On Sunday, December 13th, I, Brooke Ashley Kayland, completed my first half marathon! I can’t believe I actually DID it. I’m not gonna pretend that I didn’t almost bail on the sucker a few times. There were a couple of weeks where I missed my big training run. (They were held every Saturday morning at 8am, so yes, maybe drinking Friday nights had something to do with the missed runs…umm, who am I kidding, drinking had EVERYTHING to do with the missed runs.) There was a week or two where I didn’t even get in a run at all. Then there was the week I was sick, and the couple of weeks my ankles were really hurting. I nearly convinced myself to give up, but my awesome support team kept me motivated. The days leading up to the run, my “coaches,” Jose and Aylan, had complete faith in me and in my ability to complete this halfie. So I went for it. I went for it, EVEN with the knowledge that there was a 40% chance of showers the day of our race! Running in the rain?! I could barely run in perfect weather, let alone in the RAIN! Lucky for me, race day was beautiful. The sky was clear, the air was crisp; it couldn’t have been a better day to go for a run.
Our race was in Oxnard, and it began inland and ended along the beach, with beautiful views of the ocean. It was a fairly flat, pleasant run…until about mile 11, (of 13.1 miles). I’m not gonna lie, those last couple of miles got pretty tough. It was mostly because my fancy Nike Plus on my iPod was a little bit off and had told me I had completed the half marathon about 1.5 miles from the finish line. So mentally, I was STOKED to be nearly done, (but where was the finish line?!), then I heard a woman cheering me on say, “Only about 2 miles to go!” WOW, that was like a punch to the chest. I wanted to yell back, “Lady, I’m DONE! My iPod says I’ve ran a half marathon!” Instead, I realized, there was no finish line in sight, this woman must be right, and my iPod is screwy. I accepted the fact I had almost 2 miles to go and kept running. It was definitely hard, but knowing I had already gone over 11 miles and that I was about to finish a half freakin’ MARATHON kept my little legs moving. Then I started to see the finish line. Goosebumps popped up on my arms and tears started welling in my eyes, (seriously). I was filled with all sorts of emotions—relief, happiness, excitement, but mostly pride. Then I saw my team! Jose, Aylan, Matt, and Bill who had finished before me, were at the finish line cheering me on. It was such a special moment giving them high fives as I crossed the finish line! I had done it! Finished the damned thing in 2 hours and 28 minutes! Not a bad time, really. I kept a steady pace of about an 11 minute mile. Not fast by any means, but I finished, which was all that mattered. So now my running buddies want me to train for the full LA marathon in March. I’m already halfway there, right?! I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to do.
Andddd this was my pump up song during the run, “Night by Night” by Chromeo