I technically *didn’t* sign up for this race. My godmother, who has stepped up to being my family after my mother passed in ’13, told me that she would pay for me to have a weekend in Vegas if I did the half marathon with her. She called me about 6 weeks before the race which didn’t give me a long time to train but she insisted that in her first half marathon, she had about the same length of time to train and that I would be okay and able to finish. I said I would do the thing, so I HAD to do the thing.
Then I was hurting and focusing on getting back to the hotel to get off my aching foot. I spent the next day at the Paris Spa and I WHOLLY recommend a spa day as a post-marathon ritual. TOTALLY worth it.
My foot started aching the Monday before the race. The day before the race, Saturday, my foot was ON FIRE. Walking through the airport in Denver and walking around the Vegas airport had me doubting if I was even going to be able to BEGIN the race. Once I met up with my godmother and we checked in to our hotel, we went to the Fitness Expo at the convention center where we picked up our banners and race regalia. I also bought a new pair of running shoes — Brooks. As soon as I put those on, my foot felt BETTER! So I went ahead with running the marathon.
I ran probably a third of each mile up through mile 6 and then had to walk the next NINE miles. I tried to even get a fast pace going but my foot wasn’t having it. It slowed me down. I got picked up by the straggler wagon at mile 9 (along with a handful of those of us at the end of the race).
They moved us ahead about 1.5 miles in order to be able to finish the race on time and they could re-open the strip by 10pm. I had felt SO GUILTY about this until after the race where I met up with my godmother. She had cut a couple miles off the marathon herself.
At the end of the day, I had walked 18.18 miles (according to my Fitbit). Even if I didn’t get all 13.1 miles IN the marathon, I definitely covered that distance in the getting to and from the finish line itself. I may have been picked up by the straggler wagon but I still finished the race — not everyone else did.
I worked hard to do it, I walked through pain and a stress-fractured foot but I did it anyway, because I’m a badass like that.
I’m proud of myself. I gave myself a challenge and I accomplished it. It was a hard thing. I can do hard things.
BUT! If *I* can do the thing, it must not be THAT hard. If I can do it, anyone with the will to do so, can do it too.
But, maybe, don’t go for a 13.1 mile half marathon for your first ever racing experience — unless you want to. 🙂