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