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Two years ago on May 5th, I nervously walked into my corral in downtown Indianapolis to run my first half marathon. Running was something that I never thought I would do because of my POTS diagnosis, but I kept fighting for it and finally was able to run. I’m filled with huge amounts of gratitude after every race, simply because I am ABLE to do it, when so many others cannot for various reasons.

In honor of my 2 year anniversary, I thought I’d do a “superlative post” on my half marathons over the last two years.

Most Difficult Race. Hands down it was the 2013 Indy Mini Marathon. I had bad allergies the week before, and by mile 4 of the race I felt pretty blah. Around mile 8 it got worse, and my last 3ish miles I had really painful calf cramps. It was all fairly disappointing.

Picture 1Clearly (CLEARLY) in pain but still pushing through

Best Race Overall. The race that was my best overall was the 2012 Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon, and it’s the race where I set my current half marathon PR (I missed it at the 2014 Carmel Half by less than 30 seconds!). I felt great, had a great strategy, and enjoyed the race immensely.

Racing, Running, Half Marathon, Monumental Marathon

Best “Feeling of Accomplishment” Race. This one was difficult, but I think the 2013 Monumental Half Marathon wins this category. My first 11 miles were flawless and I was set to PR for the day. I felt really great and was having a great time. However, I started getting nasty little muscle twinges that had me worried (especially after the wreck that became the ending to the Mini Marathon that year) and moving a bit slower. Right before mile 12 I started getting hit with even worse cramps, and somewhere in that last mile I got cramps so badly that I physically couldn’t move a step at one point. I slowly kept going, sometimes walking, and trying to put in a bit of running too. While I missed setting a PR, that final mile was such a fight, and I felt really proud of myself at the end. It really was a great feeling of accomplishment to know that I had run really well, and when it really mattered, I was able to push through.

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Best Race Run With Another Person. The Carmel Half Marathon in 2014 wins for this one! I made a spur of the moment decision to run with a pace group, and then randomly inserted myself into a discussion almost immediately after the start! I ended up running the entire race with Melissa, and I had such a fantastic time!

Carmel 2

Most Emotional Race. My first half marathon, the 2012 Indy Mini was by far the most emotional race I’ve had. The emotions leading up to the race were higher than in any other race (even though I still get excited and nervous before races now), and emotions during the race were even higher. From mile 10 on I kept getting choked up, being overwhelmed by the fact that I was actually able to run a half marathon. As soon as I crossed the finish line I burst out crying and laughing at the same time. It was by far my slowest half marathon, but I’m so proud of it.

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Five half marathons, and all were great in their own way. Some were more fun, while some were great learning experiences. No matter what, I’m thankful for what I’ve learned and gained through these races over the last 5 years, and I’m thankful that I can run at all.

Now it’s your turn to share! Share one of your race day superlatives! 

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