This is my race. This is the one I want to continue doing each year and is the one that started my running journey.
March 2012 - my dad died in his sleep. It was a heart attack, but he was also going to be getting a stent put in for dialysis that next week and he was having anxiety over that. He was retired military but was not an active person. I never considered him overweight - but with his health problems (diabetes, being on oxygen, sleep apnea, heart problems, cancer survivor, kidney problems, and fully recovered from a stroke that wasn't a stroke the year before) he had slowed down considerably from his already inactive lifestyle. He was 76 years old.
Summer and November 2012 - friends from high school were going to be running the half-marathon in Indianapolis that November and invited me to join them. I agreed but kept procrastinating on registering and starting some sort of training (had zero, basically). It was a week or so before when I finally decided to register but was realistic in that I knew I'd never be able to do a half without training. Matt agreed to run the 5k with me -- again, I hadn't run in a LONG time and had never done an organized race before. To get downtown and see the crowds and all the runners ... REAL runners ... I was overwhelmed. I ran as much as I could, but walked a lot. Finished and couldn't wait to do it again. :)
November 2013 - Matt and I ran the 5k again and I only wanted to beat my time from last year -- did it and decided I'd go for the half next!
November 2014 - Matt and I ran the half. I ran/walked the whole thing with my friend, Johanna, and had a three-tier goal: to finish before the female marathon runner finished (success!); to finish under 2:45 (also success); and if I finish before 2:30, I would sign up for the full marathon (fail). I wasn't too disappointed in the last goal because I wanted to run the race again to beat my time.
November 2015 - Matt has been losing some weight (men can drop it like a hot potato - stinks!) and I knew I couldn't run with him. Johanna and her husband were running it again -- Ted had a seeded bib so I ran with Joey for the first 4-5 miles. Last year, we were able to make it to mile 8 before I had to start doing my run/walk intervals ... I don't know if it was lack of training (probably), lack of sleep (probably), poor nutrition (probably), or all of the above (probably) but I didn't feel confident about this one, especially with having to start the intervals 3 miles earlier. I waved Johanna on and just tried my best. I didn't have a timer set so I would run when I could for as long as I could and then walk -- but I would only walk when I could see a landmark to stop at and one to restart at. I didn't even check my Runkeeper pace or time ... just wanted to finish!
The weather was much nicer than the year before and the spectators were out in droves - I loved it! I didn't want to walk in front of any of them so that made me run more. I was coming up on the last mile or so and was in a crowd of runners when all of a sudden, I heard a loud thud/smack behind me. Immediately, the group I was in all turned around and there was a runner who had just faceplanted on the pavement. We helped her up and she waved us all on ("I'm fine! Keep running! We're almost to the end!") Well, if you can faceplant and still finish running, I guess I can keep going too!
There's one point where the full marathon rejoins with the half on Meridian Street and I remembered from last year how inspiring it was to see the full runners still sprinting after 24 miles (at that point) and how I didn't want to be seen walking when they were still racing. This time, I was so busy looking at the spectators and the buildings that it wasn't until I was almost to the end that I realized I didn't see any full runners in their lane. My mind couldn't process what that meant though at that point.
The finish line had been moved this year so I didn't really know how much further I had to go. I guess I was about 1/2 mile to the end and just wanted to quit. Someone else's coach looked right at me and said "you've got this, girl! I believe in you!" And that's all I needed. I seriously want to be a spectator on a course now because they really do help the recreational runners finish this stupid thing we started.
I turned the corner onto Maryland? Washington? I don't know but there, in all its glory, was the freakin' finish line ... you know how in horror movies, the door someone is running for keeps getting further away? That's what it felt like. But thank you, Jesus, I finished and even had some juice left in the engine to sprint the last 50 yards.
Here's the thing though ... I saw Johanna and Ted at the finish line and Joey was yelling "you beat your time! you did it!!" Again, my mind couldn't process things at this point but I did remember to turn off my Runkeeper while looking for Matt. Wait - what's this? Runkeeper said I finished in 2:30:20? And I had waited a few seconds after finishing to turn it off. I finally found Matt and we went to the results tent to get our official times ... sweet cracker sandwich ... my time was 2:29:48!! And Matt finished with a 20+ minute PR! Seriously, with what I thought was more walking than last year since I was by myself and stopping to make sure that lady was OK, I was not expecting that time.
So here I am ... preparing to register for my first marathon next year. Registration starts at midnight on January 1st, so that's about the main reason I stay up on New Years' Eve -- to get my registration in at the reduced price and so I don't chicken out. AND several friends have said they will be registering as well. Matt will be doing the half but I wonder if I can convince him to run some of my long training runs with me or maybe bike alongside me.
Good times ahead ... good times.
Looking for a training program/schedule now so any suggestions are greatly appreciated!