Monday, February 14, 2005

"First Half" Half - No, that doesn't mean 1/4!

So yesterday I completed my first half marathon! I don't know quite how to describe the experience without sounding clichéd or corny... it was definitely a huge obstacle for me to overcome as far as distance goes and more importantly, it was the first race that I've ever done where I've had the undivided support and attention from the man I'm in love with. This solidifies two things for me:

1. I'm finally in a healthy relationship with a person that puts in as much love, time and effort that I do. It is very important that I feel supported and cared for, even though I am fairly independent.

2. The half-Ironman distance is not out of my reach, nor is it a lofty goal for me. This race was a stepping stone to something much bigger.

As I crossed the finish line for this race, with Jason running at my side, he grabbed my hand and held it up in the air. Corny, yes. But you have no idea what that did inside my head and heart. All along I was talking about how a 2 hr finish would be just fine and that I would even be happy if I finished slightly above my 2 hr goal... but somehow Jason knew that I had my own secret sub-2 hr goal, the kind that you squirrel away and don't tell anyone about so that if you don't make it, you don't have to admit that you're a bit disappointed! Anyhow, he's got me figured out. He coaxed, prodded and pulled me to the finish line in 1:58:08 because even though I complained, and whimpered and even got a little crabby at times (thank God for Power-gel!), he knew how badly I wanted it and that it was in me to do it.

It's funny though, because during the race he was cheering me on and telling me how proud he was of me, and all I could think about was the pain starting in the arches of my feet and up the inside of my shins. Now all I can think about is how he helped me get to the finish line.

Sitting with the running group after our race, my run leader was joking about how her boyfriend left her in the dust and that she surprised him by only coming behind him by 3 minutes. I know that Jason could blow my time out of the water, which is why it meant so much more that he didn't. I know we won't run together in the half Ironman, in fact he'll be leagues ahead of me with his age group, but I know I will get through it if I know he's doing the race with me.

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