It’s hard to put into words how this morning’s half marathon made me feel. It’s hard to describe the emotions you go through as you watch 20,000 people line up in San Francisco, each person excited, jittery, and anxious. It’s impossible to describe the lump in my throat as I lined up behind a mother whose jersey said, “For my son, in memory” with a picture of a little boy no more than 7. To know that over 18 million dollars were raised in this year’s race for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and to know that the donations I received are a part of that number is beyond comprehension.
As the gun went off, there were so many people that we had to wait to get to the start line. It took 15 minutes after the official start time before we crossed it. I felt like I was being swept away into the current of people, and it was hard not to start out too strong. I felt like sprinting I was so excited! My goal was to run the race in 2 hours and 30 minutes, but I was going to be happy with 3 hours, especially considering the bad shape my feet were in. I’d been suffering from planter fasciitis, a condition that causes severe heel and arch pain, and the first few steps were brutal. But as I looked up, I noticed I was running behind an honoree, someone who had battled cancer and I thought, this is nothing compared to what he went through.
My name was written on my jersey, and even though I was running alone, and none of my friends and family could be at the race, I felt like I had a fan club. Spectators were gathered all over the course, and they happily screamed, GO “Insert my real name here”! It really helped push me, especially up those monsterous hills. When I crossed the finish line I had tears in my eyes and the biggest grin on my face. I couldn’t believe the time-I managed to run the race in 2 hours and 17 minutes. Almost 15 minutes faster than my goal time! I owe that all to the motivation of every runner out there, and all of the spectators. Watching the strength and drive of so many people at one time is enough to make anyone pick up the pace.
Now I sit here resting, with my feet and knee iced, and exhaustion setting in. Will I ever run another half marathon? Probably not-but what a great thing to say that I did. This was by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. I couldn’t have done it without my sponsors, my friends and family, and boyfriend for motivating me to stick with the workouts. And last but certainly not least, my team. Team in Training may have been difficult at times, the early morning workouts, the lollygagging around waiting to start our runs, but in the end it was so worth it. Being among the people out there in purple jerseys was exciting, and I was never without a team member in the run, be it from my chapter, or all the other chapters that came out. The team was full of encouraging people-everyone was so positive and enthusiastic, and without them, I would have surely quit. So thank you, and GO TEAM!!!!