Well, Saturday Scott and I flew to sunny Clearwater, Florida so that I could run my first half-marathon with some of my best friends. The weather was beautiful and I could not have asked for a more perfect experience. It was challenging but I never thought I couldn't do it which did wonders for the euphoric experience this running journey has given me. The race was an "out and back" which means we ran over two bridges and through a park before heading back over the two bridges again to make it to the finish line.
The bridges were the challenge I mentioned before. They were huge and gradual inclines that seemed to last forever. I had to make myself look at the amazing view once I got to the top even though I could barely breathe. It was interesting to people watch along the way too. I am happy to tell you that a man in flip flops, a Hawaiian shirt, and a walking stick beat me. He was a hoot! I have never seen anything like it. Also, a man in a sling beat me by about thirty seconds because I turned back at the end of the fourth bridge to find two of my friends. One had already run ahead and I wanted to finish this monumental race with the people I had trained so hard with. The man in the sling and a police officer said, "You're going the wrong way!" I must have scared them to death. They must have thought I was delusional turning back so close to the finish line, but I did not want to cross the line alone. This race was a testament to our friendship and brought us all closer together. So, we grabbed hands and crossed that blue line as one. My official time was 2:20:40...not bad for my first. I was 167 out of the ladies and 22nd in my age group. I will never have an experience like that again! On to a new race...yet to be determined!