I've been calling this half my "comeback half" since I started training back in September. I've battled nagging little injuries, ran some of my fastest longer distance times ever and managed to kick all my previous GI distress to the curb.
I've learned how to better listen to my body. And I honor what it can do on each run.
But with the race so close and all of my taper runs being not as good as normal, I've been having some doubts about my sub-2:30 finishing time.
I've been doing this thing that I call goal manifesting. I tell people exactly what I want to do, some people I know and others are strangers. The idea is to make it happen by verbal affirmation. Saying it out loud makes it more real.
Two years ago when I finished my first half marathon at St. Jude, my time was 2:45:37.
Three months later I ran the Little Rock Half Marathon in 2:39:46 and got a six minute PR.
Then I took a little over a year off from running because I was injured from not cross training properly, and it took forever (or what felt like it) to figure out what was wrong.
My training this go-around has been much better. I am faster than I've ever been, and I owe that to being the fast group mentor for No Boundaries at work.
But like I said before, the taper has been messing with my mind. So to stop these mental shenanigans, I've decided to dedicate each mile of my Comeback Race to someone or a group of someones who have impacted my running life as of late.
The St. Jude Half Marathon Miles Dedication
- Mile 1: Asher Brooklyn Ray
- Mile 2: My NoBo Group - Mike, Steve, Jon, Daniel and Elaine - You have made me do things I didn't even know I could do. Every Tuesday night and Saturday morning for the past 12 weeks you have let me push you to your max, and by doing that I had to push myself. Thank you for the motivation you gave me.
- Mile 3: Arkansas Children's Hospital Hemoc/Oncology Unit - All the bald babies, families, doctors and nurses who keep each other going when times are happy and sad. Those babies fight each day, and they deserve to be celebrated and remembered.
- Mile 4: St. Jude bald babies - This is the mile marker that runs through the St. Jude campus. They, too, deserve to be celebrated and remembered.
- Mile 5: Candace Walker
- Mile 6: Sarah Marks
- Mile 7: Abby Hanway
- Mile 8: Monica Zaremba
- Mile 9: Denise Waltrip
- Mile 10: Kerri Nutt
- Mile 11: Daniel Black
- Mile 12: My Mom
- Mile 13.1: Myself - This is my comeback run. The one that says I can still do this. I have overcome the injuries. I have trained for this. I am ready. I owe it to myself to give it all I've got. So that's what I'm going to do. I will leave it all on the road. The last year of not running like I use to. The figuring out how to not judge myself for not being the runner I use to be. The figuring out what shoes I like since the manufacturer jacked up my most favorite shoe. The months of PT. The speedwork. The long runs. All of it. It comes down to this. This moment. When I cross the start line, I will be on. I will be a machine. It doesn't matter if it hurts. I will finish. I will finish with a sub-2:30 time.
You can follow my race day journey if you want to. Just click here and put in my bib number 5076 to get my splits. They won't be official, but they should be pretty dang close.
I'll see you at the finish line.