I Finished. #iPPP

I have so many mixed emotions about the half marathon, and I’m trying to formulate coherent thoughts on it, but in my brain, I’m not really succeeding.

My mom and I drove to Wichita (a couple of hours away) on Friday afternoon, picked up our packets, and met up with my friend Liz. We went out to dinner and then to a sporting goods store for Gu replenishment, and back to the hotel. I had spent every day since Sunday night pretty much immobile, sleeping in the recliner, trying to get healthy after whatever sickness my husband passed on hit me and left me in its wake. There was one emergency trip to the grocery store for milk sometime in the middle of the week, but other than dropping off and picking up at school, I didn’t leave the house. I slept every day, but was up most nights coughing or being woken up by one of the children coughing.

night before half

So by Saturday morning, the first aerobic exercise I had done in almost a week was the 80s aerobic warm-up. I still had congestion in my throat and lungs, but I felt human. Scared to death of the race, but human.

before race

It started off pretty well. I kept my pace really, really slow but kept going….until about mile 4. Of 13. At that point, I had to start taking walking breaks, and by mile 8, I had pretty much lost all steam. I knew from training that I could do better than that…I had run ten miles just a couple of weeks prior, but the unintentional tapering that I had done in those last fourteen days before the race took a major toll.

I have no idea what would have happened if I had been healthy and continued to run consistently until the end. I would like to think that I would have finished better than 483rd out of 525 runners, and faster than 3 hours and 10 minutes. But who knows. Maybe it was all mental at that point and it wouldn’t have made any difference.

Am I disappointed? Yeah. By the end of the week, all I wanted to do was finish. But seeing the time on the clock as I did cross the line wasn’t exactly the sight I was hoping for. Fourteen weeks, I trained. I felt good. Most runs left me feeling proud and hopeful, albeit exhausted. Some were better than others, but I did them, and I felt myself getting stronger and pushing myself further.

The last two weeks, though, were like a sucker punch to all of the hard work that I had done. First the knee pain, then the virus (or whatever it was).

But am I proud? Yeah. I am. I finished. Slowly, and barely. There were many times in the last loooooong three miles that I wanted to quit. I honestly didn’t know if I could take another step. But my mom had finished the 5K and walked back three miles to meet me (and yeah, I almost cried when I saw her, wearing her medal and carrying her wine glass full of chocolate), so quitting wasn’t an option. And what would I have done anyway? Sat down on the sidewalk for a while? My knees hurt, the balls of my feet hurt, my poor squished toes hurt, but they weren’t going to get any better until I crossed the finish line and sat down (or for quite a while afterwards, it turns out).

And then, at mile 12, I saw Liz (who had just finished the half marathon herself), waiting at the corner to meet us. The three of us went in together (them for the second time, me just thrilled to be seeing it once) and more than three hours after I started, it was over.

half marathon finish



But hey. No matter how I did, or how long it took, my time was a personal best. And it can only get better from here on out (I hope).

Sarah at The Sunday Spill and I want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite phone photos of the week. All you need is a blog post containing at least one photo from any phone camera. Link up below!


72 Responses to I Finished. #iPPP

  1. Nicole says:

    So proud of you for all the effort. You had to really work to get your training in, and it would have been easy to quit. You're a warrior!

  2. christineyu69776410 says:

    You have every reason to be proud Greta. You worked so hard during training and while you weren't feeling ideal during the race, I bet that you got a thousand times stronger mentally for having fought through it. Race days are always tricky – sometimes the stars align and sometimes they don't but you showed up. That's tough and that takes courage. I too hope that you will take pride in this accomplishment.

  3. Great job Greta! It happens and you know what your body can do which you found out during training. Some days just stink when it comes to running. It's the biggest roller coaster ride for me, running. They are so unpredictable. I would love to do one too but the training is going to be tough. Some days it's hard lugging this body around with all the extra weight. You did finish though and that's really what is important. You do it! Congratulations.

  4. Alison says:

    Girlfriend, you finished, and you did better than those who did not run a single mile (e.g. me). So yes, be proud. Stand tall on those squished toes and know that so many of us are stinking proud of you, and inspired.

  5. Stacey says:

    You are awesome for doing it! Congratulations! I miss running, but my old knees won't let me do it anymore.

  6. euregirlsandboys says:

    I am so impressed, Greta! If it were me? I would have decided that being sick meant it just wasn't supposed to happen and probably given up. You did it – you finished! It's awesome! Congratulations.

  7. Andrea says:

    Amazing. I wouldn't be able to do it in my greatest health. Regardless of the time, you rocked it. Congrats on a major accomplishment. And to your mom and friend, too!

