“Let us run with endurance…the race that is set before us.” —Hebrew 12:1
Well, I finally have internet, so that means I’m officially moved in. Also, it means I can finally update you on the goings-on around here.
Thirteen-point-FREAKING-one miles. I’m honestly not even sure where to begin in explaining all the emotions I felt during this race. Adrenaline. Inspiration. Pride. Pain. Exhaustion. Victory. Relief. Just to name a few.
My time wasn’t what I’d been hoping for, but in the end, that didn’t matter. I crossed the finish line just like everyone else, and I survived without puking or losing any toenails. (I hear that really happens, but can’t you just trim those things? Get bigger shoes?)
Kyle was tracking me on his phone with the RoadID app to see where I’d be along the route, and that helped he and my family follow/stalk me to cheer me on. He texted me every once in a while to pump me up, although, I didn’t see them all right away. Also, my sister made the best signs ever.
For the first 3 miles, I kept pace with two soldiers, dressed in their full on fatigues with backpacks and everything. I thought “If they can do that, surely you can keep up with them.” I did, and then I passed them. Around that time, I saw my family on the side of the road with their signs. My dad had just worked a midnight shift and got off work at 7 am, just as I started the race. He waited around for me to pass on one of the streets and cheered for me before going home to sleep. I did a little deer leap when I saw him, just to get a laugh, which I wish someone would have captured in a photo.
The next 5 miles were okay, but I could feel myself slowing down. I was taking more walking breaks and I was having a hard time staying focused. I saw my mom and sister around mile 8, and Kyle again around mile 9 at the park. Seeing people I know did give me a little boost, but by mile 10, I was really struggling to stay positive. I also noticed my hands were swelling, which has never happened on a run before. Honestly, I blame the pasta I had the night before. I hardly ever have pasta normally, but since everyone says to “carb up,” I did, and that’s really the only thing I did differently. But, whatever, I knew I had to finish this thing!
By mile 12, I knew I was slowing down, but just wanted to finish as strong as I possibly could. I had some pain in my right leg, but my focus was back to a good place. I knew I wasn’t going to meet my goal, but I just kept telling myself “you are going to do this.”
The last leg of the race was a loop around the stadium football field, where I saw Kyle and he took some video footage of me finishing. He fully captured how silly I look when I’m running. My family and some friends were at the finish line taking photos and cheering. My friend Jenn finished quite a while before me, but hung around to see me finish. She finished about 15 minutes faster this year than last year! So proud.
Crossing that finish line was just as amazing as I’d imagined it in my mind through all these months of training. I wish I had a photo of what it looked like from my end at the finish — family and friends standing there waiting for me and cheering.
During training, I had a hard time reminding myself to stop worrying so much about time, and just focus on the finish. Since this was my first half marathon, I just wanted to survive and see if I could do it, but wanting to be faster is just natural, I think. I probably finished in the last 3/4 of the pack, but I also realized what I’m capable of in this earthly body.
I did it.
I did it in spite of dealing with these health issues and being scared to death of what’s going to happen in the years to come.
I did it for now and for later and for whatever comes next.
I did it for my family and for those who can’t.
I did it for Kyle and our future children.
I did it for my present and future self.
And I will do it again.