Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cowtown Half-Marathon

Today I did something I never thought I'd do. I ran a half-marthon!

This is no small feat. I don't even like running. Then why, you might ask, would I do this? I don't know. I guess I enjoyed the challenge. It felt great every time I completed a long run and pushed my body to go farther than it had before. It was not easy, but at the end of each run I felt proud of myself. Like I had set a goal and achieved it.

I would say that today is the first time I enjoyed running. The race started at 7:30 and wound through the streets around Land Park. It was fun to see the cute little kids bundled up in their front yards ringing cowbells and holding signs. One said "Go People! Run! Run! Run!" The staff was so encouraging at each intersection and the bands were great. It was neat to be a part of something so big (there were 3000 people running the half).

It was also really emotional for me. The Sacramento Cowtown Marathon (and half, marthon relay and 5k) benefits the leukemia and lymphoma society. And around mile 9 I saw parents running with a button and a picture of a baby in the NICU. The button said "We run for Kiernan." As I passed them I started crying. And I thought, I will run for that baby too. I know of another little boy who is 5 years old and battling leukemia right now. And I thought of him as I ran. I thought of the fasting and spinal taps he has to endure, the months of chemo and radiation. And I thought no matter how much it hurts I can keep going, because he doesn't have a choice, he has to keep fighting.

And it did hurt! I have been having trouble with my right foot and it started really hurting around mile 6. Then with two miles to go my ankles and feet really started aching. I stopped to stretch and walk and it hurt more so I started running again. The last two miles were very difficult, but I had two awesome women with me and we really encouraged each other. We made it to the finish line and my official time was 2:35:49 which means I averaged an 11:54 minute mile. That's not too fast, but I was very pleased with my time, especially for my first major race.

Afterwards I joined some friends for brunch, then slowly made my way home for a soak in the jaccuzi, a hot shower, and rest. I iced both feet and am now icing my knees. Next up, I've got some blisters and a couple of toenails that are falling off to take care of (I know-it's disgusting).

Me and Mel crossing the finish line


Melanie, Me and Jenni with our cowbell finisher "medals" after the run

9 comments:

Molly said...

Oh my gosh! You're my hero! Good job!

Meredith said...

Seriously, I am SO proud of you! I could never do this, I would probably pass out after mile 3. Congrats!

Isabelle's Mommy said...

I am so excited and proud of you! Your mile time is awesome!! Great work!

Anonymous said...

Andrea you are so inspirational! Thanks for putting things in perspective once again. Reading about the parents running for their child, and your crying thinking about the pain of others and pushing through your own gave me chills. I love you my niece.

Katie said...

You are awesome! Congrats on finishing!!

leslie. said...

congratulations on an incredible feat! why oh why are your nails abandoning your toes? :) hope they heal fast for you.

toenails are for losers! said...

jt would be proud :-D and now for once and for all, I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT!!!! and i hope now you will stop with all of this "exercise" and "being healthy" business, it makes me look bad...

Anne Marie said...

Nice work, Andrea! Not only did you complete this half marathon in a great time- you actually had the time to get out there and train for it. That, in itself, is quite an accomplishment- being such a busy mommy. We are so proud of you!

Nathan Oates said...

Andrea - Thanks for commenting on Isaiah's blog. It's encouraging to know that others are cheering for him. Great job at Cowtown! I'm training for the Big Sur Half (Nov.) God bless you guys as you navigate your own difficult journey. - Isaiah's dad