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.