This past weekend I did something I NEVER thought I would do - run in a race much less a half-marathon. In January my husband got the idea of running a marathon by the end of the year, and he thought it was a great idea to do it together. I thought he was nuts, but I went along. In April we were signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon in October. I was still not sure this would happen, but I was in training. We were already in better shape than the year before having lost around 50 lbs., and we wanted to bump up our training. Early in the training we were still "running" short distances, and I was ok with that. By mid-summer we were getting up to running 12, 14, etc miles once a week. I case you are wondering - that is ALOT!!! I was getting more worried about the full marathon. In the Marine Corp Marathon you have to run at least a 14 min/mile to make a bridge by mile 20. If you don't make it, you could not finish the race. That thought was devestating. In all my training I could not get, and I was getting totally frustrated! One week we were to run 16 miles, and I hit the WALL. All runners know what that is, and there is no way to get over it that day. I didn't want to completely give up, and I knew I could do a half-marathon. So I pulled out of the Marine and registered for the Air Force Half Marathon. I couldn't give up and quit on the training I had already put in. I knew God was totally in this, because I had seen an ad on a running website about it, and it happened to be on a Saturday and was only 1 1/2 hours from my house. In addition, I was concerned how Noel and I were going to be there for each other during the race since I knew we would not be running at the same speed. I felt more at peace running the half, and I knew Noel would be there cheering me on.
I did have one concern running this much and that was my ankle. I had surgery on it several years ago, and I didn't know how it would do. I have been praying God would strengthen it, and me. It did well during runs, but would hurt sometimes the next day. So I was thankful that it was holding up.
In the last few weeks leading up to this weekend God kept bringing the verse 2 Timothy 4:7 - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. In place of "have" I put "WILL" . That was my prayer thru the entire race - I WILL finish the race, and I WILL keep the faith. It is funny how He works, because there is a line of running clothing with a Christian message. When I would need a little boost, someone with one of those shirts on would run by me, and I knew He was there with me.
Race Day was here, and boy was I nervous! I still couldn't believe what I was about to do. We watched the 5K the night before, and I was tearing up already. I kept trying to think this is just another training day, no big deal. Noel kept telling me you can do it because you have already done it. I was determined to finish, and I didn't care about the time.
It was an exciting race to a part of at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. Me and 10,000 other crazy running people who are running without anything chasing us. At the start of the race they have a fighter jet flyover, which is totally cool. Before I knew it, we were off and running. It is a beautiful course, running thru areas where the Wright Bros flew and one of the first prairie airfields in the country. The coolest was the last .1 mile running the old Air Force planes call the hall of fame of Air Force fighters. Throughout the race the crowd was cheering for everyone at various spots on the race. Some of my favorites was the Air Force members who were guarding the race cheering for us, people who called out my name cheering(our names are on our babes), and the rock band playing at one spot along the race. The BEST was seeing my husband halfway thru, and to later find out he was able to get there meant even more. I did develop a blister on my heel, but I didn't want to stop, so I just kept running. I will say the longest mile was the last, but finishing was amazing. I can't explain what it was like to run that last tenth of a mile having people cheering and seeing that finish line. I am tearing up just thinking about it now. At the end you go thru stalls for your respective race, you are congratulated by a senior officer in the Air Force and they call out your name and place a medal around your neck. It is just amazing. WOW - I had just ran 13.1 miles! I FINISHED!! I even had my fastest time - a 14:53 min/mile. My goal was not only to finish, but to finish before the offical awards ceremony was to start. I did it! Noel totally surprised me at the end with 2 dozen roses and a box of dark chocolate from Godiva. I was so supportive to me for my race, and I hope I can be so much more for him in his race next month.
I decided to post a picture of me against my better judgement, because I generally do not like any of my pictures especially ones of me with no makeup. So here I am after the race with my roses and my medal.
Thank you to all who prayed for me and sent words of encouragement. I am already thinking about running a half marathon again, and maybe having the girls run with us in a 5K. Who would of thought I enjoy running. If I can do it - anyone can!!
2 years ago