This blog has turned into the family scrapbook of our journey of life. Most of my posts are about the kids or about things we are doing as a family but today I am going to post about one of my accomplishments because it may be my first and last time I cross the finish line of a big race. I also have realized for me it was a lot more than just a 13 mile run.
I have always been fairly active. I played numerous sports in high school and played college basketball. I did run in high school but was not a long distance runner. About 10 years ago, pre kids I had a friend talk me into running a marathon. I started training only to get really sick and ended up having my tonsils removed. So in my mind I always thought about trying to run a 1/2 marathon or marathon but wasn't sure this body would hold up or I wanted to put the time and energy into training. Now 3 kids later, 10 years older and a lot of life that has happened along the way I wasn't sure this girl or this body was up for the the challenge. At the end of June a friend of mine who was going to run the Sioux Falls 1/2 marathon started bugging me about running with her. At the same time Eric encouraged me to try run the 1/2 or set some type of goal. He thought it might be a good emotional release for me. Walking through the death of my best friend has been the hardest thing by far I have every walked through. It is hard work walking the road of grief and the thought of running a large amount of miles was a little overwhelming as getting a workout in 2 days a week was an accomplishment for me since Leigh Ann's death. I did know that I did feel better when I was out and active but it was getting my mind and body to cooperate. So I decided to go for it and see what happened. I told Eric I didn't want it to take time away from the kids or our family since I wanted to enjoy the summer with the kids with out pressure of a schedule or a "to do list!" So a couple days a week I got up early, ok really early for me in the summer. My kids all sleep in until 8 or after and I too love our lazy summer days of sleeping in but on my days I had to get a run in I was up at 5:15 which in my own head I thought was crazy. The training proved to be a really healing time for me and a great emotional release. There aren't too many people out and about at that hour of the morning and there was something so peaceful about being up and running in the morning. I often would be running as the sun came up and would often even turn my ipod off and just soak in God's creation and the stillness around me. I would get home, shower and still have an hour or more to sit outside and read my Bible or journal before the kids got up. I told myself if it got stressful I wasn't going to push myself. But after 11 weeks of training it was race day! I had been sick all week with a nasty cold but was determined to finish the race even if I crawled over the finish line.
I wasn't sure what to expect and had some nerves as I attached the running number 503 to myself. As I walked into the stadium and there were 1200 runners plus spectators I did soon realize that I wasn't heading out for my morning jog.
The kids were up bright and early and ready to cheer their mom on!
This is my friend Rebecca and she has been a huge encouragement to me. We met 6 years ago at MOPS and was the one who encouraged me or maybe even pushed me a little to do the 1/2 marathon. We spent quite a bit of time at Wild Water West together this summer so not only was she my running encourager but she has also been a huge encouragement in life and on my journey of grief. She too has walked the road of grief in the past year. I am so thankful for her friendship and encouragement!
And we are off! We are somewhere towards the middle of this mass of people. Now this is where the adrenaline rush comes in!
Eric, his mom and the kids caught us at mile 5 at Falls Park. We are smiling and look like we are having fun yet!
Those of you who follow my blog from other cities and states I though I would throw this picture in. These are the falls. Aren't they beautiful. Yes this is why our city is called Sioux Falls!
They caught me again at mile 7 and I was still moving along and feeling great!
Alright so this is mile 9 and this is where I started to feel it! This was the last time I saw Eric and the kids until the finish line. I had a great run, was actually enjoying the race, had a nice pace and then I hit mile 10 and hit a wall or maybe was just plain tired from running 10 miles already. I think it was from mile 10 -13 that I questioned myself and wondered why in the world did I want to do this. I also knew I had run 10 miles already and only had 3 left. I could do it. Those were the longest 3 miles of my life but as I turned the corner and saw the finish line I knew I would make it!
And there it is ... crossing the finish line! I finished the 13 miles in 2:03 44 seconds. I was happy with my run, my time but most of all that I crossed the line and chalked it up as an accomplishment.
Here we are with our medals and we are still standing. A little sore and a little tired but standing and smiling non the less. Now the big question has been if I will do it again. From mile 10-13 I was telling myself there was no way I would do this again. One time is good for me but maybe it is kind of like having a baby and the pain fades in time. I do know that for me it was so much more than crossing the finish line and saying I ran 13 miles. For me the 11 weeks of training was such a positive thing for me emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Now I just need to figure out how to stay in that "training" mode for life in the days to come!