  8. Sarah says:

    You finished! And I love that you are sharing the good and the bad of that. I started reading The Amazing Trips (she is raising triplets and a singleton) after my oldest was born. She wrote a bit about her training and completion of a rock n roll marathon. It was inspiring. And I thought, if she can do this, while working full time, what possible excuse can I have. So I picked a race, signed up, and started training. I had 12 weeks to train before the half marathon I signed up for. I was a hundred pounds overweight. No one encouraged me. I finished. 4 hours 11 minutes 40 seconds. No one can take that away from me. I finished dead last by an hour. I finished as the course was coming down – never saw the last 3 mile markers or the finish line, though the race coordinator was there to record my time. There is now a time limit on the race. And I didn't walk for a week afterwards. You finished. And posts like this encourage me. I want to be smarter this time about setting goals and finding an appropriate race. I want to keep moving after my race is done.

  9. Lady Jennie says:

    You look REALLY GREAT and I'm so proud of you for finishing.

  10. MamaMelch says:

    Way to go GRETA!! I'm soo proud of you that you finished, and you are going to kick Disney's butt in January!

  11. bocafrau says:

    The fact that you did it and didn't quit in your condition is amazing in itself. You are awesome!!!!

  12. Co-Pilot Mom says:

    You did it, Greta! Way to go!! I know it must have been so hard to be sick leading up to it. And then to be still sick and run it? You are a rockstar!

  13. If you're anything like me, on that morning there was a sliver of you (or maybe even a bigger piece) that wondered if you could finish. ESPECIALLY in light of the sickness.

    Now you know.
    Of course you can. No matter what.

    This knowledge makes all the difference.
    There's nothing you can't do.

    Disney, here she comes.


  14. Arnebya says:

    You absolutely should be proud. You finished. Screw the clock. You beat the odds, looked sickness in the face and still persevered. You're damn right you should be proud. I'm proud of you.

  15. Robin says:

    I totally understand that feeling of disappointment after working so hard and then getting derailed by illness. It's so profoundly unfair. But I'm so impressed that you still did it, and it's a great chance to learn how you can push yourself. I think you're awesome!

  16. Carolyn says:

    You did it!! How proud you should be. And you inspired a ton of us.
    Great job Greta. Great job!

    • gretafunk says:

      Oh, thank you, Carolyn. I hope so. I feel like I can do so much more than I ever thought possible, so I hope others feel that way, too, about themselves.

  17. Laura says:

    You can officially say that you've finished a half marathon! And now? You can work on making a new PB! I hear there's a half marathon coming up in Disney…

    But seriously – there is nothing to be disappointed about. The point of these long distance races are to force our body to do something that we originally didn't think we could. And with your cold and knee? You certainly didn't think you could do it. And you DID! I'm proud of you.

  18. about100percent says:

    I'm so proud of you for finishing that race. Being sick was the last bad card you could have been dealt at the particular time, and you still managed to run and walk 13 MILES. That is an accomplishment, and you should be very proud of yourself for sticking with it. Way to go!

  19. jwilliams057 says:

    I'M proud of you. I think you are inspirational and amazing. To go through all of that and not quit? Heck, to even get off the couch and start running in the first place. That is freaking awesome! Give yourself a pat on the back and a hug from me. You totally deserve it.

  20. AngelaYBlood says:

    You did it! Running and being sick is THE WORST. So many people would've quit and you didn't. And that is one of the many reasons you are amazing. Congrats on your first half-marathon!

  21. Leighann says:

    so so proud of you! You did an incredible job!!

  22. Crystal says:

    You FINISHED! You are a badass. I am totally in awe of you.

  23. joyinthemidstof says:

    Amazing! Greta you did it! That is huge in and of itself. You should be so proud. I have never even attempted to run that many miles in row. Way to go!

  24. nccarterfamily says:

    I am super duper proud of you!

  25. angiekinghorn says:

    Greta, you are amazing! I'm sure I would've sat down and quit around mile 4. I'm SO stinking proud of you I can't even stand it. I mean, damn–you ran for over three freaking hours. Even in the zombie apocalypse, I couldn't do that.

    Oh–and you look hot, mama!!!

  26. angelaamman says:

    I am so proud of you, both for the entire journey and for that race, that day, when you honestly didn't know if you would be able to overcome how you felt to run at all. You rock, lady!

  27. ginabad says:

    I'm glad that you did it and got through. Sometimes our bodies just take a toll on us, and I'm glad you are proud of yourself for completing. Way to go1

  28. Of course you should feel proud. I run ZERO. So, if I ever get to run and finish something, I know that's how I should feel.

    Now, celebrate! Double-meat burger?

  29. duckyh says:

    It's the journey…. SO VERY proud of you!!

  30. Nina Badzin says:

    Congrats!!!! What an accomplishment!

  31. Kristin says:

    You DID it, Greta! You trained your butt off and you DID it. I'm so proud of you.

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