I have been running for almost a year now. I have run on and off since Avery was born but got serious about it about July of last year. I ran my first 5K in September. Took some time off and in January I thought I would train for a 10K. Well, that turned into training for a half marathon. The OKC Memorial (half) Marathon to be exact.
You see, on April 19, 1995 my city was forever changed. On that morning, Timothy McVeigh drove a Ryder rental truck loaded with explosives to the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building, ignited his bomb and walked away. The bomb exploded exploded killing 168 lives including 19 children. At the time, it was the largest act of domestic terriorism in the history of the United States (later to be replaced by 9/11). I was 17 years old and honestly did not realize the impact of what it all meant. Today I get it. Our city was changed, united, shocked, humbled and best of all, survived.
So you see, the OKC Memorial Marathon is kind of a big deal. It honors the 168 lives lost. And I thought it was the perfect race for my inaugural half marathon. I began thinking more and more about the bombing and the impact of it as the race got closer and closer. I wanted to run for someone but I didn't really know anyone impacted by bombing. But I did know someone. My uncle, who is now a retired OKC firemen, was one of those firemen that spent countless hours doing search and resuce and later search and recovery. It wasn't an easy job for him or any of those other responders and I am in awe of what they sacrificed and accomplished during those dark days. Thank you uncle Danny!
The race was on a Sunday morning so I tried to spend Saturday pretty low key. I ate a pasta and bread dinner and got in bed early. I actually slept pretty good although the 4:15 AM wake up call was not pleasant. I got up, got dressed and had breakfast and coffee. The hubs got up for a few minutes with me and we discussed where he'd be with the girls on the course. I was so excited he and the girls would be cheering me on!
I caught a ride with my good pal Lindsey who was participating in the marathon relay. **Side note: She rocked the 10K portion in under an hour! So proud of her!**
You can't even see the starting point in this picture.
I saw the hubs and the girls around mile 10. Just the boost I needed. Avery was holding a sign she made that said "Go Mommy". She was on R's shoulders and Ellie was in her stroller. They were all smiles when they saw me. I also saw an old high school friend around mile 10 1/2 and I stopped to give her a quick hug and she took a quick picture. Again, a great pick me up to finish!
I started to get emotional around mile 12. I couldn't believe I was so close to finishing. That I had done it. That when I started running I couldn't even run a mile without stopping. And here I was about to finish 13.1 miles. The only stops I made were at water stations. I drank my water and picked right back up to running. I couldn't believe that just a few months before I said "I'm going to run a half marathon". So many times I wanted to quit. So many times I pushed myself so much further that I ever thought I could go.So many times I thought those long training runs were enough for me. I'd be happy running 8 miles. 9 miles. 11 miles. But deep down I knew those long runs weren't enough. I wanted that 13.1. I learned so much about running and myself during those training runs.
I finished in 2:47. I wasn't the fastest person out there but I wasn't the slowest either. I had no expectations of what I wanted my time to be so I am pretty darn proud of myself. I have a place to start now and can only get better!
When I finished I actually saw another high school friend that had just completed her first half marathon. It's kind of amazing how running bonds you to people.
Running isn't for everyone. But running has given me an unbelievable amount of confidence. I feel like a rock star when I'm on the road. Like I can do anything. My advice to you? Find that one thing that makes you feel like a rock star and go for it! Set a goal. Acheive the goal. You will feel amazing when you do!
So now I am totally rocking this on my car (even if my hubby does think its dorky).