Six years ago I woke up before 6 a.m. to go stand in an intersection on the Lincoln marathon course and cheer on hundreds of people as they ran more consecutive miles in a day than I ever had in one week.
This year I was one of those runners grabbing cups of water and Gatorade from thoughtful volunteers.
My time was 2:16:59 which is a PR! That’s what happens when you’ve only run one half marathon before! I lined up with the 2:10 pace group, but didn’t have a time goal for myself. I just wanted to get it done.
Right before mile 4 I got to see my lovely family up after a night of prom and post prom.
This was the best moment of the race. I almost cried when I saw them all.
At mile 6 I saw a spectator wearing a Brew to Brew 2011 shirt so I spontaneously yelled out, “Brew to Brew, woot!” He looked at me like I was a lunatic, but a guy running behind me said, “hey did you run that this year?” The guy was from Olathe and we ran together until mile 8. It was great to have some conversation and distraction for awhile.
Then things got dicey. My knee which had started to hurt during a short run the day before the race really started to bother me at mile 11. I slowed down and was even grimacing in pain. I considered walking for a bit, but I just wanted to finish. Then my Olathe buddy caught up with me. He was getting ready to finish strong so I tried speeding up to stay with him for awhile. He quickly could tell I was struggling and went through a pain inventory with me.
When I explained the pain in my knee he said it sounded like runner’s knee. Apparently all my miles of training had caught up with me right in time for the race. Steve from Olathe kept motivating me and stayed with me until the end.
The race finished inside Memorial Stadium with the finish line broadcast up on the Husker Vision Jumbo Tron. Steve said, “You are going to finish this before me.” That made me kick it in and haul my booty and my sore knee over the finish line.
It was awesome.
Then I turned back and sincerely thanked Steve for what he had done for me.
Overshadowing my race finish this week is my sore knee. I can’t bend it to go up or down stairs which makes carrying a baby up and down stairs for naps, etc. very difficult. I am feeling a little down about how long it might take me to recover and get back to running. Plus I suppose I am having a little withdrawal from having a race to train for. If I ever get back out there (overly dramatic, I know) I hope to run many more half marathons and someday do for some runner what Steve from Olathe did for me.