Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I can do hard things

(Warning, this is kind of long. But my journal writing skills are lacking, so this is my documentation.)
On Saturday, I did something I really NEVER thought I would do...I ran a half marathon!

I still don't believe it.  I know some of you have done full marathons, but this is really something I never expected this chubby girl could do.

My greatest ever friend Carie says she remembers me saying years ago that I would never run a 5k.  It was pretty great that Carie decided to run the half with me.  Even better...we ran all 13.1 miles together and crossed the finish line together.  (Well, she was one second ahead of me, but close enough).  I'm so glad I had her there to push me and coach me..."Don't eat the GU, it will make you sick"...(she was right)..."Run on the outside of your foot if the inside of your calf is cramping."  Thanks for sticking with me, Carie!!!
I went into this race with 4 goals...

  1. Make it to the finish line
  2. Don't get last place
  3. Don't walk
  4. Stay under an 11 minute mile

Over the years, I've learned that it's important to review my goals, so here we go...

  1. I made it to the finish line!
  2. I did NOT get last place!  In fact, I got 1,782nd place...which sounds bad, but out of somewhere between 3500-4000 runners, I don't think I did too bad!
  3. I never walked!  But I'm not counting the water stations.  If you've found an effective way to drink and run at the same time, please share!
  4. Pace Time:  9:47.  Take THAT, 11 minute mile!  My total time was 2:08:02
What got me started?

I feel like it's been a crazy thing leading up to this.  I started running a few months ago for a few reasons.  A lot of it was because I wanted to be healthier.  I wanted to lose some weight, and it seemed like a good way to make it happen.  My brother-in-law, Steve, has turned into this crazy runner, and I'm always intrigued when I hear him talk about his runs.  He kept telling me I should try it.  He even made me a running playlist this summer.  As soon as I heard Britney Spears on the mix, I knew it was meant to be.

I guess you could say I needed an "outlet" as well.  It's been a wild/emotional past few months.  I started out writing more about that, but I decided it was perhaps too personal to post on my public blog.  I don't really want to go into detail on here, but running gives me a lot of time to think and run off sadness, frustrations, and fear.  It's a good distraction.  After a long day, it's surprising how much I look forward to going on a run.  It's therapeutic, really.  It's true what Elle Woods says on Legally Blonde..."Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people just don't shoot their husbands...they just don't!"

I feel such a great sense of accomplishment.  I probably shouldn't have been smiling so much after running 13.1 miles, but I couldn't help it!  Even when I was so sore for a couple days, I would still smile and think, "I did something I thought was impossible."  What a great feeling!  I can do hard things!

And I couldn't have done it without so much encouragement. And I was so happy to see my two best cheerleaders (a.k.a. the roommates) there at the finish line with posters, Gatorade, and chocolate milk.
I look like I'm about to throw up in these pictures.  Probably because that's what I wanted to do.  Remember how Carie told me not to eat the GU?
Love you girls!

Will I do another half marathon?  Absolutely.  A full marathon?  Now you're pushing it.


heather said...

I am so proud of you!!! Seriously, your time is awesome! You killed it and I love that you love running now. I just wish we lived closer so that I could run with you and feed off your energy.
So proud of you.
Oh and I can't believe you don't like gu?! I love it! I think it makes my run 10 times better. But that is just me. You should try jelly beans. They are tasty and wont make you sick. ;)

Amber and Travis said...

Shannon!! I am so impressed!! Way to go! I remember when you first started running and look how far you have come. Now if only I could motivate myself to run again...

Katie said...

You are AWESOME! I'm super proud of you for doing it. Also, super proud of that costume. You rock!

Heather Whitworth said...

Oh Shannon, I don't even know what to say.... I am so loaded with pride for you and what you accomplished. Yes you CAN do hard things. I knew you could do it and now that you have proven this to yourself by succeeding above and beyond your goals, now you can do all that much more (even outside the running world). I'm so glad you have found your "outlet" and a healthy one at that... and it is a fairly inexpensive sport too (that is if you don't count the race entrance fees and constant running shoe replacement). No really, any time you want to go on a training run or race another half, just let me know and I would love to tag along! You rock girl!

Kristen said...

You're my inspiration! And you totally rock! Way to go!

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Zac and Mindy Curtis said...

Congrats on your half! That is a fabulous mile time!!! Way to go you!!!