Day 261 | Achieving the Goal

Today was the day. The half-marathon. I set this goal at the beginning of the year. I had no idea when I set that goal that I was going to have any other obstacles in my way other than have to train my body to be able to run 13.1 miles.

What I didn’t expect was that I would get pregnant a month before the race. And I certainly didn’t expect to only half-way miscarry so that I would be essentially running this race pregnant. That was not something that I could have anticipated.

Nevertheless, my doctor said I could run, so that’s what I was going to do. The great thing about goals, and especially publishing them for the entire interweb to see, is that it makes it hard to walk away from them.

So I ran. I didn’t run fast, but I ran.

The course started in Bar Harbor, but then the middle 9 miles on carriage roads through Acadia National Park. It was absolutely beautiful. Here is a picture of the first of three stone arch bridges that we ran under during the race.

Stone Arch Acadia

Stone Arch in Acadia National Park around mile 2.

The field spread out pretty quickly and by the first water stop around 2.5 miles, I was pretty much alone.  The volunteers were very friendly.  Here’s a picture on nice volunteer took of me at this first water stop.

First water stop
After about mile 3, I pretty much didn’t see another runner until mile 12.5.   I saw many bicyclists, and even one deer, but no other runners.  It felt a lot like my solitary training runs, except with really nice people handing me water & Gatoraid every 2.5 miles.   That part totally rocked.

Acadia Carriage Roads

This is what the carriage roads looked like - really wide, finely packed gravel, no cars.

The first 5 miles were tough because they were mostly uphill.  The view when I got there made it all worth it.

Eagle Lake - Acadia

Eagle Lake - after about 5 uphill miles.

At about mile 9.5, I thought I was going to have to drop out of the race.  I started feeling  some pretty intense pain in my pelvic region.  I had to stop and walk for a bit, then I even had to stop walking.  I thought maybe I was having the second half of my miscarriage.  I was really worried.  But then I started walking again.  After a bit I remembered that there was a bathroom stop around mile 10, so I started running to just get there quicker.

Here I am at the mile 10 water stop.  I’m smiling despite the fact that I am in pain and I don’t know what is going on with my body.

Mile 10

Mile 10 - How could I not smile at that view?

After that water stop, I found the bathroom.  Everything seemed fine.  I decided that I just had to push through this pain and keep going.  So I did.

Here’s the third and final stone arch around mile 11.  I missed getting a picture of the second arch because it was under construction.  We were out of the park at this point and on a busy road, which I did not enjoy nearly as much as being in the park on the carriage roads.

Stone Arch Bridge in Acadia

Third stone arch around mile 11

Around mile 12, I finally caught sight of a runner in front of me.  I had heard that good advice for running a long race was to start out slow, but then near the end to start picking people off one at a time.  When I saw the person in front of me, I thought maybe.  Maybe I could pass someone.  But I just didn’t have anything left in the tank.    And that was okay, because I was so close to the end, I just savored the last mile and didn’t worry about having to beat someone else to make myself good.  I felt great.

My husband had already finished an hour earlier.  Damn, he’s fast.  So he was waiting for me with our kids at the finish line.  My daughter, Zoe ducked under the orange tape and ran with me the last few yards.  What a moment.   It’s a memory I will treasure forever.

Finish Line

My daughter crosses the finish line with me.

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