"Raising Souls"

"Raising Souls"

Monday, June 6, 2011

1/2 Marathon - The Epic Drama

I remember when I said I was committed to the Marathon but it didn't mean I would complete the marathon. Well, I did complete it and I think back on that post and how I felt then and how I feel now... and wow! A lot has changed in the past few months.

One thing I have really learned is slow and steady. Pace yourself. We started training with 3 mile runs and it was like, wow I ran three miles than it was, wow I ran 5 miles. I remember my first runners high... I ran a great 6 mile run on a Saturday morning with Sarah and I was buzzing. I felt so amazing, like I could do anything! Then there was that 6/7 mile run/walk, our first one outside. It was gorgeous and finally warm enough to run outside. Boy was that run discouraging. I could hardly make it up the hills, we walked half the way in between trying to find bathrooms and trying to find our path. That was my low point in training and it didn't help that people were reminding me that the marathon was held outdoors. You mean it's not held on an indoor track with perfectly controlled temperature and a level playing field?? Duh, I know. Gulp.

Somehow, I kept going with many thanks to my awesome running partner Sarah and to Lily who made the new years resolution to run the half only to pass it on to me - an unsuspecting bum.

The night before the half marathon I tossed and turned with nightmare after nightmare. I forgot my Gatorade. I forgot my registration. I couldn't get a hold of my dad (not sure why I needed to but it seemed really important at the time). I forgot my SHOES. Man, and I thought actors nightmare's were bad! I didn't realize I was so nervous until that night.

Yep, I was nervous, excited and shaking in my neatly tied tennis shoes on race day.

This was it.

Its now or never.

As I gathered with the rest of the throngs of people in their cute spandex and hot yellow and pink running shoes the adrenaline started to hit me. Apparently so did the urge to --- line up for the bathroom ---if you get where I'm going. The bathroom lines were long and I was two people away when they blew the "start horn." Fortunately my time was based on when my time chip crossed the scanner at the start of the line so we were ok. My friend Karen and I started off together and we were making a great pace trying to catch up to our pace group. We were five minutes behind. It felt great to whizz along passing up people and flying by the adrenaline pumping through my system. It was exhilarating and a really great 7 miles with Karen. When we caught up with our "10 minute miles pace group" I kind of relaxed and got in the zone hoping to not push myself and wimp out later. I was feeling great and the scenery was lovely. Each mile I looked eagerly for Jeremy and Augustine the thought of the two of them and their cute smiling faces really motivated me... maybe the next mile??... maybe the next mile...?? By mile 9 I entertained thoughts that they were not going to come and I thought, bummer. But it's ok. That motivated me. I am doing this run for me and for God and to give glory to God through my body during this run and it made me tear up and run with even more dedication. I felt amazing and empowered and blessed.

At mile 10... no Jeremy and Augustine ... but I thought of the countless nights Jeremy sacrificed his evenings so I could go running so I could achieve this personal goal this personal reward. As a mom, wife, and part time employee this is no small feat and I felt great.

At Mile 11... only two more miles to go. I thought, this time should fly by. Let me tell you, it was the longest 2 miles ever! Who in their right mind sets a marathon track where the last 2 miles are almost entirely UP HILL!! Seriously?! And yet this was another encourager... I saw most of the people around me walking and I thought... I'm tired, but I don't need to walk. Wow, I feel really good. That good kind of pride began inching its way up my body and I got that exhilarating excitement. I'm running a half marathon and I'm almost done and I am RUNNING! Ruuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnngggg!

Mile 12... Two words - UP HILL. Only one more mile though and I'm feeling good. The spectators along the side were calling out words of encouragement. "You're looking great!" "Wooohooo!" "Go runners, you are doing great!" Its amazing what some words of encouragement can do to a weary runner. They think I'm looking strong. I'll show them strong. Yeah, I feel strong. Complete strangers, thank you!

It may have looked like I ran that marathon alone, but I didn't. I ran it with my best friend and my greatest encourager. I felt a rush of emotional gratitude to God for giving me this moment. I felt like He gave me gift and I was gift. Simple and Beautiful.

When the finish line came into sight I booked it racing to the finish. I was never that athletic in school and never ever thought I would run a race. I have to admit I thought runners were a little crazy. Well, maybe I still do, but I get it now. I raced to the finish line like I was really running a race. If I have ever imagined the most perfect race that was it. Adrenaline hit me again and my legs went full force as if I hadn't been pushing them for the last 13 miles. People yelled, "There she goes."  "That's the way to go, finish really strong!"

13.1 Miles. 2hrs 18min

Amazing. Victory. Joy. All the glory to my King!

SS #582

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