back when i made my 30 before 30 list, i made it known to a few people that running a half marathon was on the list. it was my sister whitney that made it happen. she called about the utah valley half and by the end of the phone call, i had entered my credit card number and the confirmation email was in my inbox.
june 9th. i had 2 months to train. except not really, because my cousin got engaged....and planning a wedding seemed like more fun that training for a race that i might not even run (can people get swine flu more than once???) regardless, it was on my list. (yes that is a picture of my list. yes, this was taken after i had crossed that bad boy off. don't judge me for some of the things on my list. they aren't all goals, just things i want to do before the big 3-0)
this picture was taken before the race started. can you see the fear in our eyes? we were both so nervous. and no, that's not a bald spot on my head...it's just a patch of grey that is normally strategically placed under a bush of swoopy bangs. i was so scared about actually completing the race, i didn't find myself caring about my patch of grey that was now visible once i braided my bangs back. oh well.
we woke up at 3 am. we left at 3:30 am. we boarded the buses in a dark mall parking lot at 4 am. this is where i saw the weird guy dressed up like nacho libre (mask and all) running around yelling "naaaaaaccccchhhooooooooo". maybe it was my nerves, or my hatred for masks in general, but i wasn't amused.
we got up the canyon (basically driving the race course) and the whole time i just kept thinking, "this is a long ride. and the only way to get back to my car...or civilization for that matter...is to run/walk there."
they announced to have the fast runners head to the front, and slower runners to make way for the fast runners, which is a nice way to tell you to get to the back. it didn't hurt my feelings. i was happy to be in the back. and guess what, once we started running, it was a lot less intimidating to be around other people who were going about the same pace we were. except this one girl that was speed walking faster than i could run. after the first mile i decided she was a bad person to try to keep up with. i wished her well with a "you go girl" under my breath and decided to look at the road instead of people around me.
i didn't look at the ground the whole time. the canyon was beautiful. there was a cool breeze. and it was green. i love summer in utah. i love utah canyons in the summer.
for saying we didn't really train, i feel like we ran alot more than i had planned on. whoever said it was all down hill was a liar. there were hills. and i walked up them. it didn't take long for me to realize i wasn't there to impress anyone or prove anything to anyone. i was fine running at my pace and walking and stretching when i needed to. luckily, my sister was the same way and our pace stayed pretty consistent the whole time. about mile 7 my hips started bothering me...like the point that i had to acknowledge the pain...and that's when a random woman with a cowbell shouted at me "you go girl. you can do this". there weren't many people up the canyon while we ran, and she was the first stranger to encourage me to keep going. luckily, she wasn't the last. i was surprised how much her encouragement motivated me to keep going. there is power in cowbells, people.
whit's family waited for us as two different points along the course. again, i was surprised how emotional i got seeing a familiar face. to see my little nephew running along side of us on the sidewalk and to hear my little niece say "you running fast! you can do it, bethany!!".
about mile 9 i started to feel like two of my toes were rubbing together weird, but the next aid station was a mile away. i was started to feel the pain. so i called my mom. whit and i passed the phone back and forth while we walked our way to the aid station at mile 10. you know how it is when you can be totally fine until you talk to your mom? i should have knows i'd cry talking to my mom, but i also knew how hearing things like "you can do hard things" and "i'm so proud of you" from my mother would make me push myself. that's when my dad started sending text messages. funny ones that made me laugh instead of cry, which is just what i needed.
with a quick bathroom break and bandaid at mile ten, i realized we only had 3 miles left. totally doable. we paced ourselves and by some miracle ran across the finish line together. whit had mentioned that she wanted to pick up our pace and sprint across the finish line...which sounded like a good idea, but my hips had already been hurting for miles and i wanted to be realistic. once we got close enough to the finish, i told whit she could go ahead if she wanted. this is going to sound reallllly cheesy, but whit said that we started together and that we'd finish together. it meant alot that she would stay back with me and my achin' hips so that we could finish together. good sister, right??
after we crossed the finish line whit and i hugged....and cried. (i probably cried more than she did) but i was pretty darn proud of myself for actually finishing the race. i couldn't have asked for a better race partner. thanks for stickin' with me, whit.
i posted this pic on facebook and on instagram about an hour after we finished the race. between the two, i had over 90 friends like it and about 40 leave comments. dang. it made me feel pretty dang special that i have such supportive friends. thanks, guys!!!
i don't have a picture with whit's family, but it was so fun to have them there. so great to see them along the course and then cheering for us at the finish line. my brother nathan and his wife caitie were also waiting for us at the finish line...and took care of us while we walked like grandmas back to the car.
nathan and caitie drove us back to our car, which was soooo much better than waiting for a shuttle to take us there. in short, they saved my life. once we got back to whits, they took care of us. i got a full on massage on my legs and sat in a freezing cold bath. sounds nice, right??
i finished a half marathon. i actually never thought that's something i would ever be able to say. it felt really good to put those stars next to #8 on my list. i cried. my hips hurt. my legs hurt. i walk weird, or i guess i waddle weird. but i did it. thanks to friends who told me i could do it. thanks to coworkers who gave me priceless advice before the race. thanks to kev and fam for coming to cheer us on. thanks nathan and caitie for being at the finish line and driving us back to the car. thanks mom for words of encouragement when i needed them. thanks dad for the text messages. and i can't say thank you enough to whitney. the perfect partner. i wouldn't have wanted to do the race with anyone else. you rocked it girl!!!!!
we finished a half marathon!!!!!!!!!