Sunday, April 26, 2009

13.1 in 2:24

The SLC Half Marathon was so much fun. I ran 13.1 miles in just over 2 hours and 24 minutes, a little slower than I had planned, but I finished. (That was the first question my primary class asked me today, "Did you finish?") I ended up running the 1/2 marathon with two sisters, one brother, one-brother-in-law, and one (and only) husband and, somewhere in the crowd, my good friend Maren who got me started in this whole business. My sister-in-law ran the 5K. My brother ran the 1K with five of my nieces and nephews. Two other sister and two other brother-in-laws along with my kids my parents and a few other nieces were fantastic cheerleaders throughout the race course. My Colorado sister planned on coming, but she got snowed in and couldn't get out of town due to the three feet of snow that fell.

My parents were at the bottom of one giant hill at about about mile 11. I was about ready to walk the rest of the way and then I saw them with my two boys and that got me motivated to push through and keep going. By that point my arms of all things were just aching. Next time I'll work on upper body training.

All the way up the hill I just kept thinking that when I turned the corner onto South Temple I'd be right there at the Salt Lake Temple. When I saw the temple I started to cry. For anyone who has read my previous blog entries about running when I cry, you'll remember that I tend to hyperventilate. This was no exception. I had to calm my self down and just breath. I was about a half a mile from the finish line and felt so grateful that I'd come so far and was almost there. It was like this great metaphor for life. We work hard, we prepare and we pass through difficult moments, but, seeing the temple reminded me that, just like in the race, life is so worth the effort.

J and I crossed the finish line together and it was so great to finish with him (he hardly broke a sweat, by the way). I thought I might die for the hour following. But I think it was just lack of sleep and eating the wrong food before I ran (and the night before, and well frankly, the whole week before). It was amazing. It was a stretch physically and mentally. I learned a lot and will do a few things differently next time... and yes I plan on there being a next time. Who wants to do it next year? Hopefully there will be other chances for races later this summer and fall that are closer to home.

I am so sorry to those of you we planned on seeing and didn't get a chance to see. Having the two boys by myself for two weeks turned out to be way more stressful and exhausting than I imagined. We do love you and hope you will still be our friends anyway.

I feel a little like Paul when he wrote to Timothy, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith."