Munday Runday: Encouragement

I FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON!!

I feel like there are so many things I could talk about, but I’ll try to keep this short and just pick one: encouragement.

It always felt weird to me that training plans for the half never actually have you running the full 13.1 until race day. I used Hal Higdon’s novice schedule, in which the longest training run is 10 miles, the week before the race. Every experienced runner I talked to about this told me, “don’t worry, the adrenaline and the crowds will push you through till the end.”

I had a hard time believing this, to be honest. I actually struggled with my 10 miler during training, and I wasn’t feeling confident. I mean, cheering crowds sound great and all, but can they real pull that much more strength out of tired muscles?

Apparently, yes.

I had NO IDEA how encouraging it would be to be surrounded by all those people running alongside. To read the signs people hold up to motivate you. To hear strangers shouting out their support. It was incredible, and what I’d heard was absolutely right. It makes you dig deep, and finish out those miles.

But it wasn’t just those few hours on the pavement that I was surrounded by people motivating me. I’ve been lucky enough to have so many friends keeping me moving these past couple months. Bryden, Sam, Laurel, Christine, Anna, Lindsey, just to name a few. I feel like I’ve spent WAYY too much time whining/talking about my training with all of you, and somehow you pretend not to mind. Ernest, for fav’ing my RK tweets 😛 But of course, for making sure I’m taken care of on race days when I have no one else around. Thanks to you and Mark for the pictures and the holding all my stuff and the beers and relaxing afterward. Love you all.

….am I forgetting anyone?

Oh that’s right, my running/blogging buddy, who you all know as K. Kaitlin, I absolutely could not have done this without you. Once upon a time, you had to literally trick me into doing longer runs on RLK rundays. Now, we’ve put down 17 months of races, “hosted” one of our own, ran who-knows-how-many miles, and you’ve just gotten me through my very first half marathon. You were the one who got me into this crazy sport, and I’ve been running around like an idiot ever since. I can’t thank you enough.

2015 4

Whew. Enough sappy stuff. What a day. It’s been long, and fun, and I just cannot wait until next year.

-R

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