Thursday, May 5, 2022

Looking Back at 13.1 Miles of Memories

I began running in 2009 just to see if I could. I couldn't make it around the block, and the thought of running a half marathon was laughable to me. Fast-forward a bit and suddenly I was LOVING half marathons. I was doing them constantly and always excited to pick out the next one to register for. In 2019  I registered for the 2020 Eugene Half Marathon Doublestack Challenge and was feeling fit and ready to do it. Then Covid cancelled everything. For two years. And in the meantime my Ménière's disease really let me have it. Training stopped being fun because it was a constant battle between my legs wanting to run and vertigo wanting to knock me over. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and realized I need to retire from the long distances. Maybe some day things will improve and I can return, but for now I'll be sticking to shorter races and relays. It was a really hard thing to come to terms with, but now I feel pretty okay about it. So I thought I'd kind of wrap up my half marathon career with a little look back at each and find a highlight to attach to each race!

1. 2011 Disney's Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World. It was the first! That is the memory. I ran with Leslie and we had way too much fun sprinting from photo op to photo op. Hello Jack Sparrow! 

2. 2011 the Inaugural Corvallis Half Marathon. My iPod ended up having NO music on it. I was all alone. I was battling vertigo the whole time and kept drinking way too much water and each stop to try to feel normal. I puked my guts out at the finish line thanks to all that water.

3. 2011 Eugene Half Marathon. Amazon Parkway killed my IT band. I still deal with that if I run on an uneven surface! I ran great. I threw up on the track at Hayward Field. Hahaha. Go Beavs!

4. 2011 Seattle Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. I ran this one with my leg all wrapped up because of the IT band issue. My doctor hooked me up with tons of shots in my leg prior to the race so I could get it done. I got to meet Abby at the finish line party!

5. 2011 Lacamas Lake Half Marathon in Washington. I hated it. Absolutely hated it. The course was NOT what it was advertised. I saw no great views. And I had a terrible reaction to my Meniere's medicine which derailed me. Then the medal was seriously the size of a flattened penny. Never again. HATED IT.

6. 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon. Team Jam was born! This was the group race people aspire to have, but no one will ever be able to replicate. We. Were. Freaking. Awesome.

7. 2011 Portland Half Marathon. More memorable than the race was the expo. I met Jeff Galloway. I listened to awesome runners speaking about my running idol Steve Prefontaine. And then I met this woman ... and she was Steve Prefontaine's sister!! And she welcomed me to her family that day instantly. I adored her. AND THEN she introduced me to Frank Shorter - Pre's friend!! I never would have expected any of that. She and I still message now and then! And I got the PR I told Jeff Galloway I was going to get.

8. 2011 Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon. I ran dressed as the Cheshire Cat. I finished in tears because I had hurt myself during the race and was worried it was going to mess up the next race on the schedule. But I did it with a bunch of friends so that was awesome!

9. 2011 Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. It was the cluster f*$@ sh!t show everyone talked about after. I loved the course. I loved that it was at night. I loved the lights. I didn't love that I was one of the many, MANY people that got sick during the race. I collapsed after the race inside Mandalay Bay. A volunteer, Nancy, came to my aid with salt. It was insane. I really really do want to do this race again and have a fresh try!

10. 2012 Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Characters galore! And running with new friends.

11. 2012 Inaugural (and only) Walt Disney World Marathon Relay. I surprised myself by running back to back half marathons and doing incredibly awesome on the second one. I was with Corral A runners, so I guess they just intimidated me into running faster. I hit every photo stop without a line thanks to running with the people that never stop!

12. 2012 Heart Breaker Half Marathon. I saw Jeff Galloway again. I PR'd again. Is he the key?? And they gave us strawberries on the course.

13. 2012 Eugene Half Marathon. Another PR for me. I was on fire.

14. 2012 Portland Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. That course was a deceptive beast! So much uphill.

15. 2012 Seattle Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. The first race Shawn and I ever did together. His first race, period. He just followed my lead and we did awesome!! Then I convinced him to run the marathon with me that year. It was our first out of town trip together, too, other than our first date. I guess it all worked out since here we are still together a decade later!

16. 2012 Scappoose Half Marathon. This was essentially a training run for the next full marathon on the calendar. It was sooooo cold. Insanely cold.

17. 2012 Run to Stay Warm Half Marathon. No memories of this one. It was also a training run for the Disney races coming up.

18. 2012 Reindeer Run Half Marathon. Not enough aid stations along the way. I got so thirsty I was debating drinking water from a ditch.

19. 2012 Eugene Holiday Half Marathon. They had gingerbread man cookies and electrolyte drinks on the course that, when taken together, tasted like delicious dessert! And free Cliff Shot Block packages, too. We left with soooo many in Shawn's pockets.

20. 2013 Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Shawn and I ran as Jessie and Woody from Toy Story and ended up on the news! The next day we ran the marathon as Batman and Batgirl and we melted.

21. 2013 Inaugural Hop Hop Half Marathon. A girl my age collapsed and an ambulance came. She looked lifeless. Her eyes were rolled back. She survived but I hear was hospitalized. It was really scary to see.

22. 2013 Portland Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. I was better prepared since I knew their elevation charts were deceptive. Andy Grammar was the post-race concert.

23. 2013 Grapes of Half. Gorgeous. Nature. Wineries. Killer hills at the end. Gravel road, going downhill. I had to sort of walk sideways down so I wouldn't slip.

24. 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon. Part of the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare weekend. We ran as Mario and Luigi! And found many friends along the way.

25. 2013 Women's Running Half Marathon. This was in Arizona. There were maybe 5 dudes, Shawn being one of them. The altitude and change in air completely shocked me. I wasn't expecting that!

26. 2013 Eugene Holiday Half Marathon. I forgot my tech shirt at home and had to wear the cotton race shirt we all got. This is soooo NOT me.

27. 2013 Portland Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. At the finish line the announcer saw us and said, "Always be yourself, unless you can be a pirate. Then be a pirate!"

28. 2013 Seattle Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. I got to see Sir Mix A Lot!

29. 2013 Eugene Half Marathon. I actually began this race with my DAD and Shawn. I ditched both of them somewhere along the race and waited for them at the finish line. Ha!

30. 2013 Vancouver BC Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. Shawn had to walk it - doctor's orders - but we both went dressed as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police! We even had police officers stop us to compliment us on our outfits as we walked to the race! My first time in Canada!! 

31. 2013 Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon. The 5th anniversary of the race. That morning we were on RunDisney's social media for our Jack Skellington and Sally costumes in the 5K. For this night race we were Pinocchio and Gepetto. This would be the last half for a while because we were about to start the whole IVF process.

32. 2014 Inaugural Shamrock Half Marathon. Did not do it. Doctor's Orders! NOT allowed!

33. 2014 Corvallis Half Marathon. Did not do it. Doctor's Orders! NOT allowed!

34. 2018 Eugene Half Marathon. Felt so good to be back at my favorite distance again and running with a new friend I had just made at Ragnar the year before!

35. 2022 Eugene Half Marathon. The final race. I'll never forget it. Emily let me be with her the entire time and we had so much fun! The poor guy by us having to hear all of our stories. I didn't train at all. I wasn't sure I'd do it. But I am so glad I did!

Is it the end? I really don't know. I hope not. But if it is, I had a great ... run! 

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