I can’t believe the big day is almost here. Bright and early Monday morning I will be running/walking my first half-marathon. Right now it is a little surreal. I am trying not to think about it too much so that I don’t get stressed out about it.
Yesterday I picked up my shirt, race number, and timing chip. We also received a commemorative glass, which I didn’t get a picture of. Do people wear their shirt during the race? I don’t think I will be wearing mine as I would prefer to wear a tank top since it is going to be a hot one.
My friend Chuck, who is also running the race, showed me the hilly part of the course yesterday as well. Now I have done some hill work as my neighborhood where I have done most of my running is not flat terrain. This is also one of the advantages of a treadmill…you can do incline and hill work, which I have also done. The steepest hill is right in the middle of the course, mile 6.5, and it is definitely steeper than any hills I have conquered. Worst case scenario I end up walking the hill, but I think I can do it (coming from me as I sit here resting in the air conditioning!)
My biggest concern right now is something that is out of my control…the weather. For those of you not in MN, the past two days have been brutal. The temperatures have been in the 90’s, but with the humidity/heat index it feels like it is around 107 degrees. Yesterday morning at 6:30 (the time the race starts on Monday) it was already 81 and humid. Monday is projected to be 86 degrees and humid, but not as humid as it has been these past couple days. Any humidity sucks, the thicker the air the harder it is for me to breathe.
I’m a bit anxious, and just a little excited. I kind of wish the race was tomorrow. For anyone who has had anxiety about something, I’m sure you can agree that the anxiety and waiting is usually worse than the actual event. This run is definitely going to be different than any run I have ever done. All of my runs have been by myself, in my own little world. I learned that there will be neighborhood cheer teams on the course who will be competing for some kind of prize. I think they may also have live music in spots. Good, bad, or ugly it will definitely be an experience that I will never forget.
I was supposed to do my last run today, but have decided not to. It is already hot outside and I don’t want to come back from a run discouraged or disappointed this close to the marathon. Instead I think I am going to head to the pool and relax.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who has read this blog, commented on the blog, commented on my Facebook posts, or sent me a tweet on Twitter. I want to list everyone but am not going to do so for fear that I will leave someone out. You all know who you are! Your encouragement, advice, and support has been amazing and it is truly appreciated.
For anyone reading this who may be sitting at home on the couch thinking you could never do this, trust me you can! It will take a lot of hard work and dedication, but you can do it. I don’t care how out of shape you think you are, you just take it one day at a time. Our bodies are capable of doing so much more than we give them credit for, we just need to remove the obstacles in our minds. Who cares if you don’t run your first marathon for three or four or five years? As rewarding as that will be, it really isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey that got you there. If you have been my following my journey, you know that I have struggled. I have had many miserable runs, some to the point I said I wasn’t going to run again. And here I am about to run my first half-marathon on Monday. If you were to talk to anyone who has really known me throughout my life they will tell you that I have never really been an athletic or active person. I have always enjoyed spending my time learning, studying, or reading. For some reason, running a marathon was always something I wanted to do. I don’t know why because I have never in my life been a runner, didn’t know anyone who was a runner, and didn’t know anyone who had run a marathon. Although I won’t be running a full marathon this year, it will happen.
One of the greatest things so far in my journey is all of the people I have encountered, mostly through my blog and other social media, who are also runners. One thing that always intimidated me about running was the feeling that I would never be fast enough. I always thought that “runners” were these elite group of people who would look down on me because I couldn’t keep up with them. What I have since learned is that “runners” are just the opposite, they are very supportive. So I am honored to call myself a runner. If you are like me don’t worry about being too slow, because no matter how slow you are, you are still lapping the people who are sitting at home on the couch!
I think it is fitting that my first marathon will be on Independence Day. This will be my freedom run, freeing me from all the limitations that I have put on myself. This run will be proof positive that I (or you) have the freedom to do anything I want, as long as I am willing to put in the hard work.
Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!