My legs feel like jello. My muscles are screaming tight. My neck and shoulders don’t want to function properly. BUT…I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon and I feel amazing! It’s a feat that I honestly never thought three months ago would happen. I wasn’t a runner; no way, no how! But I am now and I ran 13.1 miles yesterday as I completed the Urban Cow Half Marathon course!
The setting was incredible! We arrived and were surrounded by athletes of every age, size and athletic ability. It was a bit intimidating to say the least. You walk by a super fit man or woman and you look at yourself like you weren’t meant to do this. There is no way but somehow you clear your mind, remember why you are doing this and you line up at the start/finish line.
My girlfriends Koren, Susan and I lined up with everyone and off we went. We lost Susan after mile 1. She is a faster runner than I am. I lost Koren after mile 4. She is also a faster runner than me. So there I was, my music, the road and dodging runners for the next 9 miles. Ugh!
I came up to the halfway point of the race which is also the relay point. The runners doing the relay got to switch off with their partners who would finish the race. I was a bit disheartened at this point. I wanted a partner! Why did I choose to do the whole thing by myself? What was I thinking? I crossed through the line and pushed on. 1/2 way there…keep going! There is a loop at mile 8 where you get to see the runners ahead of you as you both cross each other. I saw Susan, three minutes later I saw Koren! A little fist bump to each other as we passed and I had a new surge of energy. Keep going!
By mile 11 I texted my husband and let him know where I was so he and my family could meet me at the finish line. I wanted to die! I was tired and I had no energy left. I heard the familiar ding. ding in my ears from his reply and I pushed forward. I can do this. 2 miles to go!! Keep going! “This is so long!” I replied to him. “Almost there,” he texts back and I was. I was almost there!
Mile 12 I wanted to walk so bad. I wanted to stop and sit down and breathe. My legs were jelly and I wanted to rest. Keep going! Your’e almost there. I saw the big blow up cow canopy encouraging us..1/2 mile to go, Mooooove It! I wanted to curse that cow. I turned the bend and there it was, the finish line! Oh my god!!! Don’t stop now, keep going! 1/10 of a mile to go and there was my mom and sister on the sidelines! “GO NAYA, GO!” I heard my mom scream at the top of her lungs with tears in her eyes. Sister was snapping pictures. Oh god let them be flattering. I’m sure I look like hell!
“LANAYA! WooHOO!” I heard my friend Jake on the left! I gave her a huge wave and then with open arms I ran through the finish line. I did it! I made it! I finished! Brian met me shortly after and through my disorientation I collapsed into his arms. Koren and Susan and I gave each other big hugs as we all met at the finish and congratulated each other on our success. How awesome is that? A proud moment for sure! I did it! I am the master of the half marathon!
Urban Cow Half Marathon Finishers
Rank Name Age Bib # 5k 6.55 Miles 10 Miles Finish Time
2518 Lanaya Cooper 32 2286 55.24 1.12.47 1.55.31 2.36.04
Total finishers: 3356