The support of my pace group leader, Nikki Cheney, and the Half Marathon group leader Caitlin Mastenbroek, along with the members of the group motivated me and kept me going as we upped our mileage.
Even though the night before Happy Dirty Girls Half came quickly, the following morning came even faster. That morning I did my best to eat my routine “race day” breakfast and then I set off to Sisters to meet my running friends. I arrived and my nerves continued to plague me; we took the bus to the starting line and before I had time to think about it, we were off! As soon as we got going, I tossed aside my previous knowledge and made the new runner mistake of letting my excitement get the best of me. I started too fast. At mile three I felt a little dizzy and pulled over to regain my composure.
This is where it became an interesting mental game for me. Realizing that though I had the support of my running group, it was up to me to keep myself going. I decided I needed a plan; on previous training runs I had broken my mileage up into increments of three miles, so this would be my new strategy. I ate a few chews, drank some water and began again.
Mile six came and went in a blurr, followed by mile nine, and then mile twelve. This point marked the farthest distance I had ever run. Muscle cramps started to set in and the only thing that kept me going at this point were the smiles and support of the women around me; my husband at the finish line; and finishing what I had set out to do; run 13.1 miles. I crossed the finish line and was happy to be greeted by the support of our running group and cheer on other finishers.
I did not know how to feel when crossing the finish line. I had not accomplished my goal time and had not quite been on my game that day. As the day went on and I analyzed what I could have done differently and realized I was missing the whole purpose of what I had set out to do. Running a half marathon was my goal and I did it! Along with this accomplishment I met wonderful people and learned that I was much more capable than I had imagined. No longer am I the newcomer to Bend who can breathlessly run less than a half a block, but I am thirty -year old woman who can run 13.1 miles!!!
Written by:Alanna McGlone
2012 Happy Dirty Girls Race Results