She Got Both Feet on the Ground and She's Burning it Down

(song: Girl on Fire/artist: Alicia Keys)

Well...the girl that hates running has completed her first half-marathon! What an incredible day it was! The weather was perfect and the energy from the runners and the spectators made it so thrilling. The mix of emotions I felt at the starting line were overwhelming. I was just as excited as I was on my wedding day. All the training and planning were over, and it was finally time to go to the show!

The starting line in front of the Brooklyn Museum
The first 6.5 miles of the race were all familiar terrain, as it was the area in and around Prospect Park where I did most of my training. As we exited the park and made our way towards Coney Island, seeing new parts of Brooklyn made it easy to ignore the fact that I was little more than half-way through the race. I was particularly excited as we ran down the on-ramp to Ocean Avenue.

One of three times I cried tears of "I can't believe how awesome this is" joy during the race.

At mile 8, I got the boost I needed to run for another five miles -- my husband and son cheering from the sidelines. My son made a flag that said "Go Mommy". He told my husband that the idea came to him in a dream. How sweet is that! I grabbed my little boy and squeezed him as hard as I could, while he said, "Eww Mommy, you're so sweaty!" It was a perfect moment.

Totally worth the extra time on my finish!

I gave my hubby a sweaty smooch and off I ran, weeping tears of joy but feeling so lifted and knowing that I can accomplish anything! As I rounded the final 400 meters, I saw my boys again which gave me that last bit of energy I needed to run up the ramp to the boardwalk and cross the finish line! 

Sorry,, I will never pay $30 for a picture of myself.

And Cousin Joe was right. I did not finish the Brooklyn Half in under two hours. My official time was 2:07:19. And while my competitive side wishes I had done just a little better, my rational side feels pretty great about that! Because as my friend Val - who ran the race in 1 hour and 38 minutes! - said to me "I think your focus right now should be celebrating. You finished your first half marathon!! Would you have ever guessed two years ago that you could do that?" Not for a second Val. At the beginning of my 12 weeks of training, the longest I had ever run (in my two-year running "history") was 6 miles. In 12 weeks, I trained myself to run 13.1 consecutive miles! And I can't wait to do it again....seriously.