It all started with my husband, Kevin announcing we would be participating in the 2010 Reggae Marathon after finding a magazine article about it on our flight home from Jamaica in December 2009. I thought he was joking but he was totally serious! We decided to sign up for the half marathon. That next month, I started reading up on running and just went for it as I knew I would need a lot of training to make it happen so it was important that I get started right away. I was very active in other areas like spinning, Pilates and other workouts but running was not something I was familiar with.
I started running on the gym treadmill and new right then this was not going to be easy. But I was going to do it. Months and months of treadmill training went on and I struggled. I couldn’t even run a full two minutes but I kept trying. Spring came along and Kevin and I started heading outdoors. Still struggling, I kept at it for quite a few months. During all this time, I was having some breathing issues and I tried various things to help but came to the realization that I was not going to be running the half marathon. We discussed my options and decided that we would WALK the entire 13.1 miles.
“Do people really walk half marathons?”, I wondered. Come to find out they do and it’s normal. I heard that people were both for and against it. And when I heard more about the people that were against it, it kind of scared me. I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way that was for sure. But I stopped worrying about it and pressed on.
We did what we could to train for the race as fall and winter here in Illinois came upon us. It was windy and cold a lot of the time but we pushed through and walked and walked. We found different trails to walk and we really enjoyed the time we spent together. Kevin was so supportive and really pushed me to keep going although there were many times I would say I wasn’t sure that I could do this or maybe we should just do the 10k, you know the usual excuses. But we kept trudging along.
The day we walked over 10 miles I was so excited and just knew that I would have no issues with completing the half marathon. At the time, I thought I was prepared. I had everything I needed for the race and was ready for it. Or so I thought.
December rolled around and it was time for the race. We were so excited. The day of the race, we woke up extremely early to get ready and have breakfast. It had been raining the whole night before and the morning of the race. That made me so nervous as I never trained for that. But right as the race started, the rain stopped. I know someone above was watching over us. Thankfully it didn’t rain the entire race.
Miles 1-8 were good but then I started to fall apart. My feet were burning really bad, nothing I had experienced before. I thought for sure that since I walked hills at home and the race was on flat road, I would be fine. That was not the case. I was getting blisters and I could just feel them getting worse. It was getting hot and I was starting to get sick to my stomach. Worry set in a bit. Although I never once even thought about giving up, I wondered if I would make it. I knew I was not going to take my shoes or socks off until after the race or I might not get them back on to finish.
We kept on going and Kevin was there every step of the way. I still get emotional thinking about how great he was through this whole process. He could have done really well at this race on his own but he wouldn’t have it. I told him many times that I would be OK with him running and I would cheer him on but the answer was always no we are going to do this together.
So we kept going and I kept pushing through the horrible foot pain. From mile 9 to the very end, I just kept telling myself to stick with it. I came this far, why quit now? I had wanted so badly to run the last mile but that was not in the cards for me. I came in last and I’m darn proud of that. I am still amazed that we walked the entire 13.1 miles.
If you set a goal, stick with it no matter what.
I want to add that as our first race, we were welcomed with open arms and given so much support throughout the entire race. Whether it be from bystanders on the road or volunteers handing out water/Gatorade packs, everyone was just great. What a great experience.
This guest blog post is from Angie Newton who has a Healthy Weight Loss Blog where she writes about her weight loss and fitness journey and where she shares tips on living a healthy lifestyle. Feel free to drop by for a visit!
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy
(Note: Featured photo courtesy of Karen Fuchs)