Eleven months, eleven races, eleven medals. In December 2014, I only had one more to complete my one-race-a-month resolution.
Of course, I couldn’t make the last race an easy 5K. Heck, just calling a 5K “easy” shows how far I’ve come this year. Because of personal hardships, 2014 started out looking like quite possibly the worst year of my life. But then it wasn’t. Amazing friends and family and running, and even this last race changed everything. It may not have been pretty, or perfect, but 2014 was full of bling!
December 6, the date of The Reindeer Run, seemed far away when I started the Nike Plus coach program. I knew it would be a lot of work, but I never planned to run the entire race. Running at least the first 10K, and then continuing with a walk/run to the finish, was my plan. The first few weeks of training went better than expected, though. I reached both 5 and 8-mile distances without any problems, beyond hitching a ride from my sister back home after a run. So my mind started to shift my goals and replay an imaginary finish line scene: me lunging across the finish, victory arms in the air, with tears streaming down my cheeks, screaming THAT 13.1 WAS MY BEEOCH!
Then…life got in the way, or I let it get in the way. I got complacent, and honestly was a little scared of the half marathon. Fight or flight went to the latter, and as the race loomed closer, my original 10K-run/walk plan allowed me to dismiss the Nike Plus coach run reminders popping up on my phone.
Feeling guilty, I admitted to my friends my lack of training, secretly hoping they would tell me I wasn’t ready to run this race. I wanted someone else to give me permission to give up. It was the old me creeping back in. Sigh.
With my lack of confidence, my friends only encouraged me more. You guys are awesome and I love you! There was no way I was getting out of running with the reindeer. It’s only, hopefully, 3.5 hours out of my life. I will be so proud of myself. My friends will be proud of me too.
Check out other stories about Tracy's 2014 Running adventure!
Eyes Up Here, Please!
Keep Chipping Away
Talk Dirty To Me!
Bling It On!
Five, four, three, two, one…and the walkers/3+ hour runners are off!
I keep a good pace behind a younger gal in black running pants, henceforth known as Black Running Pants. As we settle into the first few miles I wonder if she will ever stop and walk a bit, because I sure would like to. Keep going Tracy!
Runners carrying on casual conversations pass by. Old men and young moms pushing strollers pass by. Run your own race Tracy!
It’s a beautiful course through the backcountry of St. Helens, Oregon—beautiful and hilly. Training for hills would have been a good idea. I pump my arms and plod up each hill, propelled only by the belief that on the other side there must be a downhill. Black Running Pants is much farther ahead, but I can still see her ponytail swinging to and fro. Keep going.
I can see the turn-around just ahead. I can’t believe it. I’m halfway done! My inner voice is really talking it up now. Only 6.5 miles to go! I CAN do this! One step at a time, I keep trudging along.
Erica catches up to me near the turn-around. Dang, she is fast! She excitedly announces that she pooped in someone’s yard, and then passes me. Yea…grrrr….giggle…yea…grrrr. Keep going!
Nike Plus whispers in my ear, “seven miles complete,” and then my phone dies. What?! Without my Nike man and music, all I have is my own self-encouragement. Oh boy!
At mile 10, I’m pretty sure my calf muscles are planning a Charlie Horse party, and Black Running Pants is nowhere to be seen. She has been replaced by Old Walking Man In Red Sweats. He walks pretty darn fast. I pick up the pace to keep him in my sights, but he slowly fades from view.
At mile 11 the Charlie Horse party is in full swing. It sucks—like what I imagine it would be like at a twenty-something rave dance party, or the middle of a mosh pit. I’m more of a sit at the picnic table sipping wine kind of gal. Keep going Tracy!
Finally, I see the finish line! I’m doing a sort of hobble run/walk. My friends are cheering for me, and Erica runs out to meet me. I tell her my calves are cramped up and that I just can’t run. She tells me that indeed I can run, and to get moving. With her at my side, I do run (woohoo!) and we cross the finish line together!
Although it was a completely different finish than I imagined—no, I didn’t shout that 13.1 was my beeoch—it was a finish none-the-less. I got my coveted medal, a picture with hunky firefighters, and even a better finishing time than I had planned. My friends were with me and I had a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
I’m still working on the bitter part but I am not miserable. Instead, I’m grateful for the opportunity to discover my stronger inner self. I’m amazed at the running community and how supportive complete strangers are of fellow runner strangers. Out on the course, it is always warming and bolstering to the spirit to hear someone ringing a bell, clapping, or just saying go girl runner as I pass by. I am a runner!
I’m not in any hurry to run another half-marathon, but I’m sure glad that I did. Now I just have to figure out what my 2015 New Year’s Resolution will be.
Have any ideas for Tracy's 2015 Resolution (or Runolution)? Let her know in the comments!
All of us at Chafing The Dream are extremely proud of Tracy! We certainly are lucky she is a member of our running family. Here is a little poem from our editor in honor of Tracy's 2014 accomplishments...
over 12 months
and a lifetime of surprises
and become again
it ends with 13.1
half of nothing
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