13.1 (pr)oud

13.1 (pr)oud — this is the one, the only way to describe today’s half marathon.

Similar to my first-ever half marathon almost a year ago, this phrase is still very fitting for today:

Veni, Vidi, Vici — I came, I saw, I conquered. 

I went into today’s race with one goal: to finish what I started, to run a race to be proud of. But what I gained today – so, so much more than that…which is why I’m finding it hard to even write this race recap (so bear with me, please)

…for starters? I PR’d this race, WAY above any time goals that were quietly lurking in the back of my mind. As I’ve said from day one, this race was not about the number on the clock, but running a race to be proud of. Turns out, I accomplished both – a proud race, and a PR. When I saw that clock as we crossed the finish and it read 2:13:55, I thought I was delusional. That’s 13 minutes faster than our last half. Holy hell, and that’s with a sh*tton of hills throughout the course (more on that in a minute).  I never thought I’d see that time on the clock…I was quietly hoping for 2:18 or 2:20 so 2:13+? Feels kind of unreal. Ok, very unreal if I’m being honest.

…I ran proud – a proud “me” but a very proud “wifey” too. Today’s race was the best I’ve ever run, hands down. But my husband? He was walking on air.  If he didn’t stick by me the entire race? I’m sure he would’ve run a sub-2 hour race. But because he is absolutely the most incredible husband ever, he stuck by me, even though he could’ve run ahead and killed it today. Today reminds me that I have a husband who I love more than words can describe, and I treasure him more than ever. What today’s race also proved? I’m convinced that this round of half training has made us stronger together than we’ve ever been.  And for that, I’m very grateful and yes, proud. (sensing a theme here…)

…What has been hard about this particular race? Not just the course – which was jam-packed with a killer 3-4 miles of “rolling hills” at the start and the finish (um gee thanks race directors, new course next year, mmk?) – it was painful to watch my sister struggle today. I know some of you read her blog, and if you don’t, I urge you to send her a positive thought or word of encouragement today. She had one of those mentally tough “off” days, despite how physically tough and ABLE she is. And it killed me to know that she was struggling while I was having a good race day. I felt guilty. Wished that I could boost her up, help her break the mental block she faced. I knew I couldn’t. And that was tough to swallow. I am incredibly inspired by her every single day and I doubt she even realizes that. She’s come so far, in so many aspects of her life, and she’s always, always come out a stronger, better, more amazing person because of it. She defines “determined” in my book. So yes, I admit – I’m having a hard time celebrating success when I know she’s feeling like she failed. Even though she absolutely did not. She finished what she started, no matter how hard it was. And that is what makes her a runner, and the best sister I could ever ask for.

So this is why I’m proud today, holding my head higher than ever…

…13.1 miles done. Again. And faster than before. (yes!!)
…I ran a race that I’m proud of. I did not give up. I did not back down. I pushed it hard, harder than I’ve ever pushed. Gave 110% today, nothing less.
…my husband, my sister and M, my sister-in-law, and my buddy Steph, we did something that most people will never do. I think it’s easy to forget that in “this” world of healthy living…13.1 miles isn’t a “normal” thing to accomplish in a given day. Note to self
…I’m a proud wifey, sister, and friend. Today was what I hoped it could be: a day of learning, a day of accomplishments, a day of hard work, and a day filled with incredible encouragement from all of YOU on twitter, on the blog, on FB…totally blows me away. 

…13.1 (pr)oud.