Wow ... I did it. I accomplished my number 1 goal on my new year's resolution by finishing the Country Music Half Marathon today and it feels so great (well the achy muscles and joints don't feel great, but the feeling is irreplaceable).
April and I finished in 3:06:22 and are content with our time. It's a faster pace than any of our training - I think the excitement of the day moved us along. And the time includes one toilet break. Next year we'll work on improving our time since they say the first year should just be about finishing.
The beginning started out with a brisk walk and then we started running/walking at mile 1.5. Honestly after that the miles were a blur - but entertaining with people out in their yards cheering us on. It was great to hear complete strangers say, "go team nelson!" How cool? You can't help but smile and keep going. Thankfully there was no more rain after the race started and the clouds had dissipated by the time we were almost through; we were thankful for the cooling clouds for the majority of the race, though.
I loved being a part of a larger team (Team Nelson) and being able to spot our blue shirts along the way. It was encouraging to see people I know. And in that last .2 of a mile one of my Nelson teammates (I don't even know her name) passed by me and encouraged me to finish strong. It was great.
The runners high at the end is awesome ... crossing that finish line, knowing we set a goal and made it. Finishing a half-marathon is something I never even let myself dream of doing a few years ago and now I've done it! I didn't cry at the end ... too excited and exhausted, but it was definitely emotional.
Thanks to my parents and my little brother Phillip, who came out and cheered us on at mile 10 and then again at the finish line. It was great to know that someone was out there supporting us. And congrats to Sheila who has encouraged me through my training - she made her goal of under 2 hours. I'm so impressed!
So, here's to next year - where we will train harder and run faster! I've drank the kool-aid. :)
(pics: top - some Nelson crew before we got into our corrals. L-R: Sharon C., me, Neil, Adam & Sharon W.; middle - April and I waiting to start the race; bottom - with the family at the end!)