Sour Grapes 1/2 Marathon – Rocks!

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My sweet finishers medal!  I love small races!

Do you remember about 5 months ago when I mentioned that I was signing up for a trail 1/2 marathon.  Well I signed up and have been preparing diligently, some weeks. 

This race started out as just another way to stay motivated in my running.  I work very well with goals, especially if I put money down ( I am pretty frugal so if I pay for something chances are I will follow through).  These don’t sound like the intrinsic goals you might think I operate on do they!  Yes of course I really do love running for the sake of running not just to stay in shape.

The 2 weeks before the race were a little difficult with crazy emotional stuff, loss of one of my husbands friends, work was crazy for my husband and I, and my little one was sick and out of school most of the week too.  This meant exhaustion emotionally and physically.  I was so excited for us to get out of town for the weekend, enjoy the race and a little family time and leave the previous 2 weeks behind us.

Race day was Saturday.  We arrived early so that my little one could run the 1/2 mile kids race (she rocked!).  The sun was shining and it was about 60 degrees (pretty great).  The race began and we headed out into the woods.  The trails were beautiful, if a bit hillier than I was prepared for (oops)!  It warmed up, or I warmed up, quickly and it felt hot.  Keep in mind I have not run in much warmer than 50ish since last fall!  Living next to Lake Superior we are provided with one giant air conditioner most months of the year! 

This race is a double loop and there is a 6.7ish race that finishes and those of us doing the full half marathon keep going past the finish for another 6.7ish miles.  Wow, that was mentally challenging.  I spent most of mile 6 talking myself out of stopping at the halfway mark!  I was feeling tired and like I was running through molasses, worrying about running slow (too slow for who, I don’t know). 

How did I keep going at this point?  I will tell you!  I was listening to a Podcast (two fit girls and a microphone) They were interviewing a woman who said that the best thing about running a marathon was 6 hours of uninterrupted mommy time. This is seriously what kept me going!  I suddenly let go of any thoughts of what my time might be and began looking around at the gorgeous trails and started enjoying my mommy time!  I was not going to win or anything, I didn’t have to finish in a certain amount of time, whoa what a concept! Don’t get me wrong it was still tough going, but my step was lighter.

As I rounded the bend to the final home stretch I saw people holding up signs saying “go mom” and I felt the tears start flowing.  Now these signs were not actually for me but they meant so much.  I wonder how many of us were out there in the woods having Mommy Time, letting go of our stuff from the week past.  But then I had to quit my blubbering and pull it together before I had an asthma attack 20 yards before the finish line!  

When I found out my time it was only 5 minutes off of my goal time!  I was ecstatic!  I really truly thought I was coming in a good 30-45 minutes over my goal time, that is how hard it felt (there were no time clocks so I was clueless as to my time till the end). 

What did I learn
-A trail half marathon is not the same as a road half marathon! (it is way better/harder!)
-Mind over matter
-Nobody else is affected by my time or goals, they are mine alone!
-Mommy time!!!

Anybody up for the Sour Grapes next year?  I will see you there!

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