This race I was excited to go home for because after a mastectomy, two different kinds of chemotherapy, and then radiation, my mom was running her first half marathon. She felt great and was cancer free.
Seeing as how my last training plan went pretty well, I stuck to the same strategy, but wanted to experiment with double long runs this time around. In the midst of my plan, I added several long run days that were supposed to be 15 miles in the morning and 15 in the evening. I tried to stay in check with body sensing, and when it came time for those double long run days I didn’t even complete one. I wasn’t ready for training runs longer than 26 miles and I wasn’t ready for double long run days. Of course even though I had already qualified for Boston I still wanted to try to improve my time – just in case I couldn’t get in this time and also because I wanted to improve speed. So along with making sure I wasn’t over training on the runs, I made strength training a priority. It was mainly bodyweight exercises focusing on legs and core, but it seemed to help and I felt like a stronger runner when fall came around.
Two weeks before the race, I found out I got in to Boston. I was so happy and relieved. The pressure was off for this race, but I still wanted to run hard and fast and better my qualifying time. Over the summer, I knew I had improved and thought I had it in me.
Two days before the race, I got on a plane and headed for my hometown. Thanks to weather change and traveling I quickly came down with a nasty head cold. I did what I could with nutrition and medications, but race morning was here and I felt miserable. Running a marathon was the last thing I felt like doing.
Fortunately, my mom didn’t catch what I had and she was rearing to go. We drove together to the start line but had to separate to get in our corrals. I was really excited for my mom, and I knew I didn’t have the pressure of qualifying, so I figured I would run the best I could considering the circumstances and be fine with that.
At the start of the race, I was more annoyed than anything. My head was so full it was hard to breath and I just felt exhausted. Once I got going I found a do-able pace and pummeled through the beginning miles. I began to get in the groove as I ran the course and was reminded of how much I loved this race – she will always be my favorite. Around mile 20, I ran into my race buddy from my qualifying San Diego marathon. “Hey!” We shouted almost simultaneously. We chatted for a minute, but then went our separate pace.
Eating and drinking when I was supposed to and keeping a steady “let’s just finish this” pace, I crossed the finish at 3:32. Second best, but with how terrible I felt I didn’t care too much. It was a solid race that I didn’t have any major issues with. My training cycle still strengthened my mind and body and gave me a sense of growth.
My mom finished the half marathon in 2:10 – I was so proud. This wasn’t the last half she’d do, and I would bet on a full in the future.
“You Are” – Crowder