“We’ll just see how it goes.”
My roommate from college and I jumped through hoops in order to sign up for the Runapalooza Half Marathon back in our college town. We’ve both run halves before but never together, and as previous gym buddies for four years we thought a half marathon together was long overdue. As race day came closer and closer we kept texting each other updates on how our runs were going and what our current pace was like.
We were constantly telling each other that the other would probably be better and that it would be totally fine for that person to run ahead of the other and finish. We kept telling each other”I don’t want to hold you back.”
The morning of the race I realized a major flaw… I had slept at another friends house closer to the race location and didn’t remember to plan out a healthy breakfast to fuel my run. Luckily, when I hopped in the car at 8:00 AM, I saw a jar of peanut butter in the cup holder and half a whole wheat bagel thin.
We were off to a rough start and it became even rougher when we couldn’t find parking, had to wait in a endless line to use the restroom, and started the race 3 minutes after the start time. Oops. Not to mention, I couldn’t get my headphones untangled for at least another two minutes into the race.
Despite it all, we hit the ground running and found our pace was about the same. The weather couldn’t have been more picturesque. We were running along the shore line and ran along the boardwalk and through several beach towns and the sun was shining and the breeze was flowing the perfect amount.
We were both enjoying the run and suddenly around mile 7 we realized how well we were doing. We had kept up about a 10 minute mile pace and were feeling great. We took our headphones out to ask each other how we were doing and realized we were both feeling fantastic. So on we went…
Around mile 9 we looked at each other again and said, “I guess we’re running this whole thing, huh?” We were truly pleasantly surprised at how well we were doing! Another mile and a half went by and we were feeling all the pain. Our legs felt like lead and our knees were grinding but we again looked at each other and thought aloud how we would rather actually fall over than stop running at that point.
At mile 12, my phone died so my running playlist came to a hard stop and I was music-less for the next 1.1 miles, one of the most challenging stretches of runs I’ve ever had. We chatted the rest of the way, huffing and puffing but unbelievably proud at all we’d accomplished!
We finished in 2 hours and 21 minutes and couldn’t believe how a few days before we were thinking that we would have to stop to walk or take a few breaks throughout, but we kept stride the entire time!
I’ve never felt so proud as I did when I crossed that finish line and received this goofy medal, but I have a feeling there will be more Mandy and Erin half marathons to come. And I couldn’t be more excited!
And here’s to many more!