This mile is from the life of Amy Little, a 40-year-old mom of two in Beaverton, Oregon. Before we get to her mile, we want to plug the 5K/10K race she founded and organizes, Cause + Event Portland. Check it out if you live anywhere near Portland. Finally, she's also the model for this tank/Sweaty Band combo!
My most important mile was May 11, 2013, during the Hippie Chick Half Marathon in Hillsboro, OR. I’ve had “run a half-marathon” on my runner’s bucket list for nearly five years. Something always got in the way: injury, illness, surgery, illness, more surgery. It seemed like it was not meant to be. For my birthday, my BRF, Cyndie, signed me up for Hippie Chick, which was the carrot I needed to survive the final surgery of my most recent illness: breast cancer. On December 17, 2012, I underwent my final breast reconstruction surgery and a complete and total hysterectomy.
I followed doctor’s orders and was able to resume running (and half-marathon training) five weeks post op. Despite another injury (I cross-trained like a maniac!), I was ready to run what I wanted to be a sub 2-hour debut half-marathon. But I was physically unprepared for the sun and heat that greeted us Hippie Chicks on race day. I hadn’t trained under those conditions during our Oregon spring so at Mile 8, I adjusted my game plan: I walked a little bit, found some shade, and all the while Cyndie, my BRF, was by my side, cheering me on.
At Mile 10, I really hit “the wall: I was spent, physically and mentally. Yet, somehow, as I rounded a corner and I realized I only had a mile to go, my pace picked up and I went for it. For the first time in a race, I found that final gear; I was running roughly an 8:30 pace as I entered the final stretch.
I didn’t meet my sub-2:00 goal, but I will never be disappointed about my 2:04 finish. I finally finished a half-marathon. That last mile, that race, that day taught me a lot about myself and what I am truly capable of.