I honestly wrote that post fully committed to running the half. But then I changed my mind.
Here's what happened. I was driving the two hours to Fort Lauderdale on Friday night all alone; Matt was already there, having had a followup for the protein/SUP clinic he's been doing, and I had all this time to ruminate on my decision. Suddenly, I wasn't excited for the half. Suddenly, I was overwhelmingly afraid to miss this opportunity at redemption that I had put so much thought into since crossing the finish line at BDR.
I talked it over with Kristin, hoping she'd talk some sense into me. Which she did, but not the way I planned:
|Mind the typos - I use voice dictation when I text!
|After my 20 miler, I literally ran a total of 6 miles and I hadn't run at all between February 3 and race day. That concerned me.
|I know we've all shared this picture now, but it's too cute not to!
|Okay, here we are looking proper.
So at 4:30pm on Saturday, I picked up my bib and immediately walked it over to be upgraded before I could think on it much more. And then I immediately looked at Matt and did that classic Home Alone face and shrieked, "WHAT HAVE I DONE?!"
|Finding my name on the giant wall of runners.
|I ran into Miriam, a Sub30 buddy, who was aiming to break her half PR!
|Adding my name.
|Officially holding that marathon bib.
|Best mom ever!
So that's what I did.
I slept poorly, which meant I was moving slowly when my alarm went off at 3:50am. I had all my clothes laid out already, and I set my pop tart to toast while I got dressed. I also took two Advil, had a banana, a ginger candy chew, and drank a Starbucks espresso double-shot. I was extremely nervous; I was shaking like crazy.
|My lululemon top from Kristin, new flip belt (which I'm obsessed with), Asics Kayano 21, Pro Compression PC runners and calf sleeves, Skirt Sports redemption fitness shorts (aptly named), Apple watch, Jaybird headphones, and new Halo visor.
|The NE winds were gusting at 14 mph.
|Matt leaked my secret to the world.
|I saw Kerry a couple times on the course.
|One last picture with Miriam!
|This time I really wanted to focus on having the courage to TRY and truly never back down. (We took this picture after the race - I'm wearing my new shirt from Kristina and Cecil! How cute is that?!)
I had to remind myself in the first couple miles to stay slow; I let a lot of people pass me. That was okay. Once I realized how easy 12:30 felt, I knew I'd be able to finish the race. I wasn't feeling emotional yet; I don't think the truth of my decision had hit me.
The crowd thinned, but I was never alone on the course. At mile 11, Matt and Oden caught up with me and I waved at them and told them how great I felt. Matt told me I was way ahead of pace and I shouted, "I'm trying to slow down but I can't!"
Throughout the race I just kept thinking, "Oh my gosh, I'm running another marathon. I'm running my third marathon! I'm doing this!"
I won't say the race was easy. It did get warm, but luckily the middle miles were partially shaded by clouds and shadows. I got really hungry around mile 14. (Because I was planning to run the half, I didn't pack my UCAN, and I really think I felt the difference in my blood sugar and hunger levels.) I took a bag of ice from a volunteer. (The volunteers at this race cannot be beat. They're the best I've ever experienced.) The wind picked up and at some points I had to duck my head and cover my mouth to facilitate breathing, and I nearly lost my visor.
It wasn't easy, but I never doubted. I just kept plugging away.
I finally stopped to pee around mile 16. I didn't pause my watch at all; I think that made a huge difference in my being able to keep on pace. I knew I'd lost some time and knew I had to keep going.
I started to barter with myself around mile 17. I knew I could get to 20. I kept saying, "When you get to 20, we can talk, but you know you can do 20, so just do it. Just get there. You're fighting for a PR, and it turns out PRs take work, so fight for it!"
|Running with Stephie was such a morale boost!
At mile 24 I got really emotional. I was in pain, but a weird sort of calm had taken over. I wasn't going to stop. I was so close I could taste it.
At 26 I saw the clock and couldn't stop grinning. I felt like a lunatic. The tears were close. The second I crossed the line, I dissolved into tears; big, disbelieving sobs. I had done it. I had fought for this PR, this redemption, this vindication of my training, and I had done it. I freaking earned it, every step.
|Kristina got a great picture of me finishing.
|Tears and a coke. Perfection.
|How crazy is this medal? The turtle is a locket and is really cute, and I love the color and sand dollar, but that marlin is so weird.
|How do you replenish after burning thousands of calories? Cheesy eggs, bacon, chocolate milk, and a chocolate chip GF Belgian waffle, how else?!
Matt had booked a beautiful hotel room for Valentine's Day and my birthday. When we checked in, the bellhop was all, "You're in room 1429? That's the best room in the hotel!" And he was right; the balcony view was unbeatable.
|I've been wanting a new menorah, and Matt found some beautiful handmade ones at Art Fest this year.
|Last year I saw these lemon paintings at Art Fest and really wanted one for our kitchen; he remembered! I can't wait to get it framed!