So….after I decided I was a “real runner”, I signed up for my first half marathon in Bryce Canyon Utah in July. I continued running with my newfound running buddies/neighbors (how convenient) Celest and Shari. Celest is 7 years younger than me and Shari six. Both were born in the 80′s, stay-at-home-moms, and Mormon (more about that later).
Celest is the happiest, most chipper, most consistent, helpful person I know. I have likened her to Christ and I’m not even religious. The girl is a near saint. She always laughs at your stories, she makes me feel like I really am funny;). She does not have a mean bone in her body. Someone really strange could walk right past her and she
wouldn’t even notice. I really admire this about Celest, however, if I am feeling catty,
gossipy, otherwise unchristlike….she is not the one to sit by…ahem…or in our case
run by….that would be Shari;).
Shari is quiet, reserved, opinionated, very competitive, extremely hard on herself, consistent, always on time (usually early) and last but not least….has 5 kids and is beautiful!!! Always ready!!! And sexy;)! We call her our sexy friend! Shari is often referred to as shy, but I object. She has her opinions, usually quite similar to mine, and I can usually tell with one glance that we are thinking exactly the same thing! We have this great understanding….sort of unspoken. However, I wish we could level the talking meter… I could definitely talk a little less and she much more. Her
competitive nature pushes me too. I love that about Shari!
Neither one of the girls had signed up to run Bryce Canyon with me. But I thought I would do it to kind of see where I was at. I had no idea how to gage a time goal. I new we were running approximately 9-10 minute miles. My main goal was to beat my aunt’s previous 1:48 half marathon time from ten years prior (weird, I know).
I was kind of nervous to go without my new running buddies…they had kind of become my security blankets.
So my husband, Lance, and I were off to Bryce Canyon for our romantic getaway (race). It began with a motel room so lovely that we left the second we stepped inside…careful not to touch anything for fear of….umm…rabies??? Lol…cooties!!! It was dis-gus-ting!!! So off we were to find a hotel room in the land of few hotel rooms and no vacancies. But we both agreed that we would rather sleep in our car than that creepy, crawly, crabby motel bed.
We were in luck…we found a nice clean, cute little one room cabinette ( not sure if that’s a word, but that is exactly what it was).
Off for my perfect pre-race dinner…pizza…but packet pick up first. I was soo excited to get my super cool tech racing tee!!! I felt legit!
After dinner, we drove the course and Coach Lance stepped into effect. Take advantage of the downhills he told me…make sure you start up front, it’s a mental advantage….huh??? Lance had played team sports his entire life growing up…something I had ZERO experience with. So I listened intently. Thanks Coach Lance!
The only piece of advice I did not take from Coach Lance was in the fashion
department. You should wear a trash bag to keep you warm at the start….heck no!!! I wanted to be cute in my matching tank and running shorts!!! Duh!!!
Well the next morning I froze my buns off with the 38 degree start… Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!!
But I started up front and right before the gun went off I overheard these girls talking (ok, I eavesdropped). Anyway, they were talking about their 8 minute minute mile goal pace….that would definitely put me where I needed to be, below a 1:48. Note to self….follow them.
And we’re off!!! Of the two girls, one had on super cute bright green Nike shorts (ones I later purchased myself). Follow the girl in the green shorts!!!
Me and the green shorts chic leapfrogged each other several times throughout the race, but she finally took me at 11 or so…right where I hit my wall along with some delightful Gatorade vomit in my mouth. I was about to walk, throw in the towel….I was done…..
Until I asked someone with a watch where we were at, time wise….it was 1:19 or something like that. I quickly crunched some numbers (running makes you suprisingly good at math) and I suddenly realized, not only was I going to crush 1:48, but I had a real good chance at breaking into the 1:30′s for my first half marathon!!!!! Holy crap!!!!
I felt this huge burst of energy come over me….I was no longer “done”, I was nearly giddy!!! I could not wait to see Lance’s face at the finish line! He was going to be soooo proud of me!!! And he certainly was…when the clock read 1:38!!!! 3rd in my division!!!!!! I wanted to jump up and down, except for the moment I stop running I could hardly walk!! Those steep 8-9% downhill grades tore my poor unexperienced legs up….to this day I don’t think I have ever been so sore.
I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, especially my running buddies, since they were probably the only ones who really got how incredibly cool this was!!! OMG!!!
I re-entered my neighborhood as the “big man on campus”. There are a lot of runners in my neighborhood, city, and state actually. So… I now had a reputation a social status of being a “fast runner”!!!
It was kind of bitter sweet….I kind of felt like I had a target on my back….I was beaming with pride, but trying really hard to remain humble (nobody likes a bragger).
I also now felt that there were expectations of me…if I wasn’t fast enough did nat equal failure???
I think that my first success is what led me to my next successes…I believed I could do it….so I did:). People called me fast…. And so I was! It was awesome!!!!