Two days ago I ran the Big Sur Half-Marathon. It was my third half-marathon, but that hardly makes me an expert. I'm just an ordinary person, trying (but not always succeeding) to live a healthier, more active lifestyle despite the demands of my kids' schedules, the lure of more sedentary pleasures (i.e. blogging, television, eating anything with fat and salt in it) and the onset of aging.
For the past two years I've been plagued by plantar fascitis (aka heel spurs), so my five mile runs have shortened to three or two, and indeed, my runs have slowed to jogs or walks. Doing a third half-marathon was always in the back (very back) of my mind, but I didn't really do anything about it until Sony invited me to be one of their Sony Walkman Runners and sponsor me in the long distance event of my choice. The opportunity to combine two things I love to do -- blog and run -- was the perfect motivator to get off my feet and start training.
I'm not going to pretend that my training was perfect. Oh, I trained, but it's all too easy to find an excuse not to run, some valid, some not. All those times when I too busy, too sick, too much in pain, or just too lazy to run came back to haunt me in the weeks leading up to the race, when I started wondering if I'd even be able to finish.
It turns out that my training wasn't as lacking as I had feared, because I not only finished the race but I also finished in far less time than I anticipated! It was a tough race, and my legs are still aching two days after, but I am so happy and proud of myself for accomplishing what I set out to do!
I feel like I've won an Oscar or something, so in typical Oscar-winner fashion, I'm making out a list of people to thank -- or in this case, a list of things that really helped me overcome the fatigue, pain and discouragement that I felt during some portions of the race, and got me to the finish line:
1) The weather -- I couldn't have asked for better race conditions. It was cool and clear. There were no winds to battle or fog to chill me or hot sun to sap my strength.
2) The scenery -- There is nothing like running alongside the ocean to clear your head and distract your from thoughts of giving up.
3) The music -- Thank goodness for my Sony W-Series Walkman! Now that I've mastered the controls, I'm even more convinced that it's perfect for people who walk, bike or jog. I just hooked it behind my ears, set it to play and let my running playlist energize me when I was feeling low.
4) The cheers -- Having crowds of people cheer you on does wonders for your morale, even more so when some of them are people you know and love. Seeing Alfie and the kids in the crowd and being able to give them high-fives as I ran past them really pumped me up.
Of course, Sony also deserves a resounding cheer and a special Thank You for sponsoring my run!
Disclosure: As a Sony Walkman Runner, Sony sponsored my registration fee to the Big Sur Half-Marathon. They also gave me a complimentary W-Series Walkman to "power me up" during my training and for the actual event. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.