Well today I ran my first half marathon. Believe it or not, it was the Run Like A Diva Half-Marathon. For those of you who know me in real life, you know that I am not really the Diva type. However, I will admit to enjoying watching the ladies running in their tutus and fancy clothes. It helped to pass the time after my iPod died. But back to the beginning…
5:30 am: I got up, got dressed and attempted to slowly raise the dead, otherwise known as my family. Ate some oatmeal and toast with PB. Then I fed the grumbling dead with the bagels I had picked up the day before. Aren’t I a good mother and wife?
6:15 am: Hit the road. All went smoothly until we got within 1/4 mile of Eisenhower Park. Can you say “traffic jam”? Parking was a challenge, but my hubby was up to said challenge.
7:15 am: We walked and walked and walked to the starting line in the cold morning air with some of my under-dressed children complaining about their level of coldness. Said children had been warned to dress warmly. Can you say “I told you so”? Just kidding.
8:00 am: Race begins as over 3600 people (mostly women) start out on their adventure.
Mile 3: iPod dies… This was when the race became spiritual for me. I told the Blessed Mother that I was now completely relying on her to see me through. Toby Keith, Josh Turner, RelientK, and the rest of my iTune buddies had let me down. It was all up to her now.
Mile 5: Legs start to get sore.
Mile 7: Legs start to get a bit numb, which is perhaps better than sore, right?
Mile 7.5: Start praying the rosary using my earphones to block out all the race chatter and noise. It was good that it was Sunday. The glorious mysteries are good for running outdoors. After all, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption, and the Coronation of Mary all invoke visions of the outdoors and particularly of the sky. So running outdoors under the big beautiful (if a bit cloudy) sky was perfect.
Mile 10: Tell myself that I only have 3.1 miles left, which is the equivalent of a 5K. Then I remind myself that this battle is all in my mind (Thanks Teresa Hansen). My body knows what to do. My body can run a 5K in its sleep. So the mind decides to stay strong and persevere.
Mile 12: Reach the “Boa and Tiara Station” which I had planned on skipping, but as they were handing them out on the run, I decided to take them for my daughter Lily. First I tried on the tiara. Well we Millers/Giambalvos have big heads due to our large brains (so a doctor told me), and this ‘made for a 6 year old’ tiara was not going to fit snugly on my crown while running. So I carried it. At first I wrapped the pink feather boa around my throat as I saw the other participants doing. Well that didn’t last very long. Can you say “uncomfortable”? So I tied it around my waist. In the pictures my husband took, it looks like a pink tail!!!
Mile 12.75: Decided not to sprint (which is my custom) for the finish line due to the lack of feeling in my legs.
Finish Line: Thank the Blessed Mother for her strength… had a drink of champagne provided by the race… received my finisher’s medal and red rose (as well as assorted snacks)… skipped the long line to have my picture taken in full Diva garb… staggered over to my family and believe me “staggered” isn’t much of an exaggeration… made the long trek back to the car… and thanked God for a wonderful family to support me and for a comfy seat to ride home on.
All in all it was a satisfying experience. Will I do it again? Right now, less than 12 hours after finishing the race, I can’t answer that. Perhaps it will depend how my legs feel tomorrow. But it is certainly an accomplishment that I will treasure forever. At 43 years old, I never thought that this was something that was within my reach. Two and a half years ago when I weighed about 100 lbs. more than I do now, I never even dreamed of this. But God is indeed good. Nothing is impossible with His help!!!