My First Half Marathon

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This summer I had been running with my friend Leslie pretty consistently. I started to feel more confident that I could add some distance to my usual 3-4 mile run. Near the end of the summer I had a crazy thought that I might want to try a half marathon. Leslie had run a million of them and was training for her first full one, so I knew I had a wealth of wisdom and encouragement at my fingertips. She was very excited and encouraging. She told me that she would be willing to run it with me because she would have her second marathon the following week, so it was a good amount of mileage to run the week before and she shouldn't run it at full speed with the marathon the next week. So training began. I had a few set backs and honestly I am surprised I didn't quit. Running does not come easy to me, and when things don't come easy to me, I tend to quit. I powered through--I powered through a bloody mole that was chafed from my fuel belt (I had it removed. I had part of me removed so that I could continue this crazy running stuff--weird!) I was sick for a week and couldn't run and coming back set me back incredibly. I hurt my foot and had to see an orthopaedic doctor and limped for 10 days. I had some random weird bloody growth on my toe that bled through my gym shoe while I ran. It was there for about a month but eventually ripped off because it was stuck to my sock when I took my sock off. Anyway, I just really want you to appreciate the obstacles that this notorious quitter overcame to do this thing!

The day before the race I became REALLY nervous. We were at Jenna's house celebrating Thanksgiving #2 and I was clearly agitated. My longest training run was 12 miles--you can go back and read about how miserable it was if you have a few minutes :) That alone terrified me. But, to make matters worse, it was going to be 24 degrees outside. 24 DEGREES!! Fahrenheit! I hate being cold! Almost as much as I hate being hot! I really was scared that my lungs were going to hurt, that my face would be chapped, and my buns would be numb. My mom asked if I was still going to do it. I had come this far, yes, I was going to do it!
Here come a series of unfortunate pictures where I have awful posture (let's blame it on the cold) and  look terrible.

Leslie suggested wearing sweatshirts we didn't care about while we waited for the race and then discard them when it started. She is really brilliant! I was comfortable before the race and she gave me advice for what to wear for the run which also was the perfect amount of layers.

I am not going to lie. The first few miles were pretty awful. My toes were numb from waiting for the start. My ankles felt every jarring movement. But by mile 6 I was feeling pretty good. I even said that to Leslie. Then my Achilles tendon started a-killing me (Ha! See what I did there ;) ). I started to inwardly freak out that I was going to have to stop and walk. Fortunately all of a sudden it stopped hurting.

Then at mile 10 we saw our hubbies! I also saw Leslie's 4 adorable boys. Bill and I had decided to leave our kids with Grandma because Rori was coughing for days and we have Advent activities coming up. She would've been devastated if Brendan and Liam went and she couldn't. Fortunately her boys cheered for me too and gave me high fives :)

I was given a boost of energy after seeing them all. I knew we would get to see them again in about 2.5 more miles. Those miles became rather loooooong. Then we saw them again, and I knew we only had about a half mile to go! I hobbled across the grass and my foot was killing me so when I heard someone yell, "Sprint!" I wanted to stop and punch them in the face. But instead I tried to pick up the pace and I finished!!! I did better than I had hoped!! I had been hoping for an average of an 11 minute mile but we ended up with an average of 10:31!
This is not the finish line--but let's pretend it was.

I couldn't have ever done this race without Leslie! She and her husband let me tag along for their long runs so I could get mine in and not have to be by myself (because I just wouldn't have done it) and she stayed with me for the entire race even though she could've gone way faster (and still not have over trained). She encouraged me and helped me keep up my pace so I could beat my goal. And the best part about the race was that we were able to talk for 2 hours and 17 minutes without children distracting us :) I am unbelievably thankful for her friendship and I just wish God had brought her into my life earlier! Little did I know that I had a special friend living less than a mile away from me for years!
She's not even sweaty! Unfair! Let's blame my posture on exhaustion. Excuse me while I go look at decent pictures of myself in order to rebuild my self esteem...


Baba HooHoo said...

You look beautiful mama! So proud of our girl who perservered and ran the race. Love Mom

Leslie Shogren said...

Love the details on all the war wounds from running. This is the first year I haven't lost a toenail during my training. Yuck! Congrats on an awesome job. And you look adorable in the pictures. So thankful for your help in going on so many runs with me this summer!

Jenna said...

You did so good, Jaimers. I wouldn't have been able to do it. So proud of you, little sister!

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you Jaime. Great Job. I knew you could do it. I am thankful that you found a friend so close--Bill

April said...

You are amazing! & I am so proud most of all of your super duper stick-to-it-ness and happy for the gift of friendship you and Leslie have both gotten b/c I know you are thankful for her but I bet she is just as thankful for you because I know you are a tremendous friend anyone would be so LUCKY to have!!! xoxo