I knew the moment I stepped outside at 6AM and felt the cool, crisp air that it was going to be a good day. I just had no idea how good.
Every runner prays for weather like this: cool and not a lot of sun (if any). I knew the Jungle Run course itself was going to be very manageable (some hills, but not too bad), so if anything was going to trip me up, it was going to be the weather. And I think that was the first thing that my angel above took care of for me :). It was perfect weather, and I was going to have luck on my side.
Today, I did something I’ve never done before: run a half marathon all the way through. Since I started running 5 years ago, I’ve employed the walk/run method, which is an AWESOME method that’s gotten me through 10 half marathons and 3 full marathons (and counting :)). This year, I decided to step things up to the next level and see if I could push myself to eliminate walk breaks on any run below 10 miles. And when I hit the milestone of 10 miles without a walk break two weeks ago, I thought, “Hmm, do I dare?”
My running partner, Juana, took me up on that dare. Juana is incredibly encouraging and knows just how to motivate you–and thank God for her, because if she hadn’t planted the seed in my head, I never would have attempted it, least of all on a half marathon that I didn’t even sign up for until three weeks ago, on a whim :).
To say that today’s run was incredible would be the understatement of the year. There was not a single second of this run where I didn’t feel good and strong and in those waning moments when I was starting to feel fatigue creep in, I thought of the two people I’ve been dedicating this entire season to: Siobhan and Evan. I have no doubt that they carried me through the whole run and most especially in the last two or three miles.
When I crossed the finish line and saw that the clock said 2:18, I was floored. That’s more than 12 minutes faster than my previous PR at the Santa Cruz Half Marathon! And even more surprising, I felt GREAT. I’ve never had a half marathon (or marathon, for that matter) in which I didn’t feel like absolute crap in the last three miles or so. I felt as though I could go back out and run some more (though I didn’t :)).
I saw my teammates Steve and Mike, and one of my coaches, Stan, after I crossed the finish line. They saw me at my most emotional, when the tears started flowing. Not only was I emotional about what I had just accomplished, but I was overwhelmed with the thought of my Honorees who I know were with me every step of the way.
Last night, I had a dream I was going to have a good race. I guess this time, my dream was spot on :).
Special thanks to my beyond-awesome coaches who have gotten me this far and will no doubt taking me even further (I just hope they take it a bit easy on me on the next track this Tuesday, but I have a feeling they’ll actually push me even harder :P).