Check One Off the Bucket List

Two weekends ago, Landon and I went to Kingsport, TN to run in a half marathon.  It was a first for both of us and I had a mixture of feelings with both excitement and extreme nervousness. 
I knew we had both put in the work up to that point in training, but for me, as for many, there are good days where you feel light on your feet and you feel like you can go for miles. Then there are bad days where a mile feels like an eternity. For the last several weeks, I was developing a pattern where I would have a good run every other Saturday for long runs. The off weeks were extremely difficult. The race day happened to fall on the off week. However, I was hoping the excitement of the actual race would push me through if I was struggling to finish.
On the way to the race, we were discussing our goals for the race.  Landon is much faster than I am so I wanted him to not feel like he needed to hang back with me.  I wanted him to have the best race without me holding him back.  We started off the race together and I felt great.  However, we were going at a faster pace than my goal.  It was in target for Landon's, but faster than mine.  I wasn't winded or in any pain, but at the half way point, Landon went on ahead of me.  I was still feeling fine for a few more miles.  At mile nine, I hit a wall and had to walk.  I was SOOOO frustrated.  I had to walk/run for the rest until the last mile.  Somehow, I mustered up any energy left to run the last mile.  To say I was disappointed was an understatement.  Yes, I completed a half marathon, but my goal was to run the whole thing. 

It didn't help the fact that Landon ran the whole thing and finished under his goal.  Although I was extremely proud of him, it just annoyed me that he didn't even struggle.  haha. 

After I crossed the line and was trying to recover I was humbled over my attitude of disappointment.  I turned and saw a young child in a wheelchair.  I almost burst into tears because instead of being disappointed I wasn't able to run the whole thing, I should be thankful I can walk! 

I just couldn't let it go, though.  It's just like when I'm playing the ABC game in the car on a road trip. Even though I may have lost the game, I don't quit until I pass a Zaxby's or a Chevy Z71.  This past Saturday, I was determined to conquer the 13.1 miles--running the whole time.  I didn't tell anyone, just in case I wasn't able to do it, yet again.  This week was an ON week because I did it!  I was ecstatic!   I am now satisfied and can let it go.  Race day or not, I ran a half. 

It would have been MUCH easier just to do it on the race day because I was still sore from the weekend before.  Also, that race was almost completely flat the whole race.  There is nowhere here that I can run where it is flat unless I go to the track, which bores me to tears. 

Miles 11-12 were brutal.  I counted my steps to 100 over and over to try and keep me going.  I wanted to stop and walk so badly, but I knew I would put myself through the torture again until I could do it.  I ended the last mile around Charlene Drive where I spent much of my childhood at Rita's house.  I got lost in my memories which kept me going through the last portion.  I crossed the street to try to make it back home and I was locked up.  At the pace I was walking, it would have taken me an hour to make it the mile back home.  I called Landon to come and get me and I think he thought I was crazy.  I was probably scary looking.

This is can say with certainty:  I will never do a full marathon.  The thought of running the half and starting all over is just insanity.  I am in awe of anyone who can do it, but not this girl.  I will probably do another half though.  I would like to improve my time and be able to run the whole thing in a race. 

I am in no way an expert on running, but here are some of my thoughts and experiences over my 145 miles in preparation. 

*I prefer to run outside.  I can only stand to run on a treadmill for 3-4 miles reading a book.  Also, the
  book needs to be fiction and something I can get lost in the story without thinking about what I'm
*I don't like to use earbuds.  The cord flops and gets tangled up...annoying!  I also feel safer when I'm
  outside without them so I can hear traffic.
*I use the Nike+ running app and listen to music with my phone. 
*I am goal oriented I enjoy checking off things on a to do list.  I loved having a training schedule that
  told me what I was supposed to be doing each week.
*I don't like carrying water with me, but it's necessary on long distances.  I've learned the hard way.
  I have carried a water bottle, but that's annoying to hold water in one hand and my phone in
  another. I was constantly switching hands.  I borrowed a Nathan belt from Gretchen, my runner
  friend.  I used that this past week.  I feel dorky in it because it looks like a fanny pack, but I didn't
  care because it helped me to complete a goal.
*I don't do well drinking water on the run.  During the race, I didn't carry water with me because I
  was just going to use the water stations.  The water was ice cold, and I have sensitive teeth.  I can't
  chug it all in one gulp like everyone else was able to do.  I actually got choked.  haha.  I felt
*I will never rely on water stations for water again.  The last several stations in the race ran out of
  water during the last third of the race.  I will always take my own with me in the future so I won't
  be dependant on water that may or may not be there when I need it.
*In order to get running in, it has to be planned out in advance.  If not, I found myself on the 
  treadmill (gag) at 10:00 p.m. a few nights.  It didn't take long before I had to figure something else
  out because that wasn't going to work.  I am also still nursing so timing is another issue with child
  care and Lane's feeding schedule. 
*It is important to set realistic goals.  Not every run will be a PR.
*I can't run with a jogging stroller.
*It is no secret that I'm not a huge fan of dogs.  I like them only if they aren't touching me, so running
  outside can be an issue sometimes in neighborhoods.  Thankfully, I have only had an experience one
  time with two little yappy dogs nipping at my heels.  It is very annoying and I wanted to drop kick
  the little suckers.  (SORRY to all my dog-loving friends.)
*I pray before/during every run to keep all pervs and dogs free from my path.  I usually feel safe
  where I run, but after hearing of the woman in KY who was murdered while running a few   
  months ago, it can make someone paranoid and fearful. 
*I started with couch to 5K after Lane was born.  Then I used this training plan.
*I like to run because I don't feel guilty about eating.  I have been able to lose some weight through
  the training process without watching what I eat at all.  I need to lose more, but that's going to
  require me eating better, and that's just simply too hard.  I can't do two them both at once. 
*I don't understand how some people can run in tutus, flappy butterfly wings, full blown costumes,
  or balloons ALL over your body like grapes???  I do good just to run in normal clothes, much less
  with all the extras.

Here are some books that I have found to be motiving and inspirational:
Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs
Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving-and Not Lost Your Family, Job, or Sanity

Here are some inspiring photos/quotes that I have found on Pinterest that often motivate me when running:

This is one I designed for my etsy shop:


1 comment:

  1. Just browsing through your beautiful blog, excited to receive our Christmas photo proofs. You are so creative and your love for the Lord shines through. I love that your husband and you ran your first 1/2 together. I ran one over a year ago and it was an amazing journey for me as well. Congratulations!!