Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chilly Half Marathon Recap

I ran another half marathon on Sunday to make this half number 8 but this one was very special to me. I was able to run the whole race with one of my resident members of Back on my Feet, Austin, who was running his first half marathon. To be able to run this half marathon with him knowing how hard he has worked to get to this point was so unbelievable. I have been lucky lately to run my last two half marathons with two very special people, my sister and then today with Austin (BOMF member).
Trying to take a self portrait of Meghan, myself and Austin, obviously we failed the first time
We did a little better the second time then it was off to the start
I can't explain how happy I am that Austin was able to dedicate himself to running this race today and finishing with such a great time of 1:55. Being homeless is not an easy thing as I have come to know since I started working with the BOMF organization. People don't choose to be homeless but have had made some bad decisions in their life or have not been able to overcome some obstacles they have been dealt with in their lives that have pushed them to be homeless. Seeing that Austin could put enough time and effort to finish this half today proves to me that he will get "back on his feet" because he has the determination to help himself beat homelessness.

The course for this race was hilly. The first and last few miles had a decent amount of rolling hills while the middle of the course had a few pretty steep and long hills, but we were able to conquer those hills and push through to keep running. Once I knew we could finish under two hours I made sure Austin kept a steady pace for the last 4 miles and I kept encouraging him to keep going one foot in front of the other, keep his shoulders back and down and chest up. The last mile or so had some rolling hills and Austin was starting to hurt but he knew the finish was just around the corner and that he would soon be finishing his first half marathon.
On the home stretch to the finish!
Austin and I finished in 1:55 which was a pace of 8:47 which crushed his original goal of finishing between 2:00-2:15.  I am so happy for him and couldn't be any prouder of his accomplishment yesterday. When I saw Austin this morning for our morning run he was a little sore but still ran two miles at a good pace, what a trooper!

Question: What is your proudest running moment?