Twin Lights Half Marathon, May 15, 2011
WE. DID. IT!!!! 😀
This is the race that I have been planning ever since I finished my very first race (a 10k) in Gloucester. Well. Not literally this exact race. But a half marathon. Any half marathon, really.
And then I got injured. Sidelined by plantar fasciitis. And then runners knee. One after the other. I was absolutely heartbroken. Crushed!!!
But then someone wise (aka, Dad) told me, “Sarah, there will be plenty more races in your future. Just rest and get better.”
And so I did. I rested and strengthened and busied myself with other things like biking and yoga. Not instead of running. But because I was a runner. I wanted to be stronger and more prepared for the next time around.
Eventually I reached the point when I could run/walk a mile completely pain free. This was back in May, 2010. The month when my Memere passed away from esophageal cancer. I remember distinctly that day, when I went out crying and pleading, “God, please let me run. I need to run. Please.”
And I did. And it was painless. Not a hint of a knee or a foot injury. This is when I knew that soon, I would be ready.
My dietetic internship started in August, a month when the days were quickly growing shorter and shorter, and my schedule was becoming more and more busy. I didn’t have that spare time to run in the morning anymore, and yet I absolutely hated the thought of running alone at night through the dark woods.
And then dad did something I will never forget. He threw on his running gear and said, “let’s run.” And so, we did. We religiously ran two 3 mile runs a week. Through snow and rain and sleet. We ran.
And in some quiet but unforgotten place in the back of mind, there still lingered the possibility of a half.
I didn’t announce these plans. Those dreams and goals. Not until one Saturday afternoon, after coming home from a 6 mile run. That’s when I knew–I just knew!–that if ever I was going to make it, this was the time.
Dad kept increasing the long runs with me every Saturday, and we mutually decided that we would start a real training program together. The Twin Lights Half Marathon gave us the perfect amount of training time, so we signed up. The rest is history. 😀
And then Matthew–a Boston marathoner–said he wanted to join in on the fun too.
Over the course of the next 16 weeks, we all kept tabs on each other’s progress. Issuing advice, complaints and advice on everything from foam rolling and icing to nutrition and sneakers.
And then–today–we did it. We passed through the finish line as the announcers sounded off our names on the loud speakers. I wanted to cry.
It is surreal. I still can’t believe it.
I am so proud of Dad and Matthew (they finished in 1:45!!!) And I am so proud of myself too! Proud of each mile that led me here. Proud of each tear that I cried as I ran away the bitter pain from my Memere’s passing. Proud of each high five that my dad gave me as we finished our weekly long runs. Proud of each step. Each hill. Each hurdle. Yes. I am so, so, so proud.
My knee acted up quite a bit today (by mile three!!,) but I’m honestly okay with that. I plan on giving my body some much needed down time, while incorporating more strength training and biking into my routine. Especially now that the nice weather is here! 😀
How was the Twin Lights Half Marathon course itself?
Well. The final verdict from most runners was that it was incredibly daunting. Steep. Monstrous. A bully of sorts. More than one runner laughed at the finish line, saying that they were so happy that they chose to incorporate hills into their training routine. I’ve never seen or experienced so many hills in my life.
But. Sigh. We made it. And we made it smiling. 😀
Thank you everyone for all of your support and encouraging words! They meant so much to me as I went through training. I couldn’t have done it without you!!
Thank you, Matthew and Dad for running your hearts out with me, each step of the way.
And thank you God, for my health. For letting me run. I will never forget.
And good luck to all you readers who are also in the middle of training for your upcoming races! 😀
QUESTION: What is one of your proudest moments?