I had so many amazing experiences related to this race. I think the most memorable is what happened at the end of the race. I had been walking (with no run breaks) for about two miles or so. I saw that the weather was getting bad very quickly with the storm. It was NOT ok for them to call the race and me not finish (especially since I raised of $1,000.00 and because I was running for 27 different people. Even though I felt like I couldn't run anymore (due to the nasty humidity) I sucked it up and started running again at a 1:1 ratio. It ended up that Tom and Donna Degan and Dr. Perez (a few of the top players in starting the race in the first place). It was made more amazing because I was able to keep up with them running a 2:30/1 ratio. I believe this is because I strategically used walk breaks from the start. I finished strong during those last 2.5 miles with a smile on my face.
Another memory that happened just before the experience with the Tom and Donna was that a fellow runner asked me how I was doing. I said "not so good, but I'm finishing." We talked for about a mile. I found out that she's a counselor (school counselor) and we talked about things that made it so I could not think about running for at least 10-15 minutes. This was very helpful.
I truly felt great for most of the race. I lost the 5:15 pace group somewhere after the midway point (14-15?). I did my own thing for a little while and the 5:30 pace group came up. At this point I knew there was no PR, but that's when I changed the goal from a possible PR to making it a memorable experience.
The spectators were amazing! I thanked them for being out there and they thanked me for running the race. So many people are "all in" for this race as supporters.
Also I have so super great friends who texted me during the race. You know who you are and I thank yo uso much!
I will come back for this race. I have a lot more to say about this race, but it will need to wait for another post.
Lastly, I want to give a huge thank you to my amazing wife for all the sacrifice she has made for my running and for coming down here to Jacksonville, Florida. It was a much needed break from the weather. Even though it's raining a lot here, it's WAY better than the snow.
Plan for the near future: keep up my running. I will probably do about 6-7 miles on Saturdays. I look forward to hopefully getting back into training with TNT. Running for a cause is a life-changing experience.