10th half marathon recap

Happy Monday, everyone! I trust you all had great weekends and aren't too terribly devastated that it's already Monday? If given the choice, I'd definitely opt to have another Sunday, but Mondays aren't totally ruining my life.

I also trust you're all here for the Monumental Marathon recap?

Well, I successfully completed my 10th half marathon on my absolutely favorite half marathon course (though I fear it's becoming an increasingly big race and I am not a fan of massively large racing crowds). Did I PR? Sadly, I did not reach my goal pace or set a new personal record. However, I did finish the race without walking, which believe it or not made me incredibly happy.

Here's the thing you need to know about me (and you may or may not already know this): I am my own worst enemy. I've sabotaged myself in many ways and in many areas of my life for well, my entire life. If you spent anytime in my head, you'd be convinced that I want myself to either be dead or chronically unhappy. I am not good to myself.

I got sick the week of last May's Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon and the race was blistering HOT and I had to stop and walk several times. I struggled to finish and it was the worst racing experience of my career.

And I've let the fear of that happening again follow me around like a shadow ever since. I secretly worried about getting sick or having to walk again all during my training for the Monumental half. Learning about the issue with my hamstrings in the weeks before the race only fanned the flame. The anxiety carried over into Saturday and I'm just relieved that my body was stronger than my doubt and I made it all 13.1 miles. I finished in 1 hour and 55 minutes.

I just didn't run the race I wanted to. My GPS went out twice when the course led us under tunnels, so I struggled to get a true read on my pace. Plus, I was near a literal panic attack during the first 5 miles because of everything I just stated above. My hamstrings and glutes seized up, making me feel as exhausted as I did during my full marathon. As I told one of my friends, it was just a perfect storm of unfortunate events.

But I finished. Goal #1 is to always finish the race. Goal #2 is to beat your previous year's time. I'm one for one and I have got to freakin' accept that this kind of thing happens and that it's okay. Yes, it stings even worse because I was already coming off of a bad half marathon in May, but this is what I chose and it's a risk I will always have to take every time I register for a big race ...

... and fortunately it's a risk I WANT to take. I'm already looking ahead and planning for the next. I'm taking a hard look at what I need to change and do differently in order to keep becoming a better runner and heck, a better person. This race opened my eyes to some physical and emotional issues I need to correct.

And I want that challenge. I love it. I love the process.

Who puts self tanner on her legs before a race in November? This girl.

I've been having some issues walking ever since the race (which has NEVER happened to me before) and I'm mildly freaked out. I stumbled a few times walking around the office because my legs aren't steady. It's not usual soreness. I have another chiropractor appointment on Wednesday. Fingers crossed this goes away soon, please.

But I think the best thing that came out of Saturday's Monumental Marathon was watching my friend Amanda complete her first full marathon. Even though my legs were killing me, I loved every second of waiting for my friend to round the corner at the finish line. We got to see so many people complete the marathon and I'm not embarrassed at all to admit that it brought tears to my eyes. I witnessed several people turn the corner during the final .2 miles and saw joy and relief spread across their faces. Some folks were running alongside friends and I heard more than one exclamation of "It's right there! The finish line is right there! We're almost there!" (Holy crap, I'm getting emotional just typing that.) I remember exactly how that moment felt for me and it was awesome watching others experience it.

Clayton glanced at me as I wiped my eyes with my coat sleeve and sighed. "I swear," he said, "you're the most sensitive person I've ever met."

"They all just worked so hard!" I sniffled.

But enough about the race, there are more important things to discuss. Like the fact that today is my beagle butt's 11th birthday!

You couldn't even fathom the amount of anxiety I feel whenever I consider that Joey is now 11, but I am so thankful for this lil' guy's enduring presence in our lives. He represents everything good and fun about life and my goodness, do we love him!

On Sunday morning I woke up early and Joey snoozed on my lap while I enjoyed a cup of coffee. He's always extra snuggly when he's chilly and moments like that are pure bliss. Stress and pain and injury and disappointment don't matter when you have a dog who thinks you're amazing simply because you love him and give him belly rubs. <3

Happy birthday, baby boy!