Tuesday night was amazingly itch-free! I slept through the night, no scratching, didn't even need to ice my hands or feet, and woke up feeling ready to tackle just about anything. Can I get a "Praise the Lord"?! (Seriously.)
Since I wasn't able to stick to my training plan too well for the last week or two, my main goal was just to finish. I set a hopeful goal of making it in under two hours, and I wanted to try to run the whole way without any walking breaks. But honestly, I didn't expect either of those two things to happen.
Well, I only walked long enough to guzzle a cup of water at two or three of the water stations, and also once when my music quit playing and I had to turn it back on. In total, that was probably less than a tenth of a mile of walking, so I'm gonna go ahead and say I ran the whole thing. I ran the whole thing!
And my official completion time was 1:49:33 (although as I ran past the finish, it showed 1:50:12, but I'm assuming that's because I crossed the Start line a few seconds after the race started). Definitely not a pace to brag about in running circles, but I'm 100% proud of it! I mean, considering my lack of training, issues with eczema, asthma, and the fact that this was my first time running longer than seven miles, I'll take it.
Here's how I looked at about 1.5 miles in:
Aaaaaaand here I am at the finish line...
The aftermath: My knees ache like I'm 90 years old, and I got seven or eight pretty ugly blisters on my feet (a product of the eczema). But all things considered, that's not too shabby! My knees will be okay -- they're not injured, just tired. The blisters will heal eventually, too.
The original reason I wanted to do this race was to push myself a couple miles further than I'm used to, in order to gauge whether a half marathon could really be in my future. And honestly? While I'd hoped I would leave the 15K feeling pumped about training for a half, I'm not really sure about it now. It's not so much because of the creaky knees or fear of running a longer distance; it's more about the fact that two hours is a LONG time to be running. I love a good hour-long run, give or take 15 minutes, but once I reached about mile seven yesterday, I was over it. Not because my legs were tired or my lungs were fighting for air. I just wasn't interested in spending any more time pounding the pavement. I wanted breakfast! And social interaction! And maybe a mimosa
So while I'm still not ruling out the possibility of doing a half marathon someday, I'm feeling less inclined to strive toward it in the immediate future. And I think that's okay. I can stick to 5K's and 10K's and mayyyyyybe, if I can work on improving my speed a bit, another 15K. But this realization that I don't need to train for a half marathon this year like I had been planning -- it allows me the freedom to explore other fitness endeavors. Lord willing, as soon as my feet are all cleared up from this eczema, I can get started on developing my skills as a Spinning instructor. And, I'm actually really stoked about doing martial arts with Joe, too. I had my one-week trial recently, and while I'm sure I have a TON of work to do on my form, I felt like I fit in pretty well and got a great workout. It's going to be fun kicking butt alongside my husband!
All in all, I'm glad I went through with the race yesterday, despite the risks. Praise the Lord for giving me a night of relief from the pain and itchiness so that I could be refreshed and ready to take it on!