Marathon Mondays…W.T.F.–Where’s the Finish Line?

Last year I struggled (and quite frankly almost passed out) when I did my first 5k but I vowed to make running my friend–no matter what. During the past 11 months,I have ran more than 300 miles, bought more running apparel than purses and  have completed several races around the city like the Peachtree Road Race  and the Big Peach Sizzler but today was DOOMSDAY.  This was they day that ALL of my training would either pay off or leave me in a puddle of shame. After 12 weeks of training, I finished my first half marathon without being wheeled away in an ambulance and with a respectable time…3h:08m.  

NEVER in a million years did I think a year ago that I could do a race that required me to run 13.1 miles without me being chased but I did. For the past 24 hours before this historic day, I doubted my ability, cried about it, even thought about quitting but this morning I got up and decided that I had to go out and complete this half marathon for me, my kids, my family and for everyone else like me. So last night (being the running nerd I am) I decided to lay out all of clothes in anticipation of today. (This is before my daughter decided to hide all of my clothes in one of her little games of Hide and Seek…SMH)

before my daughter hid my clothes…SMH

Terrified of oversleeping, when the alarm clock went off I leaped out of bed and rushed to get dressed and eat breakfast. As I sat downstairs waiting to leave, all I could think was, “what have I gotten myself into?”  I was lucky that my running coach/friend/neighbor let me carpool with her so I had time to get my thoughts together without wrecking the Kidmobile. We arrived at the Brookhaven Train Station in just enough time to run to the Start Line (a good mile away), stretch for a few minutes before the race would start.

Me and “Speedy”

As I entered the start area, I was immediately excited upon seeing all of the Black Girls Run!Atlanta members but got nervous after seeing sooo many people there that looked like professional runners. I sucked it up and took a chance to connect with everyone, stretch and say a prayer before the start of the race. Notice that in the picture I had my headphones on..I was trying to put on my “game face”.

BGR Atlanta was in full effect

check out our footwork!

As the race started, I was warmed up (from having to run so far to the starting line) so I easily ran the first mile but then the killer named “shin splits” began to attack me something terrible. It literally felt like someone was stabbing my shins! Yikes!!!! I stopped on the side of the road and stretched nice and long and slowly the pain eased up. I was pretty anxious that me stopping would make my pace be longer than I needed but I stayed focused. Miles 2-5 was pretty easy..I was pacing with a couple of people and adrenaline was on my side but as soon as I hit mile 6 I became tired. Luckily I had my my block gels. After popping them, I felt better and just continued to move.
I literally hit a wall here..

As I came upon mile 8 I was still  feeling good and in my stride but then I encountered these two women who were power walking at least 7 miles per hour! I would make  a mad dash and beat them then like Della Reese in “Harlem Nights” (remember how she walked all “heavy footed”) they would pass me. Finally I said “forget this” and dashed where there was a good enough distance between us so that they could not catch up. Also between miles 6-8 was when I was able to see the runners who were going to finish under 2 hours. They were gunning it… since I knew I only had 6 miles left I thought,” this should be an easy finish”. I was wrong–dead wrong.

What!!! I thought this was mile 12???
From miles 8 through mile 11 there were so many hills, I almost stopped and asked one of the policemen for a ride to the finish line. No, literally there was mile after mile after mile!!! I kept thinking, “WTF–Where’s the finish line?” My feet started to hurt and to make things worse there were volunteers who were all cheery and happy. Damn it I was MAD!!! I wanted this to be  OVER. I wanted to literally “drop kick” every volunteer who kept cheering, “you can do it!” Knowing I did not want to catch a felony  “charge”, I decided to let my music get me motivated. Kanye West’s song, “Stronger” began to play and I began to “gun” it. I jogged a bit, walked a bit, cursed a bit, and almost quit a bit.
Get out the way!!!!
Almost home!!
During the last mile (when I really wanted to quit) I thought about my 3 children and the lesson I am teaching them–go after what you want. That is what made me finally gun it across the finish line. Finally, after the 3 hours and 8 minutes on the course, I crossed the finish line, delirious, angry but GLAD I was done!
random finish line..not my time!!
As I crossed over the finish line, a sense of overwhelming pride and emotions swept over me. I remembered a year ago almost passing out at my first 5k and here I was 11 months later finishing (and not the last person) a half marathon. I cried a little because I thought of all the people who told me I could not do it and discouraged me from setting such a lofty goal. Then, I thought about all the people who want to accomplish something like this in the future and how I MIGHT be an inspiration to them. Finally, I thought of all the overwhelming support people had given me. People had prayed for me, sent me words of encouragement, let me borrow their compression tights to help me get through this race…all of these things made me realize that I was meant to be running at this moment.
As I lay in the bed, I am so happy to have completed this goal but this does not mean this is the END of my weight loss goals. Stay tuned in for more!!!

To learn more about my daily adventures in my life, follow  BossyGirl (me) on Facebook or Twitter.

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12 Responses to Marathon Mondays…W.T.F.–Where’s the Finish Line?

  1. kita says:

    Congrats girl you did it. I know everyone is proud of you and if you can run this you can run and do anything.

  2. Miriam says:

    That's so awesome! I can't wait to finish my first half marathon!

  3. Awesome!!! So proud of you! That is a great accomplishment! =)

  4. keyalus says:

    Congrats to you! I was tracking you and a few other friends from BGR and was so happy to get the note that you had finished. Be proud of yourself for sticking with it. I guess you've made it over that 7 miles hump now, huh? :)

  5. Congrats to you! I think you might have inspired me to have this on my goal list for next year! And it's amazing how small Atlanta is! I work with one of the ladies in your picture!!

  6. K. Rock says:

    Great story! Awesome job! We did that. But I am so glad it is officially done. Now we can sit back and have some fun with the marathon relays.

  7. @K.Rock–What? I am so glad not to have to run 10 mile long runs but I will stay training for a couple of low key races and then my 2nd half in March! @Rose's Daughter–it sure is!!! WOW! @Keyalus–girl thanks! I am soooo proud to actually of finished it but there were a couple of times when I wanted to ask a cop for a ride home.. lol@Optimistic Mom–thanks chica@MimiAKA–hey soror!!! You can do it!!!@Kita–thanks girl!!! I feel invincible!!!!

  8. Shayla says:

    Go Bossy One! You are truly living up to the name I am so proud of you! I want to see you wearing that medal EVERYDAY! You know I would lol

  9. K. Rock says:

    I forgot to comment on the volunteers. I totally feel you. It was fine for the first 6 or 7 miles but all the chipperness at mile 11? Are you serious? I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU GET OUT AND DO IT!!! That's what I wanted to yell to them.

  10. This is so awesome!! So proud of you. LOVED reading your story, so funny and so true. I hope you have chilaxin' since the race and enjoying your newest medal. I have four weeks left until my big race and my shins have started hurting like a mo' fo' – I feel your pain. LOL

  11. Thanks everyone…It was the hardest thing I've ever done..minus having babies!!! LOL

  12. Pingback: {The Reluctant Runner} Run Your Race »

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