It's difficult to post about my half marathon experience because it seems impossible for me to put it into words. There's so much to be said about completing something you never imagined you were capable of. It was the perfect way for me to celebrate myself and where I am now as I just started my 24th year on this earth. If you've never had a conversation with someone that's completed a half marathon, allow me to shed some light on one seemingly universal fact- there are very often tears involved. Crying can be so therapeutic and crying while you run, see loved ones, and see the most magical place on earth- it really only adds exponentially. While I hope to improve my time a little with each half I do, I was so proud of myself for finishing this that the simple fact that I crossed that finish line was enough for me.
Along with all of this "Go me!" celebration, I celebrate crossing the finish line with my sister and one of my oldest and greatest friends. Thank you ladies. You both helped me so much more than I could ever express to you. Knowing you were always within a couple steps helped me get from one mile to the next. As if that weren't enough, and it more than is, I also had the love and encouragement of my "Royal finish line arm candy." From the first day I told him I'd been wanting to do this for a few years, he supported me without ever pushing me too hard. It made for an environment where I could and did flourish as a runner girl that will be doing this for years to come! Thank you for believing in me so much that it gave me no choice but to believe in myself. And to all of my friends and family- Thank you for never doubting I was capable of this. I was thinking back on all of my interactions about this marathon and while I got a whole lot of "I could never do that" responses, no one ever said or led me to think they thought it was out of my reach. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people that love and support me every day. :)
Well now that the gush fest is over- I have a couple gems to share about being out and on my feet for 13.1 miles. There's nothing wrong with laughing at people. In fact, I recommend it. If you walk by something that makes you chuckle, enjoy it! These little moments of happiness are everywhere so take advantage of it!! It's not meant with any ill will and I acknowledge these laughs all the while knowing that I have and will continue to have just as embarrassing of moments. I'll start with my story because I wouldn't feel right making fun of others if I didn't laugh at myself first. Around mile 4, I desperately needed to use the bathroom. Little did I know, this was a point where every other girl decided her bladder wouldn't make it another 10 miles either. So here I was, just outside of the Magic Kingdom waiting roughly 8 minutes to go pee. I finally get my turn to step into that sanctuary that is a port-o-potty and I pull my pants down. Just then, I hear someone pass the row of "facilities" and say "Just because you're in line for a bathroom, doesn't exempt you from the pace requirement!" ... As if I wasn't paranoid enough about getting picked up for not meeting the pace!! This little shout out to the ladies with their pants down led me to a fantastically shy bladder. I'm still haunted by the idea of me trying to squat and not catch any diseases all the while trying to relax and coax my bladder to relinquish the water that was being held captive inside. I still laugh at myself over this. I'm fairly sure next time I'll try to pee before the craziness begins. My second story may not translate as well into "blogdom" but I will try to paint the picture as best as I can. Being that it was Disney's Princess Half Marathon, there were a lot of lovely ladies running around in tutus. Now, I am all about the tutus and these girls looked adorable running in them. That being said- these flipping tutus made for just the right amount of laughs along the route to keep me giggling when it got tough. Most of them were made of short pieces of toile tied onto some sort of belt or elastic that went around the runners waist. As physics would have it, as you run, these seperate pieces of toile like to slip between your legs. When the length of said toile is just right, it makes this fantastic little tuft of bright green (or whatever color your tutu may have been) right at the back of your crotch. Are we picturing this right? Small, bright tuft at back of crotch. :) Just go with me on this- imagine being really exhausted around mile 10, only 3 miles to go, feeling a little negative, when a lime green crotch tuft passes you. It's hilarious! And you laugh and get happy again and the next thing you know, you've passed another mile marker! I'm sure if these ladies knew I was laughing at their expense they may be marginally embarrassed. But! We were all working our butts off and finishing a freakin half marathon!! So who really cares!
And there you have it! My first half marathon experience. I did it. You know, I still smile typing that. I did it. Cups of hot chocolate and happiness all around!