Marathon: The Journey of 26.2, Part 4

20140121-064107.jpgContinuing where I left off on my story.  Look here for the previous post.

My lowest point in all of my training, hands down, was the half marathon at the end of August.  It was unusually hot here in CO.  The race I chose was known for its tough terrain (would’ve been nice to know when I signed up for the thing!).  I had one goal in mind: beat my time from 5 years ago–2:53.  For all you non-runners, that ain’t fast!

The first several miles, I couldn’t keep my heart rate down.  I was giving it too much too soon.  After mile 8 or so, I just didn’t have much left.  I gave it all I had at the end just to hit my goal.  My official time was 2:52.  One minute faster.  It was so disappointing.  Surely, I was capable of more.

This is where my training partners, Korista and Amy, were so invaluable to me.  You see, this marathon was so much more than putting in miles and faster race times.  Although we weren’t very close at all before this began, those two women became strong arms for me to lean on.  I don’t know how I would’ve made it this past year without them in my life.  And that goes way beyond training for a marathon.  And it should be noted, that I never once physically ran with either of them.  Korista lives in Washington and Amy lives in Africa!

Setting out to do something as daunting as running 26.2 miles might’ve been my original idea, but little did I know the treasures in store for me.  It’s been a beautifully, unforgettable year.

And I had bigger hurdles to face.

Namely, the long run.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You just did a half marathon!  But when staring at the full distance, you’re gonna have to come face-to-face with miles well beyond 13.1.  Getting to mile 19 for the first time was by far the most insane training day I ever had.

The plan was 2 loops straight out my front door.  I took off feeling great.  Then, around mile 6, that 10% chance of precipitation became 120% in the blink of an eye.  The wind kicked up, rain started blow, and then I found myself getting pelted by hail.  HAIL.  I was thinking to myself, “I’m doing this.  No storm is going to stop me!”

And, cue the lightening.  I started counting, “1 Mississippi…” between strikes.  I wasn’t getting to 2 Mississippi!!!  The strikes were loud and close.

Change of plans.

Thank you, Lord, for having me a block away from my Rec Center!!!  I hustled in, called my husband (who was already out looking for me!), and headed up to the treadmills.  I had to run at least 10 more miles there, then run home.  By that time, the storm was long gone.

I was so incredibly proud of myself.  I don’t have that kind of tenacious, bulldog personality, so not quitting was a really big deal for me.  That night my husband said, “See, now you KNOW you can run that far, because you just did.”  I think that may be why I signed up for this in the first place.

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