After much internal debate, I decided that despite hip pain and lack of training I would complete (and yes, I say complete, not compete) the Naples Daily News Half-Marathon. Much to my surprise...and delight...my soccer playing "I hate long-distance running" husband decided to join me for moral support. Waking up last Sunday knowing that I would not be alone in this race made it that much easier for me.
The Naples Half is known as a flat, fast course. When I first signed up for it many months ago, my hope was to PR. Things change. Life happens. When I started the race that morning, my new aspiration was to finish in the three hour time limit. I competed in the event once before, so at least I knew what to expect. It is quite a pretty course, much of which is through residential neighborhoods that line the coast (read: running by stunning multi-million dollar homes). There was also great course support and volunteers which, at least in my opinion, is essential to a good race.
For the first time ever I alternated between walking and running for the full 13.1 miles. I didn't want to push my body beyond what it was capable. Suffice it to say my hip pain was manageable, but I think I will need further evaluation before I pursue any more long distance runs. At one low point during the race I began to quote Dory from Finding Nemo (Can you tell I have small children?)..."Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim....." I think my husband thought I was nuts. We did finish in under three hours, which made us both very happy. I think I needed that for my mental health more then anything else.
Now it's back to reality! Let's hope I can keep the momentum going. Just keep swimming....