A year ago at age 55 I did my first half marathon. It was a major accomplishment for me just to sign up, much less to actually DO it! I'm typically a "stay-in-my-comfort-zone run-from-any-possibility-of-a-
challenge" kind of girl. I knew what I had done was commendable, but I walked away disappointed in myself for a finish time of just a few seconds over 3 hours. I had not met my goal to finish in under 3 hours.
Over the past year I've heard from a lot of seasoned runners who did that same race...how it was one of the most difficult courses they had experienced. It was extremely hot and humid, with very little shade. The water stations were not prepared and ran out of either cups or water, or both. I saw runners literally sprawled out on the side of the road. The ambulances stayed quite busy hauling runners off the course due to heat exhaustion. I, myself, was to the point of feeling like I couldn't take another step, but I finished. And after it was over...I swore...never again.
But what did I do? The first week sign ups were posted...I paid my money to do it again. I also told my husband he was going to do it and I signed him up, too.
Why? Cuz I'm just a little cra-cra? Maybe so. But something inside of me wanted to give it another shot. Not to try and finish in under 3 hours, but to finish it with a whole new attitude. I wanted to do it again and walk away from it feeling accomplished and proud of myself.
And that is exactly what I did. Hubby and I finished together in well OVER 3 hours, but we didn't care. The point is, we finished. It was hot...and parts of the course were just plain miserable, but we took our time and enjoyed it. We took lots of pics along the way. The race organizers did a much better job this year and there was plenty of water and cups. The water stations were awesome...and the course was filled with ROCK N ROLL tunes.
Here is the story in pictures.
Flyover before the cannonball start sounded:
The race takes place aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola. Here are pics from along the route.
Some fun pics from the water stations...and Elvis!
And we did NOT end up here:
I'm not sure if I will ever do this half marathon again, but I for sure will do the 5K and then be at the finish line to cheer on those who dare to take on this half marathon course.
So if you are thinking about trying a race...be it 5k, half, or whatever...and fear of a "finish time" is holding you back...just get out there and do it! Who cares if the whole crowd of runners passes you by...your t-shirt, recognition, or medal is just as honorable as anyone else's!