Emerald Isle Half-Marathon weekend

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

this past weekend i ran my first half-marathon!  on Emerald Isle, the island where i grew up.  running a new distance and reaching this goal of mine, with family meeting me at the finish, and a husband who rode his bike all the way down the island cheering me on, -- it was a full and spectacular experience.  a highlight of this life of mine, of that i am certain.

driving down friday to sunny and 75! we arrived with time to relax, grocery shop, grab my race bib, and spend an hour at the farm(drone flying for him, chit chatting/swinging for me and mom).  later, we gathered at home for a pre-race pizza party!  five large pies from the best pizza spot at the beach made for full bellies and leftovers for days.  carb loading at its finest.

i woke up saturday with nervous butterflies and a honestly bit of self doubt.  it was a warm day already and i, having not trained or enjoy running in the heat, was nervous.  but i put those thoughts away, praying for peace and presence and to enjoy the entire experience ahead of me.  when training, i focused and planned to run my first half in two hours. but come race day that pressure and perfection was weighing me down, fogging my confidence.  so i softly told myself to just run, run with your heart--for yourself and not for time.

a quick before picture and a good luck kiss from Chris and i was ready. standing at the start line water bottle in hand, music in my ears, and nerves in my belly but eager to run.

a lucky thing to have lived on this island mile 2 looped right by my parents house! so they greeted me with whoops and hollers and homemade signs -- i smiled for miles and miles from their encouraging cheers.  down sound drive and across highway 58, down ocean drive and back up the island along the bike path -- each mile steady and strong.  warmed by the sun but cooled by ocean breeze; runners were encouraged by strangers, locals, and beach goers with the best signs!-- small island living at its core. i took each cheer to heart, this friendly island is my home and these people were just what i needed.

i felt great the entire race, enjoying the weather! and ironically not wanting the run to end! Chris biked along the island finding me at different mile markers; cheering me on, taking pictures and videos.  his genuine encouragement and excitement made my heart ache in the best way.  he is just the sweetest and i am so lucky to share these memories with him.

walking only at water stops and to squeeze down half a goo (should have taken the whole thing!!) not until the middle of mile 11 did i start to struggle.  my legs felt heavy and my head wasn't staying focused, i was ready for the finish line.  i had started to walk, but only for mere seconds until a girl i had been pacing with the last few miles tapped me on my shoulder and told me to keep going.  we had one more mile and we could do it!!!  a huge hug and shout-out to her! girlfriend helped me keep going when i needed it most.

oh the joy in rounding the corner to the beach, seeing the finish line and my parents; and then my time of 2 hours and 11 minutes then did i break down and cry! all while trying to remember my form for the finish line photo! ;) with happy and proud tears, i crossed the finish -- i had just ran 13.1 miles in a time i was unbelievable proud of.  i grabbed my medal, hugged and thanked my new friend, we just completed a half-marathon!!!  the love and congratulations from my family and Chris made my heart swell so big, nearly to the point of breaking-- that runner's high though, feeling all the feels is very real indeed, a most amazing emotion.

i hobbled back to Chris' truck with the biggest smile on my face, peace in my heart, and medal around my neck; i had ran a half marathon and now it was time to rest.  aka, eat the biggest sandwich with potato chips! stretch in the grass, and drink a mimosa!!

we spent the rest of Saturday relaxing -- spending more time out at the farm(drone flying, catching sun rays) my sister and nephew came to hang out together for a few sweet hours too.

a few celebratory beers were enjoyed Saturday night with my bother and Chris, i wasn't finished celebrating/gloating! in true fashion, i thoroughly enjoyed milking all the congratulations and praise -- everyone should just be happy i didn't wear my medal out that night!

i can't thank my family, friends, and husband enough for their love and support.  and i promise to not be so self-indulgent next race! maybe.

i will definitely be running the Emerald Isle half-marathon again in the future, and hopefully one more later on this year. i've been bitten by the race running bug.


  1. Congratulations on your first half!! Sounds like the perfect scenery and super flat!!

  2. Yayyy!! I'm so very proud of you. I'm glad you had so much encouragement along the way. You are so loved! XoXo