So, no joke, I'm getting old.
As I write this it is raining out, Addie is at school and Brenna and I are snuggled up in my bed. She is chugging milk and watching Halloween Curious George; I'm sipping coffee and thoroughly enjoying the warmth of a heating pad against my right hamstring. Because, as I said, I am getting old.
I'm getting old, but if truth be told I'm a little bit awesome, too (or so I'd like to think). Last January we spent a weekend in Wheeling, West Virginia for a mini Flaherty Family reunion. Anytime this part of my family gets together there is bound to be insane amounts of laughter, a fair amount of alcohol consumed, and usually a story or two. One night after a sip or two of wine my cousin, Liz, asked if I'd do a half marathon with her. I, of course, said yes. A wine fueled yes. Which brings us to the current situation with the lovely heating pad.
Run Like a Girl Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio. If truth be told, Liz owned the race and I ran what I think is my best long distance run to date. She trained like a pro, not missing any days, cross training and undoubtedly eating incredibly well. I trained. Sometimes I fudged my distances, occasionally I slipped in some cross training, and while my diet was probably healthier than it once was, it was not stellar. So the fact that Liz kicked my rear is of no surprise and absolutely well earned by her. That being said, I am damn proud of my aching 37 year old body.
I didn't stop to walk once (one visit to the portapotty did occur.... again because I'm getting old). I chose other runners to beat and picked them off. I didn't vomit or fall over crossing g the finish line - SUCCESS! I did, however, in the last tenth of a mile pull my hamstring, and oh wow, that hurts. So I am gimpy and limping, popping Aleve like candy corn, and hanging out on a heating pad. But I finished a half marathon. Finished. A. Half. Marathon.
Friends, I don't mean to brag, but I am still feeling like a badass. I had in the back of my head that if I finished in 2 hours and 30 minutes I'd be happy. In the way back of head I was hoping to have a helluva run and finish in 2 hours and 15 minutes. As I crossed the finish line the clock said 2:27 and I was happy. And then the official results were published - my official time was 2:13. Two hours and thirteen minutes people!!! I beat my super secret goal - and I did it without wanting to die. My hamstring suffered but my ego hasn't - I.Am.Proud.
Let me say this as well - my cousin Liz is amazeballs. Seriously, she rocks. She had never run a thing before. She was not a runner. Not a runner and she finished in 2:05. Whaaat?! Amazing. Also, without her dedication to training I would have never followed through. I would have found an excuse to give up and sit on my couch. I do love my couch. But she kept training and running and getting blisters, so I kept dragging myself out there.
The rain and wind and hail made this half marathon a bit of a challenge - but the cheering section of my wonderful family made it so much better. Big smiles, lots of cheers, high fives and hugs are pretty motivating. As was the bottle of wine each finisher got. And maybe the several bottles of champagne that we celebrated with, champagne hydrates like water, right? Yesterday, Brenna said to me while were cuddling Mama, you and Liz run so,so,so fast. And that's when I decided I need to keep it up.
So I'm going to take it easy for another day or so and then I'm going to get going. Get back to the gym, to the treadmill, to Pilates, to the weight room. If I can tackle a half marathon, maybe I am capable of a bit more than I give myself credit. Just maybe. And if they see me up and moving and taking care of me and setting goals then maybe those amazing kids of mine will one day do the same.