At the 2 mile marker, I had the best treat EVER in ANY race ... my husband and my sons. I got very choked up watching my two little boys cheering for me. Very very choked up. And I got choked up thinking about my husband getting up at 6AM on his own birthday to support me.
Because of the crowds and the hills (THE HILLS!) I didn't hit my runner's high until 6 miles and by that point, I realized hey! I'm almost halfway done! I was expecting some tough times around miles 7-10. To my utter joy and surprise, at mile 7.5 they had a drum circle. This was my favorite band EVER in ANY race. And right after the drum circle, we ran through the outdoor art installations at the NC Museum of Art. I will definitely be taking my boys back there for some photos.
There was then an enormous downhill trail so steep they had a speed limit sign posted for bikes. Running down the hill was fun but then I realized we had to go all the way back up. HOLY HILLS! Almost everyone walked up the insane hill but I kept on truckin'. I was afraid that if I started walking I wouldn't be able to start running again.
The top of the hill was 9 miles and the crowd had spaced out significantly. This is when I hit my wall, when I did not want to run anymore. And that's when I thought three things:
* I have three boys waiting for me at the end. I can't disappoint them.
* I have to get to the end and I can either run it or walk it. I'll disappoint myself if I walk it.
* I told all my friends, my family, my co-workers, and my blog community that I was running it. I can't disappoint them.
I blasted Jamiroqai's Canned Heat (song from Napoleon Dynamite dance sequence) and kept on truckin'. And when I saw my three boys at the end, I waved and cheered and then sprinted to the finish. (Puffy red face brought to you by southern humidity.)
It was an awesome run for my last race in the 30-34 age group. I truly could not have done this without Jon's undying support through the crazy idea, the training runs, the motivation, and the race-day support. Each year he is in my life, I marvel more at our luck in finding each other. I hope we get to celebrate every birthday together for the rest of our lives.
Now I need to go stuff my face with cupcakes.