the second half.

okay, before we begin, don't laugh at my copyright-infringing-heavily-watermarked-sport-photo proofs.
i am WAY too cheap to spend what they want for those...sorry.

and with that out of the way...

this weekend ROCKED!

i can't even tell you how much fun we had.

three moms, with eleven kids between us, acting like a bunch of silly, teenaged girls.

we just need that once in a while, you know.

unplugging from the responsibilities of life, family, kids, grocery shopping, bedtime battles and the "mom, i'm bored" routine...was SO nice.

i am so grateful for an amazing, supportive husband who held down the fort while i was away.
thank you, sweetheart.

this was only my second half marathon and my only goal was to come in under two hours.
my first half was last summer, four months postpartum, and i was slow.
but, you've gotta start somewhere, right?

so, we hit the road on friday afternoon, headed north.

never in my life has that drive gone by so quickly.
no diapers to change, no battles over property lines in the backseat, and no unplanned stops.

just laughter.
 and music.
the entire time.

now that is what i call a road trip.

we arrived at my parents' home in sandy, just in time to sit down to an amazing, home-cooked meal.
lasagna, salad, bread and fruit.

carb loading never tasted so good!
thanks, mom and dad.
{for not just the food, but for the luxurious accommodations, too}

after dinner, we had lots of important preparations to make.
you know, deciding what to wear, pinning on our bibs, taking nerdy photos of ourselves wearing our race shirts and painting our nails a lovely shade of neon yellow. 

never can be too ready, i always say.

once we were satisfied that everything had been taken care of, we settled in for a nap.
i say nap, because of the 3am wakeup call.
that's hardly what i call a good nights' sleep.
but, hey...all part of the experience.

morning came quickly.

once we rubbed the sleep from our eyes, and figured out where we were,
we got dressed, ate some ego waffles and hopped in the car...provo-bound.

we boarded the buses and headed for the start line.
i was pleasantly surprised at how not-nervous i was feeling.
just getting really excited!

the start line was nuts!
i couldn't believe how many people had signed up for this.
bonfires and porta-potties as far as the eye could see.
and a lot of dedicated {or crazy} people, depending on how you wanna look at it. 

we didn't have to wait as long as we had anticipated.
and it wasn't nearly as cold as we had anticipated, either...which was awesome.

just three silly girls, taking iPhone photos and soaking it all in.

5:30 arrived, just thirty minutes to go.

we pound our pre-race drinks and wait for them to take hold.
and it was obvious when they did.

when jeny began doing an irish jig, it was apparent the caffeine had found its way into her bloodstream.

awesome sauce. 

time to line up.

we found the 1:55 pacer and made plans to stick with him, or bust.


go time.

and we're off.

i can't even describe the feeling of racing.

it's exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
all the what-ifs and am-i-doing-this-rights start creeping into your head.

we start out fast.
like road-runner with the spinning legs, fast.
holy crap balls.

how am i going to keep this up?

even though i'm running with jeny, it is silent.
just the sound of my own breathing.
and hers.

for the first four miles, not a word is spoken.
then, once we got our wits about us and felt a little more settled in, we started talking.
which i was so grateful for.
i needed the distraction.
and it helped the next five miles pass quickly.

around mile nine, i was beginning to run out of gas. 
jeny pulled ahead, but i never let myself lose sight of her.
it was my only hope of reaching my goal.

miles 9-13 were hard.
which i expected.
but, being able to see the finish line when you're still 2+ miles out, messes with your head.
big time.

i pushed through the pain and exhaustion and thought only of how incredible it would feel to 
look up at the time as i cross the finish line and not see a "2" at the beginning of it.

must. keep. going.

the mind is a funny thing.

i've always heard people say that you get a little nutty during long runs, 
and i now know what they're talking about.

emotions run high when you're pushing yourself way outside your physical comfort-zone.

as i neared the finish and the sidelines were lined with cheering friends and family members,
i was inspired.

inspired to finish strong.
inspired to reach my goal.
and inspired to do this again, despite the pain and discomfort i was experiencing.

i won't lie, the thought of running a full marathon in just four months 
seemed beyond comprehension.

and still does. 

i'll deal with that later.
for now, i have a race to finish.

as i entered the chute, everything changed.

i felt a surge of energy and emotion.

i heard my dad scream my name and i looked to my left and saw both he and my mom.
they were cheering wildly and snapping photos.

it made me so happy to have their support.
they are amazing.
and i am seriously so blessed to be their kid.

seeing them, made me want to sprint.
and so i did.
i ran with all my might.
pedal to the metal.
balls to the wall.

and i accomplished my goal.


i shaved nearly fifteen minutes off of my previous time.

and it felt fantastic.

all of it.

quality time with friends.
being with family.
setting and reaching goals.


i will definitely be doing this again.


Hannah said...

Jill, I am amazed by you marathoners! We were watching the race on Saturday. I tried to find you in the crowds, but you were probably way ahead of the group I was watching.

Congrats. I've never been a big runner, but I've always wanted to be. I think this is a huge accomplishment.

(And, so glad you like the balm stains!)

Hannah said...

...and I think that top picture is worth the money! You look adorable in it!

Steph said...

and i am like....YES!


Hil said...

You are incredible. And incredibly gorgeous. And have incredibly awesome biceps. Seriously? That last picture? Congratulations on finishing at jet pack worthy speeds.

lynette said...

Woo woo! Congratulations Jill! Just another reason why you are SUPER AMAZING!

Chanda said...

nice job...killer time!

Jamie said...

Congrats!! I just ran a sub 2 (1:59:50) and am now comitted to stay under 2 in my next one! No going back now.

Jamie said...

Congrats!! I just ran a sub 2 (1:59:50) and am now comitted to stay under 2 in my next one! No going back now.