I’m in Cincinnati until tomorrow afternoon, soaking up every last minute of family time, but I wanted to drop in for some not-so-secret news (as it’s long been leaked via texts and phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)…
I didn’t know how I’d do with the 3 H’s (hills, heat, and humidity) of yesterday’s Flying Pig Marathon, since I’m accustomed to none of them… but I still set out with the goal of running my heart out and gunning for a PR (personal record). And I did it!
I confidently tackled those gnarly hills in the first half (maybe a little too aggressively) and was running really strong up until Mile 20–my nemesis. I dedicated Mile 20 to my mom, because I know the twenties are the “beast miles,” and I’d need all the inspiration I could get. Although I was starting to doubt myself, no one believes in me more than my mom, so I held on to that for dear life, but those final miles are eternal and, at that point, it’s as much a mental battle as a physical one…
My 17 year old niece, Jessie, requested Mile 21 when I asked what mile I should dedicate to her. She’s been battling cancer for almost 11 years now, and although I was in rough shape, I pressed on, fueled by hope. At the end of a marathon, time slows down and the miles crawl by. My body was done, screaming to be finished. And as my coach dad ran alongside me, feeding me water, desperate to help me finish strong, I told him: a few long, slow miles of marathon suffering can’t hold a candle to Jessie’s courage. That was all I needed right there. Dad told me to do it and veered off course, leaving me to finish solo. I channeled the courage, hope, and strength of Jessie and all of my amazing supporters: family and friends, and in my delirious, end-of-marathon state, I hung on by the skin of my teeth.
Like I said earlier, my main goals were to #1) run my heart out, and #2) run a PR, but my highest of hopes were to finish in 3:55 (averaging of 9:00/mile) and to run negative splits (meaning, I’d run the second half of the marathon faster than the first). In actuality, I ran the first half in 1:56:47 (8:55/mile) and the second half in 2:01:47 (9:18/mile) and gave everything I got to finish in 3:58:34, an average of 9:06/mile.
Those high hopes are still there, and I think it goes without say that I can’t wait to resume training, run another marathon, and meet those goals, but right now, in this moment, I am completely over the moon! I accomplished what I set out to do, and in many ways, surpassed my expectations, and surprised the heck out of myself. I PR-ed by more than a minute and without a doubt, I ran my best, hardest, most wholehearted race yet.
A full race recap will have to wait until I’m back in San Diego and can download my split times and photos. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be here on cloud nine, incessantly hugging my family.