Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Update on my 1st Half marathon @Ainsley's Angels #IRun4Joshua @whodoUrun4 #TogetherWeShall #InclusionWins

It's been a little over 2 weeks since the Ainsley's Angels Inaugural Half Marathon.
Every time I try to write this post, I get distracted.
So here goes !!!

On October 18th, I fulfilled a bucket list item of mine. I participated in a Half Marathon. 13.1 miles of open trail in Pasco County.

There have been plenty of Half Marathons in my area, so why this one? The first is because it was for Ainsley's Angels. I have no direct connection to them but do love their organization. The second is that I Run 4 buddies were included in this race. Why? Run Jodi!

She is not only one of the Ambassadors for I Run 4, but the Florida Ambassador for Ainsley's Angels. And when she announced this race, the very 1st Half Marathon for Ainsley's Angels, I knew I had to be a part of it.
Photo Credit: Ainsley's Angels in Florida


I had plenty of time to prepare, but I didn't. I have a million excuses. It's too hot (Summer in Florida), I'm too busy (even in the Summer, we have scouting activities), School started, I fell ill, the list goes on. But the truth is, before I ran my 1st 15k, I had never run 9 miles before, and I finished successfully.

So off I drove to Jay B Starkey Park for my 1st 13.1 mile adventure. You're not reading "I ran 13.1 miles" because I did run/walk intervals until mile 7. More on that later.

There were a few people I knew at this event. When I run in a chip timed race, I'm usually okay going it alone. Once the chairs were out, i stayed in the back of the pack and made my way to the trail. Almost everyone was in front of me, and I'm okay with that. I knew I'd be in the back the entire way.

3 miles was good. I've done this so many times. 6.2 miles (10k), I've done this on several occasions. But once I came to the turn, honestly 6.5 miles, the water station had been packed up and they thought the last person was gone. I thought there was a chair and 4 people behind me.

At mile 7, I realized I was last. That was hard. I knew it was a possibility, but I didn't think the folks behind me would quit. Then I cried. I walked and dried until mile 8.

That is when I was no longer alone. As I passed previous water stations, they hadn't packed up, because they knew I'd be back. They followed behind me. Then they walked beside me. My feet were on fire, but I kept walking. I asked them to go ahead (mainly so I could cry again), but they wouldn't.

I came upon someone I knew at the 1st water station. Then she walked with me.

We grew closer to a woman, Jackie, who had re-injured her calf and was walking as well. She had been pushing a chair with an Angel Rider, but took to walking. The Guardian Angels, those on the trail who stayed with us, kept saying the turn was near. I couldn't see it. It felt like a long hallway that stretched further with each step you took.

Photo Credit: Ainsley's Angels in Florida


But then it appeared, the turn. The final stretch of  paved sidewalk that took us to the finish line.
I walked with Jackie and as we approached the finish line, we ran. It was a painful finish for her, with her injury. It was a wish fulfilled for me. And as she promised, Run Jodi was at the finish line with open arms. I made it. I crossed that finish line on my own 2 sore, blistered feet. My friend Nanci was there as well, waiting for me and and cheering me on.

Photo Credit: Ainsley's Angels in Florida


I have myself 4 to 4.5 hours to complete 13.1 miles. I figured that would be ample time.
I finished in 3 hours 41 minutes 52 seconds.

It felt great ! Knowing that even though I hadn't trained (bad bad Tara, I know), I completed this task. I took on 13.1 miles with fear in my heart but the wind at my back.

I have never said I would never run 13.1 miles miles again. I don't believe this will be my last Half Marathon. However, the only 13.2 miles I will run will be with Ainsley's Angels.

Photo Credit: Ainsley's Angels in Florida


#TogetherWeShall

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