With the end of January approaching and thoughts of spring (which I hear arrives pretty early in Atlanta) on my mind, I have been researching some fun races to participate in. I’m always looking for a reason to train. One source of motivation for pursuing these races is my sister, Katie.
Katie successfully completed her first half marathon a week ago this morning. One year after recovering from a broken foot sustained during a training run for the half marathon we were meant to run together in 2010. I asked Katie if she would share her reflections on her renewed love of running and races with newlyeverything…
and now I turn it over to the lovely and wonderful KATIE
“Should I give up? Or should I just keep chasing pavement?” – ADELE
It’s funny how just a few music lyrics can bring you back to a specific moment in your life. You remember how old you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing and exactly how you felt. The above song, although addressing a bad breakup, leads me to think back to the day I broke my foot only 3 shorts weeks prior to running my first half marathon.
Ever since, it has been my goal to cross that finish line and last weekend, in Naples, Florida…. I DID IT!
The night before the race was filled with a little carbo-loading, football watching, and nerves. With my support crew by my side, we went to Naples Tomato, a fantastic Italian Restaurant only a few minutes from our condo. Being surrounded by family and one of my close college friends was exactly what I needed to relax and distract my self from the task at hand.
I awoke the following morning, anxious and excited. Being the late sleeper I am, I was surprised to be so alert and ready to go at 4:30 in the morning… talk about new experiences. Having completed 2 half marathons herself, not to mention her accomplishment of finishing the 2009 Chicago Marathon, I took Sarah’s advice and enjoyed a breakfast of 2 plain English muffins with peanut butter and a banana. An hour later, I was out the door and headed to the starting line.
7:00am…the moment I had been anticipating for some time was here. I was off and running!!
And with a little hidden reminder of what this race meant to me.
The air that morning was brisk and 50 degrees, a comfort to a Chicagoan such as myself, but cold for most of the Florida runners, including my Aunt and running partner Judy. It was humorous seeing the various articles of clothing being thrown to the curb by fellow runners as both the sun and the temperature began to rise.
The race itself was what you’d expect, lots of Gatorade, water, sore muscles and varying emotions of adrenaline and fatigue. However, it’s the little things, the experiences past runners don’t tell you about, that really give you that extra boost. For example, the sprinkling of holy water from a priest of a church conveniently located at mile 9 or the sign that read “You’re amazing, keep it up…total stranger!”
And then, when least expected… I saw it…THE FINISH LINE!!! All the energy that I thought I had lost, all of the emotions I didn’t know I was feeling, suddenly burst out of hiding and provided me with the push I needed to finish this journey the way I always wanted to…in fact, better than I initially imagined. I ended up finishing under my goal time of 2 and half hours and instead finished in 2 hours, 20 minutes, and 23 seconds.
I crossed the finish line, was awarded my medal and, before I was able to fully catch my breath, was in the arms of my family. Tears of joy I didn’t expect, instantaneously began to fall down my cheeks. I had finished what I started. I started the race unsure of my ability and came out the other side a stronger individual. A new Katie.
I can’t believe it’s all over, but I am confident it’s a day that I will never forget. How do I know this? It’s easy! “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas was playing when I finished the race…and you know what they say about music lyrics and memories…