If you see me collapse, pause my Garmin. I post this, along with a photo of the starting line to Facebook just after the start gun rings out. I’m only half kidding. Its April 15th, 2012 and today I will be running my first ever half-marathon. My training? One ten mile run, an eight miler, and a whole lot of determination. I haven’t even stretched well this morning. I ran out of time.
Right now though, it dosen’t matter. All that matters is that its a beautiful morning and I, Amanda Honigfort the Athletically Challenged, am going to run a half-marathon. Let me amend that statement. I’m going to run a half marathon with my mom, my all-star running partner – if I can find her. You see, we got separated before the race started, and now I have no idea how to find her among these masses of people.
Half of me is on a running high, the euphoria of starting a race, of running – no gliding – down the wide empty city streets surrounded by people who, like me, fell the pure joy of a race start. The other half is fighting down a panic attack. Here I am running a rather expensive race that I haven’t trained for, haven’t stretched for, and I’ve lost the woman who is part running partner, part coach, part drill-master, and always encouraging. Not only does she keep track of our intervals – we’re both Galloway Method devotees – this is an experience that I want so desperately to share with her. I scan the crowd trying to force the euphoria to take over and keeping my eye out for my mother’s pink running tank. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pink running tanks. As I approach the Tucker street bridge I decide I’m just going to have to settle in and enjoy the race on my own, however, as I turn to my left, I’m greeted by a very familar face and pink tank. Mom found me. I almost stopped running to throw my arms around her I was so happy. I knew then that everything was going to be alright. This was going to be a good race.
And it was. When I thought I was about to die in Soulard we hit the happiest, most raucous onlookers and their excitement gave me a new surge of energy that carried me quickly to the Anheuser Busch Brewery. As we turned the corner to leave, we were greeted by one of Budweiser’s famous Clydesdale’s which imparted a smile to my face and a new spring in my step. When we’re both ready to collapse by the Cardinal’s Stadium she suggests a short walk break. We stick together past the stadium, past SLU, down Vandevender, and into mile 10. As each step takes me further, faster, than I’d run ever run before, she’s there offering me words of encouragement, keeping my spirits up and my legs pumping – just not quite fast enough. A little past mile 11 she surges ahead. Even in leaving me in the dust, she’s still helping me run further and faster than I can alone because she’s leaving me with a goal. Now my exausted mind and body have one thought, one goal. Catch up. You can do it. Catch up. Just a little bit faster. Just a little bit farther. Catch up. Catch up. Catch up…
I didn’t catch up. Mom crossed the finish line at 2:11:39. I crossed not too long after at 2:14:12. 13.1 miles in 2:14:12. Thanks to my strength, and my mother’s help, I finished with a pretty darn good time for anyone. Forget the glass slipers. This princess wears running shoes.
Mom & Me after finishing the Go! St. Louis Half-Marathon