When I signed up for the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon 10 weeks ago I had great plans. I was ready to train hard, push myself, and shave a respectable amount of time off my first half marathon. I survived the first time around, I was ready to thrive. Obviously that plan faded quickly.
What took it’s place was a lot of ups and downs. Days when I felt strong, and days when I felt like I’d never be able to pull it together. Small victories in the form of 3 miles, then 4 miles, followed by 6, 8, 10, 11. Runs when I couldn’t keep going and runs where I finished in total awe of what I had pushed through. Night after night of going through my new “routine” (stretch, foam roll, ice), and mornings where it was clearly obvious that I had forgotten to do it the night before. So much stretching, so much yoga, so much more paying attention to my body than I’ve ever done before.
It took quite a while to accept that this half isn’t going to be a rockstar performance. In fact I still can’t say that I’ve fully come to accept it. I still hop on and off of the “why run it if I can’t race it?” train every now and then. But then I think about that panic stricken moment in the Orthopedic office and I am so greatful that I’m going to get to stand at that start line in. And, god willing, cross the finish line too.
Despite all the tears and frustration it took to get here, there’s a lot to be excited about in 11 days. Excited to be a part of a big, brand new race. Excited for a sweet medal. Excited to have so many familiar faces to look for. Excited to run on part of the most historic (and notorious) course. Excited to run past the iconic Johnny Kelley statue that until now I’ve only seen in pictures. Excited to be the one running past the spot I’ve stood in for two years cheering. Excited that I’ll have some of my favorite supporters to look for. Excited that I get to call myself a half marathoner for a second time. Excited that at the end of the day, I get to go for a 13.1 mile run with one of my best friends.
And no matter what kind of digging, or how long it takes to cross that finish line, I’m already proud of myself. I could have thrown in the towel weeks ago. I could have left the doctor’s office that day in March and passed off my number to another 29 year old female. But I wanted this race. I wanted to prove to myself that I could run 13.1 miles again. I wanted that sense of accomplishment. And in 11 days… I’m going to do just that.