This is the year I turned 50.
"Turned," we say, like milk turns sour, or a secret agent turns against her own side. Not the most appealing turn (sic) of events, is it?
This is the year I achieved 50. That sounds better. I reached 50. I hit 50 (hmm...no, that sounds too much like a brick wall).
I celebrated. There it is. This year I celebrated fifty years of life on this earth. As a way to mark a half century's worth of living, I decided to train for and attempt to run a half marathon. I have mentioned this before. Starting in February, by running one minute and walking for four, I increased my run time gradually with the Albuquerque Fit training program. Every week we did a little more, and a little more. Before I knew it, I was running 6 miles, then 8, then 11...
I'll get to the point. I did it! On September 7, 2008, I completed my first half marathon run, the Chips and Salsa race in Albuquerque, NM. Thirteen point one miles. I made it in 2 hours and 50 mintes, for an average of 13 minute miles. Nope, I wasn't last, either! Close, but not quite. I'm very pleased and proud. My goal was to finish, and I did it.
With only yards to go, my daughter Serena and son Derek and friend Anne came out to join me and encourage me. In this picture, I'm sandwiched between the two kids, with Anne out front egging us on.
Serena stuck with me all the way to the finish line. "Come on, Mom, you can do it!" Here she is, in the red shorts, making it look easy, while I, in the pink hat, put on a last little blip of speed (well, relatively speaking) to get across the line. I placed 177th overall (out of 194), and 7th in my age group (out of 7). Not half bad for my first time, say I.
My wonderful hubby and both my parents were also there, cheering for me and taking pictures as if I were some kind of celebrity. Talk about the power of love!
It has been two weeks since the Chips and Salsa half marathon. I took a week off, then rejoined the group, just to keep active, so I thought. Until last Saturday, when coach Mike asked for a show of hands for who plans to run the Duke City half marathon October 19. Zing! My hand was up before I realized it. And now I'm dreaming about Phoenix in January, Denver next year...
I guess I've found a new passion. It's great to have a fun way to stay fit, a goal to work toward, and an excuse for partying after!