Amanda told me she was doing her first half marathon in January. She had been wanting to do one for a while but having a baby postponed it for her. She was set on doing the St. George half and I couldn't help but volunteer to run it with her! We spent November and December chatting about training and tips and getting excited to run together.
The day finally came! We met up in the parking lot, hugged and chatted, then headed to the potties and starting line. We were so excited!! It was one of the funnest starting lines I have been to, with music, yoga, and a fun 60 second countdown. I knew it would be good since St. George always puts on good races.
Our plan was to beat two hours. Originally I told her not to worry about time for her first, but based on her training averages and her desire for a sub 2, we decided to go for it. Everything was perfect for the first seven miles. The weather was perfect, sunny and not too cold. The atmosphere was fun and we were both feeling good and were able to chat. Bodie found us on the course with signs and cheers. It was cute of him to be so supportive! Shortly after we saw him her knee started to hurt! She had an old acl injury that hurts sometimes when she runs, but it hadn't bothered her the whole training cycle! I could see how hard it was for her, both because of the pain and she felt her goal slipping away. (We were sticking close to the two hour pacers and they got ahead of us as her knee hurt). I was torn between making sure she was okay and helping her achieve her goal. I told her if it was going to injure her and make her stop running for months, it wasn't worth it and we could walk. But if it was just painful and she thought she could push through, I would help her still finish and push for her goal. She was so tough and dug deep. We stopped a few times, but she was able to push it. I wanted to get those pacers in sight again to ensure our sub 2 and give her the confidence that we would get it. We slowly chipped away at our pace until we were sticking around 8:30-8:45. I kept recalculating to make sure I wasn't giving her false hope. We were right on! With maybe around minute to work with so I knew we couldn't slow down. We kept pushing, held hands, saw Bodie again, and I was that voice next to her saying we were going to make it. I could hear her sharp intakes of breath when it hurt and she told me she was getting tired, but we spent the last three miles chasing the people in front of us and passing them. I was in complete awe that she was able to maintain the pace we were going with her hurt knee, but I could see and feel her determination and it pushed me to make sure we did it. We finally turned the corner and saw the archway that we thought was the finish line. Turns out it was a little further so we had to dig a little deeper but we grabbed hands and crossed that line at 1:59:24!! It was easily one of my favorite races because I got to do it with her and we fought together!