Today was the Provo Halloween Half Marathon. Steve ran this last year and it looked like so much fun I wanted to do it this year. I ran in the 2nd wave because I run slower than a 2:10. That did not phase me. I positioned myself with the 3:00 pacer. The gun was fired and we were off. I loved how the pacer ran. She ran/walked and it was a perfect pace. I was feeling great tackling the descent like a pro. So I am proud to announce I ran the best first 3 miles evah!!! And then it all came to a HALT!!!
As I started mile 3, I was running a steep curve and my foot landed wrong and I turned my ankle. I tried to walk it off and attempted a couple of jogs to catch up with the 3:00 Pacer. It soon became evident that it was futile. My ankle was too sore and trying to "hobble" down the canyon was the best I could hope for. I tried to keep a positive attitude. I was talking to myself, "...you can do this....its fine to walk...you NEED to finish..." When I got to the flatter section of the course, it definitely helped a little, but I had definitely slowed down. Everyone was passing, even a pair of UmpaLumpa. SERIOUSLY!!! It was getting harder to keep the positive self talk going. It slowly turned into, "what was I thinking...I am just fooling myself that I can do these kind of things...Steve is going to be so disappointed in me..."
I run with a Gamin watch. I began to do the math...it wasn't looking good. I also realized I was living up to my saying, "someone has to be last and it might as well be me." I was keeping up with a set of people walking, but around mile 7 I began to drop off. I was compensating for the ankle, the rest of my body was aching: my knee, my hip, up through my back to my neck. Now my thoughts are, "I AM PATHETIC...how am I going to get to the finish... please let Steve find me soon,,," Shortly before getting to mile marker 9 I saw Steve and I seriously lost it. I began to cry and apologize for my failure. He kept telling me to stop apologizing. It happens. And I know it happens, but why did it have to happen to me. I suck at this as it is.
Steve left me at the parking lot and ran back to the finish, where he needed to catch the bus to take him to where we parked in the morning and then come back and get me. It took about 1 1/2 hours, while I sat in the freezing cold. I can't complain. It was seriously better at that point to freeze to death than to try to walk another 5 miles. I spent a lot of time thinking. So grateful for Steve. EVERY race we have run together, when he is done, he turns around and comes back up the trail and encourages me to finish. He is my own personal cheerleader. He is always so proud of my small accomplishment. He makes me feel as though I am a winner. All I could think was, "will he be disappointed". He is such an accomplished runner. I wish I could be more his equal in this hobby. Steve finally got there and I entered the warm car and then the complete disappointment enveloped me. I had not finished. I may be slow, but I have never not finished!!! I expressed to him my sense of failure. He then told me he was proud of me. He knows how hard this is for me. That at least I try and that these things happens, even to the most accomlished runner. He asked if I wanted to get my medal...the thought of that medal crushed me. That is the symbol of completion, of SUCCESS. How could I accept that piece of hardware knowing I fell short. The ride home I rode with a broken heart. Now my biggest fear was telling my kids. I have liked knowing the see me do these things that I am obviously not good at, but I FINISH. We walked in the door and on the landing they had made a sign saying "WELCOME HOME MOM and DAD" with a drawing of the two of us running. That definitely warmed my heart. Then I had to tell them that I had not finished. I was injured and did not cross the finish and it was then that one of them said to me, "we are proud of you mom and least you tried".
And that's the truth of it isn't it. I could just throw up my hands and say, "I suck at running I am not doing this...I am slow...It's too much work" but I don't!! I keep putting myself out there and trying, pushing myself. Doing things that are not in my comfort zone. I don't want to commit to any races now, but I don't think I am hanging up my wa-ogging shoes. I owe it to myself to keep trying!!! So grateful for my support system: Steve and the kids that keep me going.