On to the race recap...
I ran the MO' Cowbell race with my mom, aunt, brother-in-law, and second cousin. The ladies all gathered together at the starting line, and it really helped ease my nerves knowing that we were in this together. After we started, we took off on our own and away we went. It was cold (colder than I am used to running in anyway), and I had planned on starting off walking, but I immediately started jogging to get my muscles warmed up faster.
The first half of the race went pretty well, and I noticed that my pace was faster than I was expecting. Thank goodness for race day adrenaline! I didn't feel like I was over doing it, so tried to maintain my speed. I stopped to walk a couple times, mainly through water/gatorade stations, and I think this helped me maintain my endurance over all.
Once I reached mile 10 though, things started changing a bit. I could feel the fatigue set in, and my legs felt very heavy. On this course, the majority of mile 10 is a steady incline, which was rough. At this point, I was in pain. My entire bottom half hurt so bad, and I stopped to walk a little bit. I took literally two steps and had to start running again because I knew if stopped to walk that I wouldn't start back up again.
Side note: When I say running, I think it looks more like a jog. Though I walked less than a mile total, there were times that I was 'running' VERY slowly.
At mile 11, I started to get emotional. The pain mixed with the mental challenge was a little overwhelming. I just wanted to be done, but I had to keep telling myself that I was almost there, that I could do it. I was struggling physically and mentally, and I am 100% positive that I looked miserable. Then, all of a sudden, as I neared mile 12, I see this guy running towards me, and I realized it was Kyra! He jogged along with me for a bit taking a video and giving me a pep talk. It was exactly what I needed to get my spirits back up.
I felt like the last mile was never going to end! Again, another mental challenge. But then, there I was crossing the finish line. I wish I could say that I was consumed with pride, but at this point, I was in so much pain that I couldn't think about much else. I made my way to the physical therapists to get stretched out, and it made a world of difference!
Overall, regardless of the temporary pain, it was an amazing experience. I had my doubts that I would actually be able to complete a half marathon. Would I be able to stick to training? Can by body physically handle it? I don't know if I am just stubborn or what, but I pushed away the doubts and did it.
It's amazing what you can do if you push yourself. Whether its a race or another goal you set for yourself, you can do it!
A giant, special shout out goes to Kyra J for getting up early to drive me to the race, holding my bag, supporting me, and just being really great in general. Love him to pieces!