Exactly a year ago, I ran my 60th half marathon. A year later, at the same place, running the same race, I completed my 92nd half.
When I think about it, sometimes I am in disbelief. Me…Really? If you asked me 15 years ago when I ran my first half marathon, I couldn’t have even dared to think of running 92 of them. But slowly I built up this dream, and set out achievable goals in order to fulfill it. I can tell you that there was a lot of self-doubt, pain and disappointment mixed with patience, hard work, persistence, and most of all self-belief to get me to this point. Running is a different sport – people can cheer you on, offer you water or provide as much support as possible – but no one except YOU will get you to the finish line. So, whether you’re in training, or running a race, you must remind yourself that you can do it. Never let your negative emotions take over.
Most successful people tend to say that the journey is more important than the destination. You face new and oftentimes unknown experiences, which leads to self-growth and discovery. Life really is one big learning curve.
For me, I have definitely blossomed a little more as each race has passed. I have tested my own capabilities and sometimes wanted to quit, but it is my passion for running, my desire to reach greater milestones, and curiosity for the unknown that propels me to keep going and to push me to my limits.
Yesterday’s race (Lake Sammamish Half Marathon) was blessed with dry weather. A bit surprising, considering the constant rainy weather during the past week. Naturally though, there were some muddy puddles here and there, but overall, it was a good day to run.
This race was slightly bigger than the ones I’ve been running recently, as there were close to 1800 runners. Compared to last year’s race, the start line was different. As well, this year the course had race pacers, so I sneaked between the 2:00-2:15. The race crowd was so pumped at the start. So much energy.
The race began at the Redmond Town Centre in Redmond, Washington, and finished in Issaquah, where runners were bussed back to the start area. The route took us along the Marymoor Park, towards the Lake Sammamish trail. Along the way, it was quite scenic as the lake was right beside us, and some big homes lined the trail. It was a typical Saturday early morning – some residents were out walking their dogs, some were washing their cars, and a few cyclists going for their bike rides.
The finish was really pretty because of this majestic view of the beautiful, glistening lake. The sun had peeked out just shortly before I finished, so the scene was quite breath-taking. Calm blue water with snow-capped mountains in the background. With races like these, I feel lucky to be surrounded with such natural beauty.
Lots of runners finished ahead of me. People were stretching, chatting about their results, resting on park benches; it was like a great cool-down party. I felt pretty hungry when I finished, so I grabbed some multi-grain tortilla chips and finished the whole bag in no time! I also grabbed my recovery drink and rested on the park bench along with the other runners. The sun was getting quite warm, making it such a lovely morning.
As to how I felt yesterday, I was a little tired. But I think I did alright considering I woke up at 3:30am to drive down to Redmond for the 7:30am start. My finishing time was fairly consistent with previous races.
This race was very well organized. Lots of water stations, lots of volunteers, and a very well-marked course. I would highly recommend this half marathon.
To close, I will use this quote: “Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow anyone else’s path…” Ellen DeGeneres