Sunday, February 19, 2012

{day 18}

I love...

...these two girls next to me who pushed me harder on Saturday than I ever thought I could go.

When Jenae and I first started running together in the mornings, all the way back in August, I could barely make it around the 1/4 mile lap that we were running around. She was so patient with me. She would walk when I wanted to walk and she would constantly remind me to be patient with myself since I had just had a c-section a month earlier. I hardly knew her then. She had moved into our ward in June and for some reason I just knew that when I asked her if she wanted to start running with me in the mornings, she would say yes. And she did. Then Stephanie joined in on the fun a couple of months later, and we were so glad she did.

The half marathon that we did on Saturday was really all that we had planned on training for, but the more we ran, the loftier our goals got. The 13.1 miles that we ran on Saturday actually fit in perfectly in our training schedule for the marathon we are running in April. It was supposed to be easy. In fact, a couple of weeks ago we ran 14 miles. But, for some reason it was not easy for me. I had been sick all last week with a cold virus that left me with no energy, a major headache, runny nose, and yucky cough. After our run on Tuesday morning in the rain, I didn't exercise or do hardly anything again until Friday morning. I had more strength on Friday and was determined to do the race on Saturday, no matter what. I started out great. But around mile 6, I started to feel exhausted. Normally I feel great at mile 6. My legs usually start to get a little achy once I get around mile 10 but I haven't felt the exhaustive struggled breathing like I did on Saturday for a long time. I hung in there and fought my way through to mile 10. Then from mile 10 to 13, I was literally fighting my way to the end. Stephanie and Jenae were amazing. They kept my mind occupied and encouraged me onward. In fact, at mile 11 and 12 I actually tried to stop and walk for a second, but they wouldn't let me. They literally pushed me forward and told me to keep running. So I did. The last 1/2 mile was the hardest. I just wanted to walk so badly. But then Jenae said, "Melissa, your Grandpa is probably watching you, do it for him and run to the end, your almost there." At that point, I was no longer running with my legs, I was running with my heart. She said the perfect thing and it was that thought that not only got me to that finish line, but that also got me to the finish line in 10th place for my age-group. We met our goal of finishing in less than 2 hours, with a record time (at least record for the three of us) of 1 hour and 59 minutes, which is a 9:09 mile pace. It was such an incredible feeling. I have ran quite a few 5ks, and I loved running those. But, they were nothing like the feeling I had on Saturday. The feeling of knowing that I did something hard. I accomplished something that I worked really hard to accomplish. It makes you feel like you can accomplish anything, and you can. If you want it bad enough and work hard enough. So with that being said, it is now time to step it up. The training from here on out is going to get more intense. Yes, I'm a little bit nervous (okay, maybe a lot nervous), but I'm ready for this. Nashville Country Music Marathon are mine to conquer, and conquer I will. :) Bring it on.

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