My half was the next morning, I was an anxious mess — over 2000 people were registered!
I felt better because my dad and niece were going to be running, but when they told me that they were going to start five minutes later I had a moment of panic. My niece apparently has severe anxiety in crowds and was going to have a panic attack if she started with everyone. I did not find that out until after the race, I wondered why they wouldn’t say anything to me about it, aka The Queen of Anxiety! Ha ha ha I was too cold to think about it. It was around 45 degrees and I cannot run in layers because it bothers me, sensory issues. I wore a tank top, shorts, and gloves for about half of the race then, I threw the gloves because I got them wet. Urg! I was too anxious about being late to concern myself with them not being there so I went into the gazillion bodies and surrounded myself to stay warm. I ended up finding one of the women who is my boot camp sessions and we run at pretty much the same pace. We stayed together until about the third mile and then, for some reason I took off.
I went into a daze and the next thing I knew I was at the 4 mile marker, and two of my sisters and my step mom were there.
They looked surprised, shouted my name, and encouraged me to keep going strong. I found out later that they were surprised because I was behind the 1:30 pace group. I was just as shocked, I thought the 2:00 and the 2:10 pace groups had passed me, but it turned out I passed them. I wasn’t out of breath, my body felt good I passed the 6th mile marker and around then was when my dad and niece came up behind me. My dad asked me how fast I was going, I said, “I think about 9:06 to 9:20 somewhere in there.” He said, “I don’t think so we are going 8:45. You are going faster than you think!” I decided to try and slow it down. I was already running on a swollen ankle and my IT band and hip flexors were still not 100% from my last injuries on both legs. I had missed five weeks of training due to injuries and I was not sure how I was going to do in this race. Still I went on, I passed the 7th, the 8th, and I was still feeling good, but I did start to feel a little tinge in my right leg.
When, I got to the 9th mile, there were hills and my leg started to hurt.
I got to the 10th mile and I was limping and walking up the hills. I went too fast in the beginning, the cold weather is tricky. It is hard for me to determine how fast I am going and I feel good running in colder weather. I already have a high pain tolerance so it takes much longer for me to realize that I am hurt. I decided not to push it too much on the hills, I walked at every water station to get water and ease up a little. When I got to the 11th mile, I said to myself, “I don’t know if I can do this! I am NEVER doing this again!!! OMG! Is this ever going to end??” As I ran by all the people with their signs of encouragement, hearing their cheers, I soaked in the words, “You got this! You are almost there!” Other runners passed me as I had to take some walk breaks and they said things like, “You are so close, don’t give up now!” and “You are right there, you can do this!”
Those little moments gave me the boost to press through the pain.
I couldn’t feel my toes and on that last mile I encouraged myself by saying, “Finish this thing so you can take your shoes off!!” I saw the finish line and it seemed decades away because by this time my perception of time and what year it was all kinds of off. I tried to press through, but there were a few more hills when I tried to run them I had sharp pain in my leg. I decided to walk them and run the last leg that was flat. I was so tired; I really felt like I was never going to make it then, my dad sneaked back into the gate and ran next me. I heard my aunt yelling, “Come on Angel, you got this!! Don’t you give up, NOT THIS DAY! NOT THIS DAY!” She and my dad ran me in and I hit that finish line. It was incredible! I have never experienced anything like it. It is a grand feeling to hear the crowd cheering, your name being called, and to have so many people wanting you to succeed.
At the end, I was overjoyed to feel such acceptance and support from my family.
I realized that I have made some really great friends too. They supported me and encouraged me throughout. It has been eye opening for me to experience friendships that do not try to make feel badly when I succeed at something. They do not judge me or make me feel foolish for my oddities and inability to stay in contact or socialize regularly. (I have only had that with online friends.) They have encouraged me the whole way and I thankful because this was a hard thing for me to accomplish. I had to work through past experiences of friends getting angry at me for being faster than them in track even though that happened in elementary school. I had to press through my social anxiety and not go into full blown panic attacks for any and everything, like PORT-A-POTTIES and PEOPLE crowding me! I faced many fears — they were not fears about running, they were mostly about past traumas and social situations.
I am excited to say that I finished in 2:02:43 (9:22 pace)! Yee Haw!!!
I feel proud of the many things I accomplished and learned throughout this five month journey. I learned that I train too hard and too fast! I will allow my body to recover and train correctly for next year. I learned that I hinder myself more than anyone or anything else. I learned that I am strong, and I can do much more than I allow myself to do at times. I learned that I do enjoy running and it is a great anxiety reducer for me. I discovered a sport that is perfect for me. I shocked myself every time I ran a race or ran more miles that made me realize how much I underestimate myself. I learned how to manage my anxieties and how to press through them without thinking negatively about myself. I faced some more fears and anxieties with my family, and have overcome several of them. I learned not to be so fearful of being hurt or of “doing/saying” the wrong things to people. There is more I am sure, but I already published one post and my brain is frazzled.
AND I need to finish dinner along with tending to my swollen ankle and sore legs! hashtag sitting make them hurt.
Quick side note though, I am not sure how many posts I will be able to do, our life is so full. I want to share everything that is happening, but my time and energy is going into to daily life. I just had Daniel’s IEP meeting — it went great! Joshua’s is coming up in the month. David is leaving this week again, and fall starts off the holiday, festivity marathon. The kids are working hard with school. Daniel loves his after school program and I am registered to do my CPR/AED certification next week then, I am scheduled in December to take my group fitness exam. I have to wait until then because David has to go out of town more and we have holidays and birthdays coming up as well, but its happening. I need to study! Who knows what other things are before me to face and accomplish!
Until next time, sending you jolliness and best wishes! ~ Angel(ique)