Three months ago, Jared and I registered for our first half-marathon. It was a cloudy day and there was nothing good on TV so we really didn’t have anything better to do than sign our lives away on a race.
A week into training, I was Googling ways to get out of it.
How do you un-register for a half-marathon?
How far in advance can you back out of a race?
How do you break your leg without it hurting super bad?
No luck. So we kept at it and discovered that after those initial, grueling workouts, the whole running thing wasn’t as bad as we thought. We actually started to look forward to our runs. We started looking at running gear with the mentality to “fake it til you make it.” But most importantly, we started to appreciate the time we had together to exercise, be outdoors and push one another to do something we didn’t think we could.
Fast-forwarding 12 weeks (time also flew in real life), we made the trip down to Kansas City with Kaitlin and Aaron, our good friends and the crazy people who had us talked in to running in the first place. After seeing the steep hills and fit runners, I made the executive decision that I was backing down to the 5K.
That’s still a good workout. Plus, I can finish and then go cheer everyone else on.
Sounded good to me but no one else in the group seemed to agree. The rest of the night consisted of a light supper, signature Boulevard brews and still convincing me to run the half.
The morning of the race, I also needed some re-convincing , mostly because it was a balmy, breezy 37 degree day. THIRTY-SEVEN. But we toed the line and settled in around the 1 hour, 45 minute group, with high expectations to let adrenaline push us towards our best time.
Jared and I hugged, the gun sounded off and the rest was a blur. An exciting, awesome blur.
What I DO remember: the sign that said, “Ryan Gosling is only a half-mile ahead. Go get him.” Talk about motivation.
The next thing I know, we’re pushing toward the last mile (no Gosling, by the way). It was in the wind, uphill and, well, we had just run 12 miles. Just as in training, Jared and I ran together the entire race but I pleaded that he run ahead the last half mile…and to also call an ambulance.
He didn’t. We swapped a “you got this,” sprinted toward the finish line and then found out we beat our goal pace by six minutes. #bestfeelingever
As I was cutting off my timing chip…and trying to remember how to breathe…Jared pulled me back toward the starting line and was probably the only person coming through with a big smile. He held my hand as he kneeled down and recited the sweetest speech that I only wish I could remember.
After weeks of training and hours of running, we found out what it meant to support one another; from the quick runs to the long hauls. It was hard work and some swear words were exchanged, but I wouldn’t have wanted to run with anybody else. I hope this is a testament to our future together; full of new adventures, support and encouragement through the fun and challenging times ahead.
And hopefully less swearing. 🙂