I know it has been weeks since the Wallis Sands Half Marathon took place, but here is the recap of what happened on May 7th.
The one fear I couldn’t control was prevalent, the wind. But I was okay with it, basically because I threw out all my expectations as I headed over to bib pickup and my “B” goal moved up in ranks to the “A” goal. I tried to do a warm-up with the girls 10-15 minutes before the first wave went out, which I was in, but got stopped to many times by other runners to talk.
As the gun sounded, I patiently waited in the back of wave 1 trying to avoid the inevitable bottle neck effect as the runners headed out on to the street from the Wallis Sands State Park parking lot. Once I got out onto the street, I picked up the pace. I thought I would see how long I could sustain a pace around 7 minutes per mile. For the most part, things were looking good despite the head wind I faced. As mile 6 was logged and the one hill on the course approached, I tried to gain momentum and stay with these 2 guys climbing the hill. Unfortunately, I had to walk half of the hill and restart the engines. I was able to stay composed for the next few miles, but then I started to show signs of fatigue and mental weakness to keep fighting the wind. It was at mile 11 and onward where I broke. I was running, then walking, then running. This would be the pattern for the rest of the race, until the last quarter-mile when I saw the finish line.
Was I happy as I crossed the finish? Yell Heah! I was able to push all the negative thoughts over the past few weeks out and just give it all I could. Hindsight would tell me otherwise, but I am happy with the results. Little Bear, Speedy and I crossed with an official time of 1:33:49. We also placed 2nd in our age group, super stoked about that. Overall, despite the wind, the mental games and lack of training the last few weeks leading up to the race, the girls and I conquered and achieved our original “A” goal of running a sub-1:35 half marathon giving us a new PR.
We might not of caught the unicorn, but we became stronger through the process and prevailed to give it our best, the best we could give for that day. Reflecting on the miles during the race and the things runners said were completely different from the first 6-7 mils to the last 6-7 miles. In the beginning as we were passing other runners, we would receive jokingly comments about how I was pushing a double stroller and running a faster pace. Basically, like I was trying to shame them in some way. When I myself was unsure how realistic this pace would be for us. Then as the second half of the race appraoched, I started to run with Eric, the random runner, for most of the time until mile 11. I would pace with him and talk a bit, then end up passing him only to start walking and then run with him again. I just couldn’t mentally keep pushing onward, no matter how much he tried to get me to stay with him. But I still had some other runners trying to encourage me as the finish loomed in the distance. Unfortunately, I felt like I was stuck in this run/walk rhythm. As I stated earlier, overall, it was nice to run a race again and be surrounded by such an amazing community. Not only being able to run my first chip timed half marathon in 3 years, but to share the experience with my girls. Memories that I will be able to look back on and smile on all the miles we shared.
I don’t know what’s next for us, most likely some individual goals, especially since Little Bear is getting bigger and less willing to sit through longer durations in the stroller. Until then, keep chasing those dreams and dont ever stop trying to catch your own unicorn.