I signed up for my first half marathon when I completed my first 10k in June. After completing that race and crossing it off my 30 Before 30 list, I felt on top of the world. I wanted to give myself a new challenge – something I never imagined I’d be able to do. Hubster required a little convincing, but we signed up together and the date was set.
Keeping up with training was difficult, but I managed to stay focused until C had his EEG and we knew he required an MRI. The stress was too great and I was unable to keep up with my training. In fact, I went five weeks without running at all. When race weekend arrived, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I changed my goal from finishing in 3 hours to finishing in 3:30, and decided that whether I was going to run, walk or crawl, I would certainly be crossing that finish line.
I woke up at 4:30am, five minutes before my alarm. As I dressed for my race, my sense of determination was renewed. I looked in the mirror at the stretch marks from growing two children inside of me. The c-section scar, still numb to the touch, from two cesarean deliveries. I looked into my eyes and saw a woman who beat antenatal and postpartum mood disorders twice. My body could do anything. I could do anything. I am fierce.
We crossed the start line at 7:00am and didn’t look back! For the first 8 miles, we remained at the steady pace of our 10k in June. After mile 9, my body started to revolt. My hips started to get sore, then my feet. We alternated between a brisk walk and a slow jog. The pain was worse when we walked. Mile 12 was the worst. Elite marathoners had been passing us since mile 9, but now there was a crowd and you could even hear the finish line. It felt like we were almost done, but we weren’t!
Tears welled in my eyes as I saw the finish line. My legs ached with every step, but here we were: 13.1. I smiled with pride as I slowly crossed over the finish line, leaning over as the medal was placed around my neck. I did it. Me. Someone who is not a natural runner. Someone who has short legs and muscular thighs that touch. Someone who fights for every daggone mile.
I am strong. I am fierce. I am a half-marathoner.