On Saturday I ran the Country Music Half Marathon. The news of the day, and the day prior, was the horrible weather forecast. Tornadoes, hail, lightening, heavy rain. It was all forecasted.
As I started the race it appeared the weather would hold off. But I started feeling a few sprinkles at Mile 9. I was grateful for them; they were quite refreshing.
Then as I was passing through an area of town called “The Gulch” (Mile 10.5) the sky opened up and it started pouring. The wind really picked up. And then came the lightening. Oh, the lightening. A police officer with a bullhorn was encouraging us to seek immediate shelter. I turned off my Ipod because it didn’t seem wise to run through a storm with an electrical conductor on my head. But I kept going. The next shelter, a bridge overpass, was a half mile away. Once I got there, I kept going. Another police officer with a bullhorn told us the race officials were considering stopping the event, and if we wanted to finish we’d better pick up the pace. “But you all are doing great,” he announced via his bullhorn. Bless him. I kept going.
When I crossed the finish line, I immediately started looking for the volunteers who pass out the medals. My biggest fear was that the marathoners who had been diverted to the half-marathon route due to the storm would get all of the medals before I finished. And then I saw him…a man with an armload of medals. I think I would have knocked over my grandmother had she stood between me and Medal Man. I proudly took my medal and walked directly to my car, getting ever more drenched.
I finished the event four minutes faster than I ran December’s Saint Jude Half Marathon. I finished about two minutes faster than my first half, 2008’s Country Music Half Marathon. So I set a PR (Personal Record). Last night I registered for a September half marathon and I have another planned for October. I plan to train through the summer and do what it takes to get a bit faster.
I plan to keep going.