned so much.  I struggled through some character struggles, but God won through me in the end.  And the race food was good :).  I also won a pair of shoes from the raffle drawing! Thank you Lord!

Praise the LORD for His name is above all names!

Be back with a century recap in a few weeks! 🙂  Look forward to it.

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