Slow and steady…
Wins the race?
Well, no. It may have worked for the tortoise…
Finishes the race? Absolutely!
Enjoys every minute? Yes!
Wears a dopey grin throughout pretty much the whole race? Yes, I think so.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re well aware that the Fargo Half-Marathon was a new distance for me. If you’re a new reader, hello and welcome! I’ve just run my first half-marathon, and I couldn’t be happier! Let me tell you all about it!
We had driven up on Friday night to stay with my husband’s sister and her family for the weekend. They live about an hour past Fargo, which might sound like a negative, but there is a very definite positive, besides the obvious fun factor of spending time with family. Approaching Fargo from the north on marathon day has much less traffic!! One year, coming from the east on marathon day (for the 5k that year), we almost didn’t make it on time. This is a huge event, with many thousands of people converging on the Fargo Dome for the day.
We got up around 5:15 am to eat a quick breakfast and head to Fargo. Our niece was running the 10K, which was scheduled to start at 7:30 am. It rained the whole drive to Fargo, and it looked like we were in for a rainy run, but it stopped by the time we had parked.
We all got to watch our niece take off for her 10K, and fortunately, we even had enough time before our start to see her finish. She is eleven years old and such a great kid! After her finish, my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and I said goodbye to my husband and the kids and made our way back to the start line. It meant so much to me that my husband came along to support us runners and watched our two children and our two nieces during the run. (Thank you!!)
My brother-in-law was aiming for a faster pace than we girls were, so we split up at the start. We took it slow, and I think that was a smart choice for me. I went out too fast on my longest training run, and it was fairly miserable. The slow and steady approach ended up with about the same overall pace. On the training run, I ran faster at times, but I also took far more walking breaks than I ever intended. And it felt awful. On the other hand, I enjoyed every minute of the half-marathon. We just ran at a slow pace and walked through water stations. It was SOOOO different from my training. I really thought I would be walking more than that.
I know my sister-in-law has run faster half-marathons in the past. I was so grateful to her for running with me, and helping me have such a positive experience.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was cool, but not cold. The rain held off, but there were light sprinkles toward the end, which felt pretty good at that point.
The support and cheering from the community was amazing! There were bands here and there throughout the route, and it was a real boost. There were little kids along the side waiting for high-fives from runners. There were people with cowbells, trombones, you name it. I wish I had gotten pictures of some of the greatest runner shirts and crowd signs/crowd costumes that I saw. It was just awesome!
But as a mom, the very best cheering section came in the form of my own family. My husband and all the kids were watching near the finish. I would have missed them if my husband hadn’t yelled my name, but there they were, and it meant a lot to me. Wouldn’t this sign melt your heart?
I have these souvenirs of the day.
A part of me would like to try to run a half at a faster pace than I did on Saturday. A part of me would like to build up to a full marathon someday. Maybe I will do one or both someday. I don’t regret my slow half-marathon, though. I got to enjoy every minute, and I’m not sure I can say that about any of my previous races. I enjoyed the other races, but not at the same level. I was practically giddy.
My heartfelt thanks to those of you who have encouraged me during this process.
Let the Ragnar countdown begin!
Do you have a race or other event that stands out in your memory as a favorite experience?