Monday, March 17, 2014

It is finished.

Well my friends, yesterday I put my first half marathon behind me as I crossed the finish line at 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 33 seconds. I am so completely happy with my performance and just proud that I finished the darn thing still standing!

I promised I'd post once I finished the race, and honestly, I've been thinking about what I would write in this post for months. What picture should I use? Will I even have one I want to share with the world (or like the 10 of you who care)? What will I have to say about this whole experience?

Since beginning training in early December, I have pushed myself further than I ever thought possible.  I used to run 2-3 miles and call that a workout. Now I can run 13 miles, without walking, and still walk myself back to the car.  I'll admit, I'm not feeling great today. If I sit down, it's a serious commitment to stay down until I absolutely have to get back up.  And when I do back up, it's not pretty. I feel like a cross between an old lady, a duck, and a really pregnant lady.  Small steps, a little waddling, and very slow movements.  My 25 minute drive to Panera to meet a friend today was just enough for my body to decide anything out of the sitting position was going to cause for a very awkward stroll across the parking lot.

I should mention I was fighting and still am fighting a cold the entire week before the race.  I laid as low as possible and overdosed on Air Borne and tea in efforts to beat it, but I still ran with congestion.  So, I'll blame some of how I'm feeling today on that, too.

I should also mention what a complete blessing it has been finding a running partner who lives right down the street from me.  She (Michelle) has met up with me nearly every Sunday morning for the past 3.5 months to run ridiculous distances in the dark, rain, snow, and beautiful sunshine.  And our wonderful husbands have selflessly pulled themselves out of bed on those mornings to meet us every few miles with water and Gatorade.  This was definitely a team effort,  and I am so grateful for them!

When I crossed the finish line yesterday, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I did it. I really did it. I set my mind to something, and I reached my goal.  And I gained so much more than just physical achievement.

Isn't this what happens when we remain steadfast with anything we do? We have the goal in mind (get the job, run the race, win the game), but when we actually achieve success, we realize the journey was really the important part. I have a new friend, I have a newfound confidence in myself, and I have learned the lesson of dedication in a whole new way.  These things are worth way more than any medal or beach towel I'll get at the finish line.

If you've been praying for me over the past few months, let me thank you for being a part of this "team" that got me to this run the race.  I truly felt the presence of God with me as I was running, and all throughout the week as I prayed for healing in my body.  Thank YOU for being steadfast in your prayers.

I finished just 3 minutes ahead of Michelle.... we stuck together until mile 10. Here I am waiting to meet up with her and ecstatic I  am done!

Hanging in the beer tent afterwards, rockin' some huge medals and celebrating our victory!