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Monday, December 3, 2012

Do Two Halves Make a Full?

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon weekend was held this past weekend.  As you know, I ran the half marathon.  It was one of the most exciting and emotional experiences of my life.  
There were 18,500 participated in this year's St. Jude Marathon Weekend.  Needless to say, the race was packed!  This was my first really "BIG" race so I got there early to get a spot in the corral that suited my run times the best.  
This race was not my personal best, but I am so proud to been a part of it.  

The streets were filled with family and friends cheering everyone on!  I knew people would be out there, but I never expected this many.  I even had a few people rooting for me along the way:
As we ran through the streets near St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, tears started pouring down my face.  It was such an emotional place filled will kids and their families who had been affected by cancer.  The sign that moved me the most read, "Thank you for my family."  I can't even think about it without having tears well up in my eyes.  I had been warned that this was an emotional spot, but I never knew how much it would touch me.  

During the race, I had some hip pain that was bothering me in both hips.  I took a few more water breaks and tried to stretch at the water stations.  And honestly, I just wasn't feeling the race.  I don't know if it's because I was distracted by the number of runners or the cheerleaders, but I never really found my focus.  In my last half, it was just me and the road (and only about a hundred other people).

I crossed the finish line at 2:02:46.  This was 5 minutes over my previous run, but I will take it.  As soon as I saw Fred and my mom and dad, I cried.  

It really wasn't until yesterday morning when the Memphis Runners Track Club posted this on Facebook that I realized how big of an accomplishment this was:

HEY RUNNERS! Did your race suck yesterday? Did you miss your goals, do you feel like a truck hit you? Consider this: All those who wish they could run and can't. Maybe it wasn't so bad, after all?

I did my best for that day and I am pretty darn proud of myself for finishing 2 half marathons days before my 30th birthday and within 2 weeks of one another.

Here I am receiving my finishing medal:  
I was still suffering from hip pain after the race so I was stretching every which way possible.
Since I got a medal, I had to act like an Olympian (don't mind the chiseled man behind me).
My mom wanted me to stand by this mile marker sign because I've been there and done that! 
Here's a pic of my medal:
And my official stats (I did not sign up for the race in time and ended up buying Kristie's spot from her.  I can never thank her enough for this opportunity):


For once, this race wasn't entirely about me or for me.  It was for these kids who are dealing with cancer and their families who care for them.  I am so glad I could be a part of something to help them.  I look forward to doing this race in the year's to come.  

When I started this journey in January, I never thought I'd finish the year with two half marathons under my belt.  I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.

26 comments:

Tamara @ Everything Happens said...

You inspire me so much, Caroline! Way to go!

Kristen :) said...

Did you see the mom and dad at about the 10 mile mark holding a sign that said "You're Running for Our Angel?" that had a pic of their daughter on it who passed away last year? I almost had to stop running b/c I was crying so much. What a great race and a great cause! You still did an awesome job!

bellanottebelle said...

Congrats on completing! I work at a hotel in Memphis and we had a lot of runners staying with us and they said it was brutal.

Carolyn said...

I love this!! :) I think it's SO sweet that this race touched you so much. You're such a sweetie. :)

Lauren {at} Life.Love.Lauren said...

You rock!

Courtney said...

Congrats, amazing accomplishment, especially to do 2 so close together!

meghan said...

Congrats Caroline! How awesome! I think I would have gotten emotional in a race like this too. And way to have a positive attitude about your time. You should still be so pleased with all that you've accomplished, like you said!

Mateya said...

What an amazing race! You did great! I really would love to run this race someday!

Mateya said...

What an amazing race! You did great! I really would love to run this race someday!

erin said...

It really is amazing that you have completed 2 half marathons this year. You should be so proud. And I am SO JEALOUS of your speed!

And of course now we all want to know: are you going to do a full marathon??

Our Family of Four said...

Go you! That has got to be so exciting..

J and A said...

That is so awesome!!! You should be SO proud!! You rock!! wow. I think a full is next. ;)

Leigh said...

Congratulations! You should be proud of how far you have come :)

Kelly said...

FABULOUS job!! So proud of you :-) You rocked it.

Britt said...

What an amazing accomplishment! You should be VERY proud of yourself:)

Megan Brink said...

I am so proud of you! I can't even tell you how much of an inspiration you are, to me and so many others on here.

Lauren said...

amazing!! great work!! and i loved that "perspective" about running...it's not all about PRs, it's about being able to RUN

Andrea {blonde ambitions} said...

Great job Caroline! You are such an inspiration! I can't imagine the emotions during this race. I am so proud of you & your accomplishments! What a great way to bring an end to your 20's and begin your 30's!

BTW, the chiseled guy in the back wasn't so bad either :)

Mrs in Training said...

I don't know if two halves make a whole, but they do make you 100% awesome! I am so proud of you!

4 AM Runner said...

Congrats!!

Christin said...

Just out of curiosity...didn't you used to run in Guides and then went to Rides? This could have something to do with your hip pain. The Rides don't have the same support...I used to have a lot of hip pain and went back to more supportive shoes and they haven't bothered me at all.

Shari said...

You're amazing! :)

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

You are so amazing! I saw your pics on instagram too! Huge congrats to you!

kyle and angie said...

happy that i saw you!! sad i couldnt do it this year =( but cheering you guys on was fun!

Tiffany said...

This is awesome!! What a great race---I may have to look into it!

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Natalie said...

This was my first half ever and I totally agree with you about the emotional aspect of this run. As I ran through St. Jude some mom was yelling "Thank you for helping my baby!" I about lost it. I can't imagine the pain of those families and the strength of their children. Whenever I had a tough run while I was training I kept telling myself that I'm running for those who wish they could.

And I totally did the Olympic medal bite as well, except I didn't have the BEST PHOTO BOMB EVER in the background of mine. Hello Mr. 6-pack!

Glad to find your blog, seems like we have similar interests and your in my home town.