Fait Accompli!

I’m not sure which is the greater accomplishment; finally sitting down to write this post or successfully completing my first half marathon.  In both cases, fait accompli!

Thanks to four months of training, three main sources of inspiration, two knee braces, one tube of Aspercreme, and loads of support from friends and family, I survived the Country Music Half Marathon.

How was it, you ask?  As one of my pace group friends noted (in Sesame Street style), “[The] half marathon was brought to you by the letter H; hideously hot, kind of horrible, and hilly – oh, and HALLELUJAH I didn’t do the full!”

Might not’ve looked pretty, but I DID IT!
Image by MARATHONFOTO®

Hideously hot:  The race day forecast was Sunny and 80°F.  Factor in the Twenty Degree Rule – dress as if conditions are 20 degrees warmer – and you get hideously hot.

Kind of horrible:  One thing training couldn’t prepare me for was navigating the stretches made slippery by discarded water cups, banana peels, and spent GU packets.  Perhaps encountering such areas is not a harrowing experience for other runners but, given my past knee injuries, to me they felt like virtual mine fields.

Hilly:  Ask anyone who has ever participated in a race in Nashville and they’ll tell you about the hills.  Since I’d already covered most of the course during training, I had a good sense of what to expect.  But hitting all of the hills during one run in sweltering heat?  That was tough.  As I started up the fourth hill (at mile seven), my mental focus began to crack.  An unexpected shout-out from my buddy Allen (who happened to be camped out midway up) gave me the push I needed to get to the top.

Hallelujah:  Seeing runners being treated by EMTs between miles nine and ten was a wake-up call; though I was tired and hot, I wasn’t feeling that bad.   Mile eleven was my best mile because it was bookended by cheers from family and friends – my parents at the start and friends from the CF Foundation at the end.  I finished the last 2.1 miles (yes, the .1 counts, by dammit) thanks to my friend and running mate Lori.  She stuck by me the entire race, encouraging me along the way.  And though we had hoped to finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes, I breathily said hallelujah as we ran across the finish line at the 2:45 mark.

Ultimately, running the half marathon was a great experience.  The four months leading up to the race, however, were life changing.  While I knew I would reap physical health benefits, I could not have anticipated the mental – even spiritual – transformation that occurred.  As cliché as it sounds, I truly feel that when you put your mind to it and work hard you can accomplish anything. 

Saving the best for last, I’m thrilled to share that two of my CF friends also completed the half marathon, another completed the full marathon, and – to date – Roo’s Crew has raised nearly $6,000 for vital CF research!  I can just see the smile on Andy’s face. 🙂

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6 Comments

  1. Yea!! I got winded just reading it! Great job for a great cause. You are an inspiration. (And you make me glad I live in a flat state.)

    Reply
  2. You rock so damn much. I’m so, so proud of you.

    Reply
  3. Congrats! Quite an achievement!

    Reply
  4. I’m late to the party on this but still – LOVE love LOVE! I second Miss Ali’s “You rock so damn much.” So great.

    Reply
    • Aw – thanks so much, Amanda! Your support meant a lot! After laying off for a couple of months, I’m trying to get back into the running groove. Slowly but surely….

      Reply

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