Today was the day! Yes, I ran the WWH (a week earlier than the official day, which was permitted). I have so much to say! I have already said a lot, in fact, in my online photo album. Feel free to visit it: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/sstoutarch/album?.dir=1526re2&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos. It really tells the story.
I began my race shortly after 7 AM. I showered and everything to make this day as close to a "real" race as possible (normally for longruns I just get up and go). My husband got up, too, to see me off (or so I thought). Long story short: he was waiting at mile 3 and was a regular pit crew! He basically drove by me for the entire race. It was amazing. He even made signs. You must see those photos! He was amazingly supportive, as always.
(the photo to the left is my favorite - even though there are two runners shown, I am the one in blue headed towards ya) I was doing super well all the way through the halfway point (it was an out-and-back course - http://www.buckeyeoutdoors.com/cgi-bin/wwhm/routes/viewmap?id=576). At about mile 8 or so, I began to drag. I was feeling fatigued. But hey -- I had a half-marathon to complete! I trained 15 weeks for this (190.25 miles, but who's counting). I kept thinking of all of the others that would run this race (from 23 different countries, I might add). If they could do it, so could I.
(the photo to the left is the best one of me close up) This was taken when I was still looking good. Ha! I really, really struggled to make it back, but I was determined to do so. I decided that the time did not matter (after a point). I just had to FINISH. And I did! (see photo below) I finished in 2:47:09. That is six minutes faster than the half I ran last November. So, for that, I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the WWH race directors. The training program was superb. I , for once, got to the starting line injury-free. And I crossed it the same way. I feel GREAT.
I couldn't be more proud. I feel very accomplished. I've made a lot of new friends since this race training began, and I have made positive changes in areas other than running, in fact. Most of all, I can now say that I've ran a race with people from all over the globe. How cool is that!?!