by Melody Garrett
Saturday, January 21st I raced the River Road Run Half Marathon. This was my first half marathon race and I did it all alone. No Rogue running buddies, pacers, or any running friends came with me to New Braunfels. My only cheering squad was my biggest fans, my boyfriend and my pug. With an out and back route, I waved goodbye to them at 8am for 2 hrs and 2 minutes of just me… and it was hard as hell.
A little back history: Unable to load the course map that began and ended at River Road Ice House or the elevation map, I signed up for the race anyways. I have been training my sister for 3M and decided I wanted to race my own HM before 3M and found RRR. It seemed like a fun small race and hills don’t scare me since I have done all my training in Austin.
The first mile of the race I spent adjusting my jacket and iPod. It had been months since I had run with music and took me a minute to get situated, distraction me from noticing I was running down a huge mile long hill. The first few miles of any run for me are never my best. I am always working out my kinks and getting my body adjusted. I was enjoying the view as we ran along the river, remembering all my good times there during college. Around mile five I started to feel exhaustion kick in, noticing I had been going too fast in the beginning and also that all the rolling hills had been rolling down hill. Awesome.
At the half way turn around, while fighting the battle of good and evil in my head and writing a much more negative and profane Rogue Blog (in my head), I decided it was my ‘fight or flight’ time. I often refer to this when I feel myself starting to be afraid or wimp out. I am a fighter. So, as much as I wanted to quit because running alone had posed to be much more mentally challenging and it was the hilly course from hell, I kicked it in to high gear at mile seven.
I had come to reach a goal of two hours and, whether I met it or not, I wasn’t going to give up (as much as my body was hurting). I started passing people one by one, charging up the hills and picking up pace. Finally I was back on course to reach my goal. I was feeling good and proud of myself that I was beating the mental battle in my head!
Though I didn’t quite get my goal in the end, it was still a great race. More challenging than any race or full marathon I have run so far, but well worth it with a 3rd place trophy in the end (age group 25-29). I am glad I pushed myself, all by myself.