If you don't think you have it in you to run, I would think again. Now granted, I really enjoy running (crazy, I know) and my mom frequently likes to tell me that "humans were only made to run if they are being chased," but nonetheless, I still run. Why, you may ask? It's more so about the feeling after the run because quite frankly, running hurts. Of course, there is the all important "runner's high" and it is most definitely real. I usually get my first kick of runner's high at around mile 4. You have this feeling that you're invincible and could totally kick out 20 more....until you hit about the 9th mile and are wondering where the second runner's high is hanging out. And it doesn't come...at least that second kick never came for me this past weekend.
Here's where I'm going with this. I've now run two half marathons that have been pretty much the same course called the River City Half Marathon that runs along the American River in the Sacramento Area. Now I should preface, I run half marathons, I doubt I'll ever run a full marathon. My body just wasn't meant for 26.2 miles. Last year, my first and only concern was just finishing the race as it was my first half marathon, and the longest I would have ever run consecutively. Well, I finished under 2 hours!! I was ecstatic! It was a great run. I felt amazing the entire time, and that never happens during any run. There's always some part along the way where I'm pep talking myself, but strangely, I enjoyed the entire run. The course was flat, the weather was perfect, and the scenery was serene.
Crossing the finish line last year...whoop whoop!
Soo, I decided I'd run the same race this year. I signed up and started training at the end of December. I knew I had extremely busy months ahead with family events, friends' birthdays, weddings, baptisms, etc. so I knew training was going to be tough to squeeze in. It all went down hill not a month from the day of the half. I had some sort of pelvic injury, not too terrible but enough that I decided to stay off it and then ultimately decided that running was not worth injuring myself further.
Well, that thought flew out the window the Friday before the race. I decided there was no way I wasn't going to at least start the race. I trained a heck of a lot, registered, and had a set goal in mind. But I told myself the race would have to be for fun. No going out there to kill myself or beat my time from last year (which was my original goal).
Waddya know, here I am below finishing the last leg of the race. Wasn't gonna let that orange dude back there beat me....kicked it into gear to finish strong...cause I was hurtin and wanted it to be over! I know, my hat looks ridiculous. As you can see, the weather wasn't as bright and sunny as last year.
I ended running all 13.1 with a couple stops to stretch the hips. Again, I was ecstatic to have finished. I happened to look back at my training calendar after the race...didn't realize that I had "stayed off my feet" for 20 days prior to the race. Still not sure how I completed that one...but I know for one thing, a lot of running is completely mental and all in the head.
Ultimately the real reason I run, just like one of the greatest runners, Steve Prefontaine said, "
And of course, I had one of my best friends with me through the whole thing. And she kicked major a$$!
Both Stef and I had our biggest fans there cheering us on the entire way (through text messages ;-) They are the best cheerleaders!
Until next year...I'm gonna keep on running :-)