I got up before the alarm and I was surprised that I didn't have to wake up Monika. I took Balt for a quick walk just before leaving at 6:30am. We parked as close to the capitol as possible and got to the start with plenty of time to stand around. I said farewell to Monika once the crowd started moving to start the race. I took a snapchat story pic every mile except the 8th. A nurse stopped to talk to me while I was walking by it to make sure I was doing okay. She knew me from school, so I'm not sure if she was checking on all of the walkers. It was around that 8th mile that my feet began to hurt. The hip pain kicked in after the 10th mile but then on that last mile, I had enough energy to actually jog a bit. Monika came down to meet me for the last 1/2 mile and we jogged it together. I was able to get my half marathon in just under 4 hours-- 3:55:46 total time; 1188th out of 1191 women; 94/97 for my division. The time is almost embarrassing, but the nurse who chatted with me told me that there are a ton of folks who sign up and then don't even show up. Like me they didn't prepare as well and had tons of excuses but I showed up. She made me feel really good at a time when I was contemplating giving up. I was really proud of Monika for helping me accomplish this. Quite honestly, it was something I never thought I could do.
It started sprinkling after the 1st mile but it was kind of nice. I think it kept me hydrated without having to use a porta-potty. By the time I was on mile 10 the rain was coming down harder and I was very glad I had brought a rain jacket. Monika and I did not stick around long to celebrate. We went home and got a hot showers in. I ordered two 10 inch pizzas-- one gluten-free for me and a veggie for her. We watched The Hulk while we gobbled up our pizzas. Neither of us had seen the Ed Norton version before. After the movie, we went to Supercuts to get Monika's hair buzzed. It just so happened that while Monika was getting all of her hair buzzed, my mom got her's shaved off as well. While not planned, it was kind of special to me. My mom sent me pictures of her bald head while I sent her pictures of Monika's buzzed cut. I video tapped Monika and came home and made a movie. It's uploading as I type.
This morning while I walked, occasionally jogging, I listened to music and I thought a lot of my mom. I knew whatever pain I might go through was nothing compared to what she was and thousands of women like her battling cancer were going through. There was a cancer survivor in front of Monika and me while we waited for the start and I knew that walking and running was a way to celebrate survival. I tried to recall why I had signed up in the first place, as it was long before my mom's diagnosis. I supposed it was about celebrating my own survival, my ability to make it on my own this year...but the truth was I hadn't been able to make it all alone. This past year, I had a ton of support from close friends, from my parents, and from my daughters. As I did my half marathon, I had Monika with me, and I had my mom cheering me on from afar, lots of strangers cheering me on,and friends who texted, and congratulated me. I am so glad to have so many dear ones who care about me. I am one very blessed woman. In the end that's what it's all about-- celebrating good health and being surrounded by wonderful people.