just as a disclaimer i started this post like 2 months ago...just had to still share with ya'll. 

i decided to kick off the last year of my 20's with a half marathon! now mind you this took a lot of planning. i began about 6 months ago running a little here and there. then with 16 weeks before the race i got serious and found a training program and naturally i made a really cute training schedule to hang on my fridge. 
so naturally the hard part was over right? just kidding.

seriously though i was pretty strict with myself this time around and only missed a day or two of running. that is until 2 weeks before the race i got strep throat and was sick for a whole week and couldn't run at all. 

i missed my last really long run of 12 miles and could only etch out 4. i was really disappointed and discouraged. i had trained so hard for 14 weeks and to feel so week and not getting the miles i wanted, made me really nervous about the race.

the morning of the race my roommate and i were up at 3:30 and out the door by 4:10.
we got to the buses and immediately found my sisters to ride up together. it was freezing up the canyon and as anticipated the lines for the port a potty's were ridiculous and cutthroat. once we were settled we had just a few minutes until race time. so naturally we took some selfies.
the race started and only after 2 minutes we crossed the starting line. i was feeling pretty good. my hands were freezing but Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners was pumping and how can that not put you in a good mood? as runners passed me i still felt good. i had my music, my new fit belt and my pace was on point. the first mile was a breeze. same as for mile 2. i stopped to use the port a potty and i was off again. about a quarter mile after mile 2 the unthinkable happened. i fell. i placed my left foot down knowing that the small little ripple in the asphalt was going to be trouble. and sure enough, i put my foot down, my ankle rolled and i went down. all the way down. i rolled over and was facing all the oncoming runners. luckily a sweet older lady stopped to help me up and help me walk over the side. tears were welling up in my eyes and all i could think was 'i've trained so hard, this can't be happening. i have to finish. i can't stop.' this sweet lady asked if she needed to walk with me to the next aid station at mile 3. i told her i was okay and off she ran to let them know i was coming. i walked for about a quarter mile before i decided to try and run on it. i started slow and eventually got a good pace going with only a little pain. i made it to the aid station and felt okay enough to go on. 

at mile 5 i realized the i had also scraped my knee and was concerned about my new running pants of all things. i lifted up my pant leg to find my knee bleeding a little and my skin stuck to my pants. so of course after realizing i had hurt my knee too, i could feel it every step i ran. i made it to the next aid station at mile 5 and asked for pain meds or anything and was literally sorely disappointed. the nice lady told me that i could either wait with her for the 'sag wagon' thus forfeiting the race or i could run 2 more miles to the mouth of the canyon where they had an ambulance and possibly some ibuprofen. i opted to take my chances and keep running.

the rest of the canyon was pretty decent. turns out running downhill is super easy at times. i had some of my best mile times despite my injuries. i made it out the canyon and was met with powerade and finally some ibuprofen!  i crossed the street and headed for the golf course. never had i been so happy to run the golf course! i am so glad that char, natatlie, denise and i had run that portion of the race a few times during our training. it was almost a breeze and went by so quickly that i barely remember much of it. 

when i stopped to stretch around mile 9 (which was impossible to do without hurting my ankle) i  realized that my gps was playing mind games with me and telling me i was half a mile further than i really was! i continued on. getting to the hill around mile 10 wasn't a surprise this time and i was ready for it. half way up my ankle started yelling obsenities at me and i wanted to stop so badly until a spectator really did keep me going with her kind words and i made it up!  

right before mile 11 i ran past a women who looked to be struggling with each step. she didn't have earphones in, so as i ran past i told her that she was doing awesome. when i stopped to walk a little ways ahead she caught up to me. we walked together and i learned that she was a mom of 11, had spent the night before in the hospital with her daughter who had just had a baby, and that she had lost her husband to cancer 4 years earlier. i almost began to cry as she told me that she knew he was with her pushing her forward. such an inspiration to me that i no longer felt bad for me and my swollen ankle. 

as i continued on with her for another mile i got a second wind and kicked it into gear for the last 1.1 miles. said goodbye to my new friend and turned the corner. but alas at 12.5 miles i hit a major wall. i just wanted to be done and even that last 0.6 miles felt like a whole 6 miles. it was the bearded man who had joined his granddaughter that got me through. coaching me to just walk to the next street corner and then run to the finish line. when he began to run again he turned to me and while waving me toward him he chanted 'come on, come on' until i began to run again and turn the corner to the final stretch. 

i bounded the corner to see my sister katie cheering me on and crouched to take pictures of me as i turned into the finish line alley. i clung to every bit of energy and strength i had and increased my pace into a sprint. i heard my sister char cheering and running beside me behind the barricade. i finally saw the time and was stoked to see that i was in fact 8 minutes faster than my first half marathon and began to smile. i did it! i finished on a swollen ankle and beat my time! as they placed the finishers medal around my neck i reached down to take off my shoe and sock to finally see the damage to my ankle. my sisters doted on me and got me some yummy kneader's french toast and my mom handed me a bag of ice that i had requested at mile 6 when i text to tell her about my fall. as we sat on the grass eating and talking i was so ecstatic that i finished! i wasn't even thinking about my sore ankle and aching knee. i was just so proud of myself to finishing.

we did it! i am so happy that i got to do this with my sisters and my roommate. it was so nice to have support and people to check up on me with my training. 

i really wanted to wear my medal everywhere i went just so i could show off how cool i really am.

this is how i spent the majority of the day after my race. icing and elevating my ankle and watching movies while eating the remainder of the junk food from my birthday party, which included peanut m&m's and red vines. perfect! i only left my house with my friend morgan to go the strawberry days to get a corn dog, diet coke and strawberries & cream. all of which were the only things that i wanted to really eat that day. 

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