Saturday, 7 June 2014

My First Half Marathon Experience

Well, I did it!  I can finally cross this off my bucket list!

21km Half Marathon.......CHECK!

  I have always enjoyed running, although I don't do it as often as I would like.  It's a great escape from every day life and a perfect stress reliever.  Just throw on your running shoes, some good tunes and just go!

  So a few months ago my sister, Kim, asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon with her.  I of course said yes, as it is something that I've always wanted to do.  I told her she needed to sign me up so I didn't chicken out!  She also said she would run the whole thing with me (which I am so grateful for as I didn't think I'd be able to finish on my own) So she signed us both up for the Victoria Goddess Half Marathon Run.  And she gave me some pointers on training.  (My sister is amazing...she has ran in lots of difference races and events, even completing a 24 hour race!!)

  A few days go by and I do one 6km run (my usual route).  And then denial sets in. "Im not really going to run 21kms, am I?"  I kept telling myself I had lots of time to train, that I would run 'tomorrow'.  Well, needless to say, the race day approached a lot faster then I planned!  I did manage to get a few runs in, including a 13km (my longest ever!) but that was it. I think I fooled myself into thinking that it wouldn't be too hard plus I knew my sister was going to push me and keep me going. 

  The day before the race, Kim and I head out to pick up our registration packages which included our race numbers and pretty purple event shirts.  Then we went for drinks, appys and a huge steak dinner. Isn't that what you're supposed to do the night before a half marathon? Ha ha....ummm no!

Race Day
  We wake up super early (I don't think I slept much anyways between excitement and my youngest daughter waking with a nightmare. Her words: 'I fell on my head then a giant bird came to eat me' -where do kids get this stuff?)  We sneak out of the house and head to the nearest Starbucks to pick up coffees and head to the start line.

  Adrenaline is flowing at this time, or the caffeine has kicked in, not too sure.  We lace up our shoes and pin our numbers on the front of our tanks.  My mom meets us at the starting line and gives us a quick hug for good luck.  Was so nice to see her as she had been gone on a 5 week holiday in Spain!

  Countdown starts.  Heart was beating fast.  Thousands of women standing together, ready to go. The energy was incredible. 

  And we're off! Now I won't go through all the emotions I felt during all 21kms as much of it was a blur!  But I do want to talk about the ending.  My sister had told me that the last few kms could be the most hard. Just knowing you are so close and trying to push through and finish strong.  And I totally agree now that it does happen. 

But something pretty magical happened to me near the end. 

(mini back story)
~A few days before the race, my daughters and I put nail stickers on.  They were 'good luck charms' for my race.  I had a bird, Shayla had a butterfly and Kelsie had a ladybug.  They were to help me fly faster for the run.~

  So during the last 2kms I look up and see an eagle soaring overhead.  Eagles have been present many times in my life, especially when I need extra strength (my sister and I saw one right after we were close to having a car accident) They are always there when I need them.

  Not long after a black and yellow butterfly flew right in front of Kim and me.  I almost lose it as I tell her about Shayla's sticker and why we all had them. This was my sign from Shayla to keep going.

  And then as I round the last corner, I look down and see a ladybug on the ground.  I can hardly hold back the sobs.  There was my sign from Kelsie.

  I run to the end on wobbly legs and the tears are streaming down my face as I see my girls at the finish line cheering for me.

My biggest fans cheering me on!
  We high five them as we pass and from somewhere deep down, I get one last burst of energy so I can beat my sister across the finish line (sorry Kim!  Might have been the only time I would ever win against you!)

I win!!

  My mom, sister-in-law and daughters congratulate us with big hugs.  What an awesome accomplishment and I'm so proud of myself!  My time was 2:40, which I'm happy with. I'm glad I completed it and didn't give up!

  I don't know if I will run another half marathon, but a 5 and 10km are on my bucket list now.  It is amazing what your body can do if you set your mind to something.

  But I wouldn't have been able to do it without my sister.  She pushed me through and kept me going the whole time (with a few walking breaks)  I'm so happy to have ran my first race with her.  She inspires me!  Love you Kim!!

Love my sister!

 "The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul" Proverbs 13:19