I'm interrupting this month's "Thankful for" posts this weekend to focus on one of the most amazing things that's happened in my nearly 10 years of running -- pacing my sister to a half marathon PR.
And not just any PR. Destroying a PR by knocking nearly 12 minutes off her PR and going under 2 hours by 56 seconds.
This is the second time this year I've run with my sister Heather and helping her notch a personal best -- more than 6 months ago I paced her to a PR at the Monument Avenue 10K.
Saturday's race was about the most well executed 13.1 miles I've ever run -- all this coming after I overslept for an hour, forgot my Garmin, and stood in a downpour for nearly 30 minutes.
My friend Josh came to the rescue by letting me wear his watch, and we kept right on pace nearly the entire race. Josh, who was running his first half, ran the first 6 miles with us and cruised to a 1:52 finish. His race is deserving of a separate blog post.
There were a couple of moments just before 10 miles that I didn't know if the sub 2-hour half would happen, but when we hit the 5K-to-go mark, the goal became simple: have my sister run a 29:30 or better 5K, something she's done many times.
When he hit what I think is the most dreadful finish in all of racing -- a sharp downhill for nearly a half mile -- I knew she had this sub 2-hour half under her belt. It was all about not stopping or tripping on the wet pavement at that point.
I had so many emotions about crossing that finish line. Knowing she beat her goal and destroyed a PR felt as rewarding as any PR I've ever set. I also thought about last year when I crossed that same finish line in the marathon how much I had fallen out of love with running.
The last 5 miles of the half follow the same course as the full -- running along those roads where I felt so bad last year gave me a sense of closure. Time to really move on.
And what better way to move on than celebrating a PR.