I completed my first half-marathon and did it in 1 hour and 31 minutes (pictures here). It was such an awesome experience. After spending the last 4 weeks feeling horrible because of a flare up of my arthritis, I was really concerned about this race. The Saturday before this race I ran a 5k (3.1 miles) and my hips hurt, and even my muscles were affected. I felt the worst I had ever felt running, and that was the week before I was to be an invited masters runner at this half-marathon.
So, last Sunday I dug into my "natural remedies" and started drinking lots of specific herbal teas, eating organic, eating mostly only raw vegetables, and taking specific supplements that had helped me cure arthritis inflammation before. I wasn't sure there was time for all this to really clean out my system, but I just prayed and did what I could.
I did a few runs in the water last week. One was about an hour and 15 minutes mimicking an 11 mile run, and I was able to do one long run on Wednesday (11 miles) proving to myself that I could actually finish this race.
After getting to the race and hanging out with all these elite athletes, being wined and dined, and housed at a luxury beach house, my heart was not just to finish, but to run a great race. When I crossed the line I actually broke down and cried. It was really interesting how emotional I was. I ended up in 12 place over all the women, but at the 10 mile mark I was in 9th and cruising. After hurting pretty bad for the first 4 miles and after a non-invited runner (girl) came up and passed me something just kicked in and I picked up the pace and passed her and never slowed down.... until the 10th mile and "the bridge". My legs had started tightening up, but even with that I kept telling myself, "it's going to hurt whether you go slow or fast, so keep up the pace"... but at the bridge with 3 miles to go my legs were rocks. My muscles were so hard I continued in much pain gritting out the last 3 miles. 3 girls passed me, but I knew I was laying every ounce of me out there, and I was so happy when I crossed the line. I just conquered one of the biggest physical and mental challenges of my life and I won, and the tears flowed to show it.
It was such an awesome weekend. But not only was I blessed with an awesome race, Ken & I got to know a lot of amazing people and share with them alot about us. I am really going to miss many new friends who really understand my love of running (and now the love of marathoning), yet continuing to live life in a real world. For pictures and my husband's take on the weekend, go to my hubby's blog.
Ken will also want me to tell you that I was the overall Masters Champion and the NC Masters Champion and that I broke the Masters record by about 10 minutes. God was so awesome. Because of those two things I actually won enough money for us to buy Christmas presents this year and a Christmas tree, and all the other fun things that go along with the Christmas season.