When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
This quote is the best way to describe my Your Austin Half Marathon experience. While my run wasn’t horrible, it certainly wasn’t ideal and didn’t end the way I had hoped. Let’s rewind to early yesterday morning.
Usually a quiet property, our go-to hotel (The Sheraton Austin) was Party City after midnight on Sunday. I woke up at 2:30 AM thanks to revelers and general knuckle-heads and could not get back to sleep, despite my best efforts. If a sleep deficiency would have been my only problem, I think I could have been alright…but it wasn’t. As it turns out, an unexpected visitor (don’t you just love that ladies?), a dysfunctional Garmin and a nonfunctioning Nike headset left me royally annoyed come race time. Even still, those are mild annoyances that are manageable. However, stabbing abdominal pains are not. They started at mile 8 and continued through late afternoon. Some of the pains were so strong that they left me breathless. Truthfully, I was very, very uncomfortable, but believed that I could overcome the pain.
Things became so unbearable after mile 10, however, that I began contemplating dropping out of the race and curling up by the roadside. Seriously — it sounded heavenly to me at the time. Quit. Stop. Quit. It sounded easy. But, I knew deep down inside that I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I did. I understand how absurd that sounds, but it is the truth. I am simply not a quitter. However, I was nearing the end of my rope.
So, I made myself a deal. Tied a knot on my rope, if you will. I told myself that I could walk for 7 minutes, but then I would finish the race. And finish as strong as I could. So I did just that. I literally timed my 7 minute walk and just let myself enjoy the break. I took deep breaths and allowed myself to be weak and to even feel sorry for myself. But then it was over and it was time to rally. To be clear, I wasn’t running fast at this point in the race, but I was running. And I finished the race. I earned my slowest half marathon time ever yesterday (2:18:17), but I am awkwardly proud of that, especially since the alternative was not finishing. Prior to yesterday, I had never walked during a half marathon, but I guess there is always a first time for everything, right?
Running comes naturally for a lot of people, but it is always somewhat challenging for me. Perhaps this is why I love it so much. If there are good days and bad in running, yesterday would certainly be put in the “bad day” column. Yet, yesterday’s experience was very humbling and inspiring.
I am so thankful that I can run. Even if my time wasn’t ideal, I still ran 13.1 miles yesterday. And I ran most of the way with my sister, Julie. Nelda was also on the course too (smokin’ it, by the way), my Brother-in-Law Zach ran with his sister, and I had friends on the course too. We had a really fun weekend, complete with a spectacular pre-race dinner hosted by the Hunters and a post-race breakfast at Hoover’s.
I am a very lucky and blessed person and refuse to let a less than stellar race experience ruin my day. Time to move on.