In Her Shoes

Tackling my bucket list, one half marathon at a time.

Love Wins in this Love/Hate Relationship

10 Comments

This past weekend was the Madison Half Marathon. It was full of gloriousness and lots of…not gloriousness.

The running fun started on Friday at the race expo, where Krista (and the Rock ‘n’ Sole people) convinced me to sign up for yet ANOTHER half in 3 weeks in Milwaukee. I mean…why not, right?Rock 'n' Sole lured us in

The fun continued Saturday night when a chunk of our Saturday morning running group got together for a pre-race meal at Mel and Tim’s house. We ate delicious food, listened to funny stories from Mel’s English “mum”, Irene, and talked about our goals for the following morning.

Left to right: Krista, Mel, myself and Tim

Pre-race group shot: Krista, Mel, myself and Tim

Mel, Tim, Krista and I woke up bright and early Sunday morning to meet near the start line. The four of us started together, but Krista and Tim quickly pulled away. Mel is my running twin. We always (freakishly) have similar races and we mesh so well on our training runs. We’ve both been dying to run sub-2 hour halves for as long as we can remember. I finally did it a few weeks ago in Iowa City and this was Mel’s race to do it. We stayed together for the first 6.5 miles until I started dragging. I just wasn’t feeling it so I told her to go ahead without me. I’m so glad she did…she ran a 1:58:07!! I’m still so happy for her.

As for me, it wasn’t my best race…it wasn’t my worst. I finished at 2:05:03. As awesome as it was to run another race in my hometown, it wasn’t awesome that we had to run the largest hills in Madison. To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure I had a strand of strep throat, but there was no way I was throwing my medal and $75 registration fee in the trash. I was running that race no matter what. I was hoping to break 2 hours again, which is where my frustration comes from.

When I take a step back and think about this race, I am so torn. I absolutely hate running. It’s stupid. It’s frustrating. It’s hard. I hate paying for races (they can get so freaking expensive). I hate stressing out over the weather the days leading up to the race.  I hate waking up at the crack of dawn to go for a run. And I absolutely hate the feeling at miles 11 and 12 where I just want to break down, give up and walk the rest of the way.

But then again…running is the best. I love the feeling of standing in the race corral, listening to the countdown. I love the extra boost of energy you get when you see friends along the course cheering you on.

**Pause for a hot minute: I had the best cheering section ever for the Madison Half: Lauren, Jeremy, Emily & Bennet. I saw them 4 times on the course and each time they were screaming bloody murder at me. I’m a lucky girl.

Bennet, myself, and Emily. Jeremy and Lauren dipped out before we could take a group shot.

Bennet, myself, and Emily. Jeremy and Lauren dipped out before we could take a group shot.

Resume…

I love when you’re struggling and a stranger pats you on the back as they pass you. Or vice versa. No words need to be exchanged…you know what that pat meant. I love crossing the finish line–regardless of time. And I love the medals. But the best part? Running friends. There is nothing better than waking up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning for a training run…and realizing you don’t have to do it alone. And then you spend the next 2 hours chatting the miles away to the point that you don’t even realize you’ve cruised through 10 miles.

I have been fortunate to meet the best people in the Madison running community. These strangers became running mates who have become friends. The pros of this sport definitely outweigh the cons.

Post race group shot

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10 thoughts on “Love Wins in this Love/Hate Relationship

  1. Congrats on your 13.1! It was rough, but you plowed through it, that takes guts! I’m right there with you, hate the minor things, weather, waking up, going to the bathroom, porta potties… But I’m always happy I did it!

  2. I think we already know we see things similarly…except you didn’t mention the biggest PRO…health! If it didn’t make me healthier I would’ve stopped long ago, a lot of times we forget that part. I am getting this positivity out of the way now because in about 30 days it will go out the window as marathon training round two begins for NYC and I will inevitably have some expletives to share about my decision. I hope you are feeling better and the fact that you ran even though you weren’t feeling close to 100% is another PRO about running, it teaches us to eliminate excuses and give the situation our best (or close to it).

    • Forgot about the health aspect for a second there 🙂 And thank you for this lovely positive comment because now it’s saved forever when you are complaining and hurting and hating running during your marathon training! I’ll always send you back to this!

  3. Congratulations! SOunds like a fun race!

    Same here, there’s a lot I hate about racing but in the end, I love the feeling of accomplishment, the cheers and the SATISFACTION I get from it. 🙂

  4. I loved this post! I liked how you described runners patting each other on the back when they’re struggling. It’s so true that words aren’t even needed because you know it’s for support and encouragement. Just hearing people encouraging and supporting each other during races gives me goose bumps. I love the level of respect and support running brings. Congrats on another half! 🙂

  5. Congrats on your run! I want to do the Madison Mini (I think in August), but not sure if that’s enough time to train. I have yet to do a half! Anyways, thanks for following and how cool that we’re both in the same great city! 🙂

    • You should definitely do the mini! I’ve never done it but have only heard great things about it. I believe it was voted the top 15 Halves according to Runners World. I can’t do it this year because I’ll be out of town,but definitely next year!

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