Another Half in the books! I didn't reach my time that I really wanted, but I crossed the finish line at 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 8 seconds. For me, that's a huge improvement from the first one I ran. I feel like I'm such a slow runner, but I find myself getting stronger with each race. I started out this race out really strong, and started struggling around the eighth mile. And after that I felt like kicking myself for signing up for the Full... All I kept thinking is how am I going to make it 26.2 miles?!
I knew once I reached that point where I was struggling, I was losing focus. At that point, it was just a mental block that I had to overcome. My body was getting tired, but I was more than capable to keep going. I had been training for this, after all. I knew if I regained my focus and kept my goal in mind, I would make it. And I did. I turned up my music, picked a person in front of me and was determined to pass him/her, and then I picked another one, and another one... until I crossed the finish line.
The thing I love most about these races is that everyone is so encouraging, especially towards the end. Everyone is cheering you on the whole way, but when you start reaching the end and the finish line is in sight, you're tired and your body hurts, that's when you need the most encouragement. I saw people slowing down and others running up and grabbing their hands to help them get to the finish. It's really inspiring. Everyone is there to be their best, not to prove others that they are better.
Having my family run the race with me was also encouraging. I don't feel like too many people can say that running a half marathon is a family affair! We all ran at our own pace, but seeing each other on the course is always fun! And having your boyfriend and sister out on the course cheering you on with posters helped give me a little boost too!!
Never in a million years did I think I would be running these races. Or running at all. Being a severe chronic asthmatic isn't easy, and it makes everything you do a little harder. I've come such a long way with it over the years, and I'm forever grateful. During the "bad times" of the year for me, I sometimes couldn't walk far without having an issue, much less try to run... And here I am training to run a full marathon. It gives me a little extra sense of pride every time I cross the finish line.