I go by quite a few nicknames these days, Honey, Mommy, Home-skillet, Crazy lady.. etc. You know what you can call me now? FINISHER.
Yes sir! On Saturday morning, I accepted my first medal and crossed the finish line at the Rock and Roll Seattle half marathon. I can say without hesitation, that besides giving birth 3 times, and marrying the love of my life, this was the most amazing moment in my 26 years. I thought I "got" the whole thrill of training and running and all that, but it wasn't until I burst into tears after two hours and fifty something minutes of hard work that I began to really understand this underground world of running. 5 months of hard work paid off on so many levels.
I don't think I could have chosen a better race to run for my first half. The Rock and Roll was extremely organized, entertaining, motivating, uplifting and surreal. Everytime I saw another band my heart would practically jump out of my chest because I knew I had just conquered another mile. The 27,000 other people all around me had worked as hard as I had for this exact moment. 27,000 people around me were pushing their bodies to the limit and loving every second of it (okay, so some of them probably weren't loving it too much, like the guy I saw crying in a ditch at mile 9).
Thanks to my wonderful friend Lacey, I learned when to take disgusting GU, when to eat the terrible salt packet, when to slow it down for a minute so I wouldn't burn out, and when to pose for the camera. I also learned the hard way not to drink too much water before the race, as I added about 15 minutes to my time waiting for a porta potty.
The most rewarding part of the race, for me, was not that I worked my body up to running 13.1 miles in a row. It was that I had the courage to do something for myself, work extremely hard to achieve a goal, and follow through. I watched my best friends, my parents,my kid's and husband's faces after I crossed the finish line and for the first time in a long time, they were obviously proud. And not the the kind of proud they are of me for not getting seconds at dinner. The kind of proud that says they might have been a little bit inspired.
So this is just the beginning. I wasn't even out of the Qwest field gates before I already started planning my next half and my first full marathon. After so many years of just feeling below average and like I was missing something, I found my thing. I am good at this and this is something that is all mine. This is something I am proud of myself for, and this is somethng that not everyone can do, or has the courage to try to do.
I want to send a huge thank you out to all of my supportive friends, family and readers who emotionally helped to push me all the way to the finish line. Mostly, thank you to my awesome husband who, although skeptical at first, has stood by me, bragged about my journey to others, and watched our crazy children while I was training. After the race, he told me he wants to start training so he can do this with me.