After 8 weeks and 155 miles of training, surviving a viral sinus/ear infection in addition to the flu, as well as a long-weekend trip to Colorado the week before, as of this past Sunday, March 26 I officially completed one of my BIG GOALS for the year – completing a HALF-MARATHON!
This was my sixth half-marathon, but my first in four years following an up and down journey of finding my way back to the road after a foot injury. Words cannot describe how AMAZING it felt to work toward achieving this distance again. I loved every minute of training for this race – it felt so good to stick to a training plan and accomplish every run marked out for me. I wasn’t sure this would ever be a possibility for me again because of the length of time I dealt with my foot injury, so with every long run accomplished, I felt this amazing sense of victory and confidence to keep pressing toward the goal. There’s no doubt God was with me every step of the way. I often found myself praising Him and praying to Him as I pounded the gravel. I even broke my “no technology rule” a few times to listen to the “Empires” album by Hillsong United because worship kept me empowered, upbeat, and focused on accomplishing the miles ahead of me. I had forgotten how soul-cleansing the training process is; distance running, for me, is unlike anything else. It is my preferred method of therapy, and for as long as I can run, I will do so!
So getting back to the race …
I ran the Probility Ann Arbor Half-Marathon on Sunday and it was AWESOME! I got to the start line early and had nervous energy and excitement coursing through my veins, priming me for the adventure ahead. Although a high percentage of rain was predicted that morning, we really had great conditions for the race (God has truly blessed me with some great race weather since I’ve been doing this thing) and when the start of the race was announced, I was off! Once I got into a steady pace, I stuck with it, eyes forward, breathing rhythmically, and just feeling so grateful for the opportunity to be out there with other runners doing this thing I love. When the finish line was in sight, I went ALL OUT to cross it. And when I did, PRAISE GOD! It was the greatest feeling in the world – literally, a dream. come. true.
I finished the race in 2:06:15 (9:38 mile pace). For me, this race had nothing to do with time or achieving a PR, but was simply about challenging myself to train over a long period of time and complete 13.1 miles again. And by the grace of God, I did it! He is GOOD!
Now I rest and give my body a little break before I look into training for another race (yet to be determined). I have this week off and then I’ll gradually get back on the road to work toward the next goal. But for now, I bask in having worked toward and met this goal and add another shiny medal to my collection!