Thursday, July 5, 2012

American Fork Canyon HM: Round 2

I was originally supposed to be the 1:50 pacer for a recent local half marathon.  However, because of my various injuries I didn’t feel comfortable having others rely on my ability and I gave my spot away. Come the day before the race, I had gone to help with the race packets for the pacers and saw my name on one of the bibs- that bib that somebody else would be using. I was really bummed about it, but knew that there would be other races.
That evening around 9pm I was on facebook when a notification popped up from the pace group I’m in.  {Julia} had an extra spot for the race, and was willing to give it away so that it got used! I messaged her right away, and with that, I had a spot back.
I rushed to find all of my running stuff and got to bed.  The next morning I met up with her and got my bib!  I wasn’t even sure that I could still run a half, since I hadn’t run farther than 7 miles in about 3 months, with the last long run (14mi) being the one to push my injuries over the top.  I just wanted to finish the race, even if I had to walk most of the way.  I had no idea how it was going to go.
This race is a fundraiser for families who can’ afford cancer treatment. Every dime of the race fees go to the families.  The sponsors cover all of the costs.  

I had a thyroid tumor that was discovered in 2007, right before my senior year of high school.  I had surgery to remove the tumor and half of my thyroid.  I’m very blessed that I had a tumor that tends to stay localized for a long time, and that we caught it early enough for it to not have spread or become malignant.  I have a big  scar on my neck, but I’m tumor free!  
About halfway through the race I knew I was just a bit behind the 1:55 pacer. I had to go to the bathroom and was in a pretty brutal line, so once I set off again I wasn’t sure what my time was.  I had chosen not to wear a watch, because if I had worn one I would have been stressing over how much slower I’ve gotten.  I didn’t see another pacer for the rest of the race, and I forgot to look at the clock when I crossed the finish line.  I grabbed some free food and my medal, and started walking back to the car.  When I got in I estimated that I had gotten somewhere between 2 and 2:10, which is way better than I had expected.  It was by no means a PR (in fact, it's over 20 minutes slower than my best time), but it was a beautiful race for a wonderful cause. I checked later, and I ended up getting a 2:04. That's a lot better than not being able to finish. (In case you’re wondering, I did pay for the original bib, and I made a donation for the second :)
This race was just what I needed to remind me how much I enjoy running.  It’s really annoying being so much slower and having to put in so much more effort, but remembering what I blast I have at races is helping me get back at it.