“Consider to hope against all odds, dream in response to fear, and survive in the face of adversity.”
This quote resonated with me today, and like the 24 hours before Feb 16, the 24 hours after Feb 16 – my mind is still racing at a million miles an hour. It’s over. The Austin Half Marathon is over. I finished (with a good time), and what do I do with myself now?
Cliché alert: while the actual race day has ended, I feel like I just started something. Never did I EVER ever ever ever think that me, Thu Nguyen, would take two steps outside, let alone run 13.1 miles up and down hilly Austin, Texas. While my hip is doing some weird popping thing, my legs feel broken, and my toes feel smashed- what an inexplainable feeling.
What’s next? I don’t know, but I know I’m not stopping here.
If you would like a bit of comical relief (or something), this is how my Race Day went:
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.
*Clear the mechanism.*
Start – “Go…slow, slow, slow, pace, pace, pace, oooh Gatorade, hydrate. I can just throw these cups on the ground? Okay.”
South Congress – “Oh look, there’s St. Edward’s. I just ran to St. Edward’s…and I have to keep going.”
Ben White – “There’s a dude wearing a sign that says ‘I’m Drunk.’ Ha! Keep going.”
South 1st – This stretch felt like eternity. I kept running and running and running and I was thinking to myself, “Where the hell is that bridge? What mile am I even on? ONLY 8!?”
Somewhere between Mile 8 & Mile 9 – A person was holding a poster with a giant Coach Taylor face that said “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Run Fast.” I clearly shouted “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose,” as I ran past that glorious sign. Keep going.
Split from 26.2 runners – “I know exactly what is about to come, but do I really?” Nope. Naive Thu did not know what was in for the next 2-3 miles…
Einfield Hill – “Shit. Shit. Shit. And there’s running to do on the other side of that hill, shit.”
AND THERE’S A LITTLE MORE?
Last 500m – *Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine comes on* Perfect timing but also thinking, “Why does this feel like the longest 500 meters of my life?”
Ok, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m…F I N I S H. Done. Fin. What just happened?
If you got all the way down here: thanks for sticking around, I couldn’t have done it without you.