To hear that I sashayed through 13.1 miles, you may think I’m being conceited… but please read on to understand my pun. Today I ran a half marathon (13.1 miles for those not in the know). While I felt prepared because I put in the miles, I was also coming off of a vacay. As in 4 days of traveling, drinking, eating, hiking, visiting friends and family, multiple delayed flights and not sleeping long hours like I’m accustomed to. Yes, the trip was amazing, but not my typical pre-race routine of homemade pasta, red sauce and in bed by 8pm. I instead ate my prerace dinner in an airport while we were delayed for the 3rd time.
Three things on my side however: a great friend who picked up my running packet at the expo, daylight savings time giving me another hour of sleep and another friend who was going to be my pace buddy. Bruce and I decided that we were going to try to run 1:45, which equates to about an 8 minute/mile pace. Being registered for a full marathon in March, I was curious to see what I could run a half marathon in to begin my planning for the full marathon training.
This morning, something (one) was shining down on me because all went according to plan.
I am lucky to be apart of an amazing crew of runners, Wilmington Road Runners Club. Many of us carpooled and/or met at the start to wish luck and take some cute pics…
Once the race started, my pacer-friend Bruce suggested that we start a bit faster than planned to give ourselves a “cushion”. Being filled with adrenaline (and caffeine), I eagerly agreed. It’s hard to explain, but athletes who have had a good race, good game, good surf sesh can relate. Something just took over and I was in a zone. A zone that I worried would end in a bad way. Going out too fast is kind of my thing and so is blowing up mid-race. But today, that it didn’t happen. I held out as long as I could, which was long enough. I had AMAZING support on the course. Friends cheering every few miles certainly did boost my energy levels. But there was something (one) else.
I knew what this “something” was going into the race. I thought about it while running. I drew energy from it and somehow it helped me to feel as though I was floating through some of the race. I am not sure if I will ever have this feeling while running again. While it’s hard to explain, I am honored to have felt it for 1 hour and 43 minutes today.
Ryan Shay, a friend of mine passed away 7 years ago (tomorrow) during the NYC Marathon Olympic Trials. He passed away from a heart condition at the 5.5 mile mark. Today, his brother ran the NYC marathon to honor Ryan (yes, he is super fast, like his bro… 2:19). I would like to say that I ran todays Battleship 1/2 for Ryan today, but something tells me that he did more for me today, than vise-versa and for that I am appreciative.