June 2nd was the day I had been anxiously awaiting and training for. Dam to Dam! I don't know what made me want to run a 20K (12.4 miles). Maybe it was peer pressure since a few of my friends did it. Whatever the reason, a couple of months ago I had a great five mile run, came home and registered. From there I followed a 12 week training schedule for a half marathon. Well, I did the best I could with my crazy life/hectic schedule!
My alarm went off at 3:30 AM on Saturday morning. That is not a typo. EARLY. Anyway, we made it to Des Moines, loaded the buses, got dropped off at Saylorville, waited in line for over a half hour to pee and pretty much the race was starting as we approached the 8,000 other people waiting to start the race.
It was a cool race! I was nervous about the large number of people, but it didn't bother me at all. Probably because I was running so slow I always had my own space! One mile led to another, which led to another and so on. Until mile 9. Nine was the most I had ever trained until.
Luckily, some of the ISU Dance Marathon students were running and had put up some inspiration in the form of miracle kids and family posters along the route. Guess whose family was just after mile 9? Yep...ours! It was so cool to see everybody's face when I needed it the most. Aaron and the kids weren't able to come down in person, so getting that little boost was awesome. :)
From mile 11 to 12.4 (the end) was the longest 1.4 miles of my whole entire life. I kept thinking where in the heck is the end? How much farther do I have to go?! I think I'm going to die, but I refuse to walk when I'm this close to the end! That was my goal, to run the entire thing and...I did it!!!
I felt utter relief when I crossed the finish line. When I got handed my medal, it was all worth it. I didn't run it fast. It wasn't pretty. But I did it. I'm so proud of myself for that.
I have to give a big shout out to my running friends - Jay, Scott and Lisa - who helped keep me motivated. You guys ROCK! And especially Aaron, who watched the kids so I could do the necessary training. Love that guy and I know I couldn't have done this without him. :)