I trained for and completed a half marathon on Sunday. Well, I didn’t train for it on Sunday. That was a six month gig facilitated by Team FX (raising money to support the Austin Children’s Shelter!) involving runs two mornings a week and a longer (and increasingly longer) run early on Saturday mornings. My husband had done the half marathon with this team last year and decided to do the full. I tagged along out of support and a sense of personal masochism.
I have had my attempts at athleticism before. I did a triathlon and can’t say I really recommend it, mostly because there was so much gear, so much shifting about and outfit changes, and I really don’t like biking. I was a naive, undertrained triathlete, and hilarity ensued.
This time, I did my due diligence, both in fundraising with my husband, but also in training appropriately.
Running is an odd beast. It takes FOREVER to get anywhere. My innate ADD gets really really bored (which is why I thought the tri would be funner) and I don’t have a natural endurance. My husband does. He can run. Like, he can really run well. He inspired me through the training both with ability but also his discipline.
Our coach, Gary Walker, has been training people and raising deeply needed funds for the shelter for quite a few years now. He’s a methodical and nurturing coach, meeting each runner where they are, and helping them prep and focus on the goal. I don’t think I’d have done it if it wasn’t for the spirit of the group and the amazing kindness and faith Gary placed in all of us.
Plus, we went out and had tacos after every Saturday run, so….how do you argue with that?
The training was steady and slow, I was injured a little at one point (shin splints, I think) and I had an illness (bronchitis) but I kept up pretty well.
Race day was beautiful. Cool and clear, there were about 20,000 runners and walkers taking over Austin. We all met at 5:50 am and got ourselves down to the Capitol where the excitement buzzed and bubbled.
I did well, for a newbie. My experience was full of emotions and surprises, both good and bad. I had some slightly high on endorphin and emotion Mile 10 epiphanic experiences. Not quite a Road to Damascus moment (mine are usually more like a Road to Singapore Buddy Film), but I did have feel even more settled and secure on the personal and career path that I appear to be on.
Mostly, my epiphany revealed what was already known. People are strong, stronger than they know. People are fragile and breakable. We are both and really mostly the reason we are for each other is teach us to cease with our breaking of each other, and to heal what is broken. Or something more eloquent than that.
Anyway, I finished. My husband finished. We didn’t quit and things worked out ok. Over $38,000 was raised for the Austin Children’s Shelter and I feel pretty damn good about that.
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