On that note, one of my friends/teammates Marti and I went up to Santa Rosa (about a five hour drive north), and ran in the half-marathon there. I wrote a recap about it at Daily Mile, so... allow me to share! :)
Marti and I drove up the day before (Saturday, 28 August), which took us around 5 hours. Of course, luck should have it that Marti's beloved Kohl's was just across the street from our hotel, so we decided to walk over there and we both ended up getting new sports tops (of course! What else?!)...---
On race day (Sunday, 29 August), we woke up at 530 AM, and after Marti turned on the TV, she happened to stop on this HILARIOUS music video (on public access or something)... After nearly puking from laughing so hard, we hear this BANGBANGBANG on the wall, and we realise that overnight, we had gained a neighbour in the room next door! OOPS! Of course, that led to more stifled laughing. Could you imagine what that poor person was thinking, after a night of silence, and then suddenly waking up to two chicks laughing loudly and singing "It's the weekend and it's time to PARTY!" loudly to a music video?!
We got in the car around 615 AM, and started looking around to find the starting line. Ruh-roh, we really should have scoped out the area the night before. OOPS! But we made it with plenty of time, and in fact, it was super chilly (or maybe it's because we are both so used to the 112-degree heat here in Bakersfield!) and overcast... so we WANTED to get the show on the road.
The gun popped at around 705 AM, and we were off... like a herd of turtles (turd of hurdles?). I know that 528 people isn't that many (in comparison to, say, the Nike Women's Marathon that we are both training for), but it felt like we were walking forever before we hit the starting line. I'll admit, I went out too ferociously. I did not stick to intervals, I pushed myself, and I didn't want to walk. I wanted to beat the chick in front of me, I wanted to prove myself, I wanted to be the best. Also, I'll be honest: we were quite ridiculous, considering we were the only ones who had our external speaker/mini-boombox along with us. Ahaha, I have no doubt that there were more than just a few people who were annoyed as heck that they had to run to Lady Gaga remixes, Shiny Toy Guns, and cardio versions of Abba hits. :P
About halfway through, Marti couldn't take my shenanigans anymore and handed the boombox over to me, telling me that she needed to fuel up and walk a little. :\ Sorry, Marti... So I ran on ahead... For the next several miles, I just felt drained. About half of the course was trail (which I have never run on), so many of us had to dodge big stones (and with me, I already have floppy, loose ankles, so the rolling shoulders on the gravelly path did not help any). In fact, one woman ended up slipping and put a big gouge in her head. While passing, I looked down at her (and someone who had already stopped to help her) and asked if they needed water, because her head, arms, and legs were covered with blood! YIKES!
My legs went on auto-pilot, but in the last 2-3 miles, I could feel my courage slipping. It was cool, though, because the full marathoners, who did the 13.1 mile loop twice, were running by and a couple people reassured me that I was "almost there."
This was a milestone for me. Yes, I've run more than 13.1 miles. Yes, I've run at a faster pace. But this is the second (and definitely significantly largest) event I've ever done, with my first being that "Celebrate CSUB" 5K I posted about so long ago...
I ran a 10:23 per mile pace, finishing in 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 5 seconds. I finished 350 out of 528 half-marathoners. Not exactly the winner, but I see it as a victory! Just 4 days before, I thought I had a stress fracture because it was too painful to run (though it turned out to "just" be a bone contusion/mild tendinosis instead). 10 months ago, I weighed 35 pounds less and was near death after years of suffering from anorexia nervosa/obligatory exercise addiction. 8 years ago, I was told that I wasn't good enough for track after attempting only a semester in high school. 16 years ago, I was told that I had too much energy, was "too obnoxious," and began to restrict my food intake to dull my senses...
On that note, let me leave you with this:
I might not praise Him enough, but...
+God changes and restores the body, mind, heart, soul (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 1:13, Psalm 51:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:16).
+He can turn back the clock and give you back that lost or stolen time (Joel 2:25).
+He is Jehovah Rapha, the Healing God (Matthew 8:17, James 5:14-15, 2 Sam. 22:1-7, Ezekiel 34:16).
+He will bring positive, healthy, honest, Godly friendships into your life, if you ask/let Him (Philippians 1:3-8; Proverbs 17:17,18:24, 27:5-6; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
+He assures us that we are already victorious, we've already won, and we CAN keep running... all through JESUS CHRIST (1 John 2; 1 Timothy 4:8, 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; Philippians 3:12; Hebrews 12:1-3, Isaiah 40:31)!
And lastly, this was the porta-potty line before the event! HAHA!
The Santa Rosa Half/Full Marathon website
Photos from the event