Sooo…I did it! I walked my very first half marathon, the Forest Park Half Marathon. I took lots of bits of video along the way, and as soon as I have a computer up and running, I plan to edit together a little video–Rocky style–of me training and then crossing the finish line victorious. It should be a hoot. I hope.
Anyhow, I trained hard for this half marathon, and it paid off. Saturday the 15th, one full week before the event, I hiked the course in a new record time for me–five hours and 36 minutes. I about died. It took me most of the week to recover, I was that sore. I pushed myself hard, and vowed I wouldn’t push myself that hard again. But I kind of had to–it was getting dark in the forest and I was afraid of walking the paths in the dark. I didn’t want to fall and kill myself.
So the 22nd came and I was ready for it. I was floored by the looks I got from other people. They look totally surprised to see me (understandable, since as a water buffalo amongst sleek gazelles, I stuck out like a sore thumb), but every single one looked totally pleased to see me there. They gave me lots of encouragement, clapped, whistled, and hollered. I thought I would cry. Okay, scratch that. I DID cry, but only when no one was looking. I was so overwhelmed. Oh, drat. I’ve got tears welling up again….
Okay, so I didn’t have my heavy backpack and all that water or snacks with me this time, since there were plenty of aid stations along the way. I tell you, it made me feel a whole heck of a lot lighter. It was amazing the difference not hefting that weight around made. It also reminded me that I used to carry three times that amount of weight around on me all the time. No wonder I used to huff and puff. Anyhow, I raced through that course without trying nearly as hard as last week, and next thing you know, I finished it in five hours and 10 minutes, which is 26 minutes faster than the last time, and I was WAY less sore! Woo hoo!
I was the last person to finish both the marathon AND half marathon (those marathoners are fast, dammit, and they did start an hour and a half before we half marathoners did–thus the time of 6 hours and 38 minutes on the time clock above). But I beat my own time and I finished the course. The Forest Park volunteers were so excited for me they gave me some prizes in appreciation–a box of Powerbar squeeze packet thingies and a jar of trail butter. So sweet!
I really want to thank Bethany Jo Lee for sponsoring me for this event and making my dreams a reality. I’ve always wanted to do one of these events. Now I have. YES! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I kiss your feet, dear lady.
My husband asks me what’s next on the list, a marathon? I say maybe….