Catchup part1: March April May
Sunday, May 15, 2016
...& February as well, I suppose.
Let's go in chronological order, shall we.
My first half marathon of the year was the St. Jude half marathon held near my hometown. Both my older sister (who lives in AZ) and I went home to run it. Let me just say that it is an AMAZING feeling to be able to run a race AT HOME! To have been able to give my father a high five right before crossing the finish line was absolutely priceless!
I started my running journey away from home. I wasn't an athlete in high school at all. I worked out, jogged for fun, took exercise classes and walked/ran a couple of 5 or 10ks per year (if I was involved in whatever cause they supported) throughout my time in undergrad. My interest in physical activity and fitness really peaked while pursuing my Master's degree at Oklahoma State, which happens to be Americas healthiest college campus! The state of the art fitness center and multitude of offerings of classes, intramural sports, competitions, runs & fitness events & programs create a culture of health that can not easily be ignored. It truly is THE BEST! But I digress...back to my story...
Until February, I had never completed a long distance race at home & it never occurred to me how much that would matter. How seeing a former classmate on the course can give you a jolt of energy at just the right time. How having your teacher from grade school direct you through the turns & stare at you with that look of confused familiarity not quite being able to place your face, can make you smile at a time you really wanted to shout every profanity to this next set of hills you just turned to face. How just seeing the smiles on your family members' faces makes you want to push THAT much harder in that finish line chute. How a hug after crossing the finish line & them not minding all the sweat & salt at all could bring about such emotion & happiness.
This race was amazing! The course was satisfyingly challenging. The hills definitely gave my legs a workout. The pre and post race activities were well planned out. The course layout and support were all great! Overall it was a well planned and executed event. I was so proud of my hometown and the work they put in to make it all come together. That race is definitely a keeper.