As a preface to this story I wanted to share that at the start of this year, I could barely run a mile. This past August 14th, I finished my first ever half marathon. I traveled thirteen point one grueling miles through the streets of downtown Chicago along with over fifteen thousand people. It was an amazing experience! And it was something I never thought I would do in a million years.
At the start of the year I made the decision I wanted to run a 5k and began training. I signed up for a "Couch to 5K" program through active.com. Not too long after I began running races. I found I really enjoyed the races part and got the crazy idea that I would sign up for half marathon. Luckily my wife, Dani, is just as crazy. And despite just having had back surgery a few months ago, she signed up as well.
Dani was much more diligent about her training. As the summer went on and got busier, my dedication to training dropped off. The most I had run outside was about six miles. And I had barely managed to run just under ten miles on the treadmill the week before. So the week leading up to the race I was really nervous about my ability to complete the full distance.
Before I knew it we were lined up in our corrals waiting to get going. It was a cool, overcast morning with a bit of drizzle here and there so the temperature was just about perfect. About a mile in I found the 2 hour 45 minute pacer group. THANK GOODNESS FOR THEM. They were running five-minute intervals with one minute walking between each run. I stayed with them for nearly the entire race, pulling away to finish the last three miles a bit faster. I never would have been able to make it the whole way without them. When it was all said and done I crossed the finish line at the 2:37:24 mark and in position 11,960 out of 15,317.
It was a great experience, and I think I might just do it again next year. Plus I got this rad medal!