Every once in a while I witness one of my friends do something spectacular. Not that I don’t have spectacular friends who do are amazeballs all the time but I don’t very often get the chance to actually witness the thing happening. But last weekend my friend, Sonia, did something spectacular and I am so proud I was able to be a part of it!
Sonia (on the right, above) is pretty incredible in her own right. She is a wife and a mother of three who, a few years ago, decided to change something in her life. She found running and has been a running maniac every since. You think I am kidding but I am not. In 2011 alone she did 24 races. She has done 7 marathons and countless half marathons and completed her first half ironman this year. Yup, she is incredible and she only started running back in 2006 with a 5k. Her first 1/2 marathon, in 2008, was a full 40 minutes slower than what she achieved on Saturday.
In the last couple of years Sonia has casually mentioned that her goal was to break 2:00 in a half marathon. She did it last year at the Mt. Nebo 1/2 but if you know what that course is like you know why she doesn’t count her 1:57 finish time as her PR. Instead, her PR is 2:01 which she ran at the Utah Valley Half Marathon earlier this summer. When she told me she had signed up for the Haunted Half Marathon and asked me and our other partner in crime, Melissa, if we wanted to do it with her, we agreed on one condition – we dressed up as a group.
I know Sonia, she is the most steady runner I know and when she told me she wanted to run under 2:00 at this race I was excited to help her get there. The course is a gentle downhill for the first half so I knew that we would be able to get some deficit in those first miles and I expected that we would run a 1:57-1:59. After we passed the 2:00 pacer at mile 5, I got kinda excited. When we approached the 1:55 pacer at mile 7 and heard Sonia mention that she wanted to catch that pacer, I was downright giddy.
At mile 12 I knew we were on pace to finish in 1:56 but the 1:55 marker was looming somewhere ahead so I asked her, “Do you have one more 8:30 mile in you?” When she replied, “I don’t know, maybe,” wearing that little grin that you see in the first photo, I knew I could get her there in 1:55. I told her to just concentrate on my back and don’t look at anything else and I would take her to the finish in 1:55.
When we crossed the finish line and I saw that she had PRed by not two, or four, but six minutes, I was ecstatic! I may have actually been more excited than she was. I think I may still be more excited than she is! In fact, I am so proud of her that I am writing a blog about it!
So there you go, Sonia. You are amazing and capable of things you never thought possible. You worked hard for it and you earned it. Enjoy it and then when the time comes, get back out there and get at it again!