Well, this was a race of firsts. My first race with my husband. My first race in the town I live. And my first race where I walked 3/4th of the time.
Since the race was in Fayetteville, I woke up in my own bed and felt the luxury of having my entire running wardrobe to choose from (instead of waking up in a hotel and searching through my suitcase for some packed running clothes and wishing I had X clothing article). Otherwise, the morning started off a like every other race: I choked down my breakfast of toast and PB (I seriously have eaten this for breakfast about 3x a week for the past year, but on every single race day I have to force myself to eat it. So strange), drank some coffee to get the bowels moving (TMI? Sorry, it's the reality of being a runner), and attempted to dress warm for the 26 degree morning. Burr!
Isn't he cute? Poor boy was one of the only ones in shorts- we need to get him some proper running gear!
As evident by the possible alternate titles, the race didn't go so well. We were keeping a 10:00 pace and were feeling great until mile 4. Josh was wincing in pain with every step and I could tell he couldn't go much longer.
We walked for a few minutes then tried to pick it back up, but he couldn't run for longer than 1 minute at a time. He described the pain as sharp, electrocuting, and worse with each impact. We walked the majority of miles 4-7, with occasional 1 minute sprints. He was so defeated and angry with his body and it made me feel so sorry for him. I know he wanted this to be a great first half marathon and it was completely out of his control.
At mile 8, Josh was limping pretty badly and merely starting to run was sending unbearable pain through his legs. This is where the running stopped and the mental task of walking 6 miles began. Seeing him so upset, there was no way I was going to leave his side! If we were to walk the rest of the way, we would. And I would be his little cheerleader the whole time.
Yea, it super sucked. And yea, my IT band was strangely killing me for walking 13.1 miles. But I wouldn't trade that 2 hours and 52 minutes for anything. I got to see my husband push himself when others would have quit long before. I got to be there for him, quietly walking beside him, while he struggled to complete his first half marathon. A lesser man would have given up, but we walked together, hand in hand across the finish line.
I would be lying if I said I didn't have tears in my eyes while we walked across the finish line. I was so proud of him.
The Fayetteville Half Marathon was a great race! It was a wonderful course, cold but sunny weather, great volunteers, and lots of yummy goodies after the race. But best of all, I finished with my best friend.