The day before the Shiner half marathon it really hit me how extremely unprepared for this half marathon I was. I had maybe gone on one run and hadn’t gone on a long run since…my last half? Yeah, it was bad. I started debating if I even wanted to attempt to do a half. I knew I could do it, I’d most likely have to walk and struggle most the time, but I could do it. The morning of the race I was seriously debating doing the 5k. It was rainy and overcast and I wasn’t in the mood to jog / walk 13.1 miles. But I knew if I did the 5k, I would be mad at myself. It was like I was giving up. About 15 minutes before the race started, I knew I was going to attempt the half. I knew there was a chance that I’d give up while I was out on the course, but at least I tried. First off – Shiner, Texas, is a gorgeous little town. The brewery is right off the main road and is definitely a cool site. Right before the race, Ryan and I were talking about the course and what were to happen if we had to go the bathroom during the half. He goes “we’ll be running past gas stations, just stop in one.” We had no idea how wrong he was. The gun went off and Ryan and I started jogging. I got in the groove and felt good…for about half a mile…I told Ryan to go on and I’d see him at the finish. He kept going and I kept a fast walk going. The course started out in neighborhoods, like most races do, then all of a sudden we were in the country. In the middle of no where. I kept thinking about that gas station Ryan mention. Yeah, none of those out there. We were literally on little country roads and eventually ended up on a dirt road. My feet hated that since I was in my vibrams. I could feel every little rock I stepped on. It was miserable. Around mile 10 I wanted to give up. I wanted to sit down and never get up. But what always keeps me going is thinking of my donor. She was definitely up in heaven and telling me to keep going. At mile 11, I wanted to cry. I could feel all the blisters on my feet and with every step I felt like my knee was going to give out. At mile 12, I look up and see Ryan. He had already crossed the finish line and had come back to do the last mile with me. I started tearing up because I was so happy to be done and I love my brother so stinkin’ much. That last mile sucked, but it was the most fun. Ryan kept my spirits up and as we walked by the volunteers he would be like “man, is the finish close?! I’m so tired!” And of course, I’d roll my eyes at him. But as I saw the finish line and my parents, I jogged and crossed it. Thank goodness. I immediately sat down to examine the damage on my feet. I have some nasty blisters. And I can barely walk today. But I got my medal and had a Shiner Bock, in Shiner, Texas, with my family. What more could I ask for? We also took a tour of the brewery, which I’d definitely recommend. It was really cool to see. If I learned anything from this half marathon it would be to always train before a race. I’m definitely regretting not doing that. But I finished, and I couldn’t have done it without my amazing family and my donor, who I can never thank enough for the gift of life. Next up, the Austin half marathon with the whole Horton clan participating!