They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go:
The half-marathon is behind me. It was an absolutely perfect day–cool and breezy with low humidity. I could not have personally designed a day that was more perfect. I felt strong and blessed throughout the run and was once again reminded that people in the running community are awesome. My time, 2:40:59, was a happy surprise. I originally placed myself between the 2:45 and 3:00 pacers, but went ahead at the beginning and never really fell back. God was very, very kind to me.
I’ve only been to a long distance race like this once before in my life. It was in Myrtle Beach when a wonderful student ran a marathon to help raise money for my cancer treatment. I remember panting as I walked slowly from our parking place to the finish line, but standing there beside the chute was magically refreshing. We took a picture when he crossed the finish line.
It was in the newspaper. This is one of the very few pictures I have from that time in my life. Six months of chemo resulted in the loss of my eye lashes and eye brows as well as my hair. I was always cold, but that day at the beach was warm and the wind off the ocean did a lot to renew my spirit.
Today I got a bit of a pain in my side between miles eight and nine. I was worried, but I regulated my breathing carefully, prayed, and found it gone by mile ten. I had some great advice from a friend and encourager, “When you get tired, just think of all the hard things God has brought you through and keep going.” I kept thinking about that during the last few miles and it helped a lot. Then, just after I passed the twelve mile marker, I saw a familiar figure standing by the road. It was one of my students, come out on a Sunday morning to cheer her teachers on. I got a little teary. “I’ll see you at the finish line,” she called, and I ran on with a little more spring in my step. She was there as I ran up the little hill into the last few yards. I threw her a kiss and turned toward the finish. There was a huge crowd and everyone was yelling. It was awesome. I found a little extra to power through the last little bit and then, I’d made it. One of the other teachers who ran today was waiting, too. My faithful hubby took some pictures. I’m ridiculously thankful for hair, even if it’s gray!
Thanks, everyone. From the beginning of this journey I have been surrounded by encouragers. From the day I opened my Fitbit to the moment I crossed the finish line, I have had a community of people cheering me on. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m grateful.