Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My longest run...

I will admit that I wasn't quite sure if I was completely prepared.  My longest run had only been 10 miles the weekend before.  Everyone had said that if I could run 10 then I could run 13...but I wasn't completely convinced.  When my sweet grandmother passed earlier in the week I really didn't know if I wanted to go ahead with it.  I was mentally and emotionally exhausted but I also knew that my grandma would want me to complete my I went ahead with my plan.

When my sister and Jenn dropped me off at the starting line there was a part of me that felt like I was being thrown to the wolves because I did not know a single person.  It was extremely intimidating to look around and see 700 people warm up & stretch like it was second nature.  I asked myself many times, "should I really be doing this?"  Then I would think...I'm scared!  Followed by...what was I thinking when I signed up all of those months ago? 

As the announcer counted down to the start of the race I was sure to place myself toward the back of the pack because I know that I'm not fast.  I didn't want to hold anyone up!  When the buzzer went off it was pure chaos.  For some reason a lot of the walkers had placed themselves toward the front which made it difficult to pass and find your pace.  There was also a lot of cracks in the asphalt and although they had tried to mark it with spray paint it was hard to see because everyone was so close together.  An older gentleman fell right behind me before mile 1 was completed.  When I turned back there were about 5 people helping him so I kept going.

Luckily about mile 3 I was able to pass most of the walkers and the crowd had thinned out.  There were about 6 stations set up along the route that you could get water, Gatorade and electrolyte replacer or use a bathroom.  As you ran by the volunteers handed you a drink, I would try to get a gulp down, throw my cup and continue. 

At two of the stations my sister and Jenn were there to cheer me on.  To be honest before the run I didn't think that I wanted them to be there but now I am so thankful that they were.  Having people that you love and who love you back cheering you on was an amazing feeling.  It lifted me and kept me going.  Now looking back I can't imagine doing it without them.

At about mile 5 the IT band on my knee started to kill me and it really didn't let up until about an hour after the race.  I've never had this happen before and hope that it isn't any indication of an injury (I guess I will find out tonight when I hit the pavement).  I had to stop a few times to stretch it out but for the most part I just ran through it but it sucked.

As I approached the finish line I tried to pick up my pace.  I could see the end and it was at that point that I realized I was really going to get it done.  When I turned the final corner I could see the time clock and hear so many people cheering everyone on.  I could also see that my sister and Jenn were there for me again.  I can't really explain to you how wonderful that moment in time was.  I had doubted myself so many times through the training.  I had ran through slumps even when it hurt.  I had gotten up early and ran almost every morning for 3 1/2 months even when I was tired.  But as I crossed the finish line I realized it was process and it was worth it.

If my knee hadn't bothered me the race would have been pretty perfect.  The weather was cool, it rained just a bit, the altitude change was in my favor and I had the support of great people.  I really feel like the training/run is a metaphor for my life...It was amazing...there were obstacles that I had to face and deal with...I had the support of friends and family...hard work and determination paid off...goals kept me was humbling yet rewarding.

There were people from all walks of life that joined me.  Runners of all sizes and shapes who were young and old.  Each of us there for a different reason but with a common goal.  To be was more than a run for was a way of showing myself that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and work for it.  Sweet run-

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