All season I've been toying with doing something more than a half marathon. I ran a miserable, hot, hilly half marathon three weeks ago, which didn't help me feel good about running more. Even up until Wednesday of last week I wasn't sure, but I signed up anyway. The day was warm and muggy, the course was three loops. Long loops. I had music and that helped. Also, I saw Ryan and his friend running on the other side of the course and a friend of mine came out to cheer me on. At one point on the last loop I started to cry and under my breath said, "I want my mommy!" In my head, I heard her voice saying, "You can do it, Pony Legs!" I think she'd agree that's something she would have said had she been there. At any rate, it was a huge comfort.
I was about a mile from the finish and a police car came slowly down the left lane and I thought that they were closing the course. There's no sidewalk there and the speed limit is about 100mph, so I was panicking. Turns out they were just checking on those of us who are so slow. Soon after that I saw Ryan coming toward me. He ran(/walked) the last mile with me. He stepped to the side and I ran across the finish line alone. He kept telling me how proud he was of me.
And then we had dinner at Chuy's because if you run 25K/15.5 miles you are fully justified in swimming in a vat of creamy jalapeno dip.
I've been asked if I'm now planning to run a full marathon. Here's my answer: NO. I did that race and maybe next year I'll run it again, but I was out. of. gas. at the end. My lungs couldn't keep up and my legs were dying and I figured I could just barely finish. But, I was super-stiff and sore the next day (my first period class asked if something was wrong), but otherwise okay.
So, I ran my first 25K and still can walk. I ran it in 3 hours, 20 minutes, which is 10 minutes before the course closed, but who cares. I'm pretty proud of myself.