Ah, the run. My least favorite part of the day, but I wasn't going to focus on that. My plan was to think positively, channel any pain or discomfort, and try to enjoy myself as much as I could. In the end I knew that I was only six miles from being done. I could do this!
I started off feeling reeeeeeally slow, but I was ok with that. I'd rather have had started slow and finish strong than the other way around. Well all that bike-to-run training kind of helped. I tried to remind myself I'd probably start off too fast on the run and to just slow down from the get go. Well, at mile 1 my Garmin alerted me of my pace and I was waaaay faster than I planned on going. So I tried to slow down. I kept and eye out for Marci because I knew she was close behind me making up time on the bike and that she'd soon be passing me because she's an amazing runner. I think I first saw her less than a mile in and knew she'd be passing me soon.
The run was beautiful. It was down the boardwalk area towards the USS Midway. I'd never been to this part of San Diego so it was kind of fun to look at all the shops and restaurants as I ran by them (at least it was fun on the first lap, by the second lap I was ready to steal a margarita or mimosa off of a table). A little past the 1.5 mile marker I heard someone come up behind me and yell, "You got this, Betty!" It was Marci! She gave me a huge smile and flew by me. Now it was her turn to encourage me to get through the end of the race.
When Marci got to the turnaround point of the run to start the second lap she told herself, all you have to do is run 3 more miles and you're done! The day was starting to heat up and we both started feeling the effects of the morning and our goal of running the full six miles was slipping away. But, our run / walk of the last three still made us feel like we were accomplishing something. We both made ourselves pick points where we'd start running again - only slowing down to walk for short periods of time to lower our heart rates and take a few sips of water (or in my case, dumping two cups of water down my head and body in attempt to cool down).
On Marci's last walk moment of the race a guy came up from behind her who had been following her on the run. As he passed her she started running again and he said to her, "You can do it! You're awesome!" and high fived her. Little moments with other racers really helped push us along and gave us that extra boost we tend to forget we still have. On my last stretch I had a few people ring cow bells at my feet and yell, "You're almost there! You got this!"
Then, we both saw my husband Tom near the finish and seeing him gave us that last motivation to kill it at the end! And then, we were done! We were Triathletes!
For me, the best part of the entire day was seeing Marci standing at the end of the finish line cheering me on to finish! She wanted to throw her arms around me and hug me and congratulate me and thank me for "making" her do this race, but after our last half marathon when I felt so sick I couldn't even talk so she wasn't sure how I was feeling and instead jumped in the air and gave me a high five. (I totally would have been ok with a hug, just saying!)
I can't believe its over. I'm a little glad, and I'm a little sad. It was so much fun. I've done things I never thought I'd be able to do, but at the same time I think, of course I was able to do that! All it takes is dedication, hard work, and lots of motivation from an amazing training partner.
Now! 5 weeks to go until our next half marathon!