Folks, I ran a half marathon this past weekend. That is 13.1 miles. That .1 is really important because as you run by the 12 mile marker, you think "only one mile left". However, then as you are approaching the 13 mile marker, you see that the finish line isn't there. You see, you have to keep running past it to reach the finish line. That .1 of a mile was long.
I did it! I ran (and walked some) a half marathon. It was hard. I told one of my friends afterwards that I would rather do child birth than run it again. I might have exaggerated that a bit because my legs were shaky, my stomach felt as if my digestive system had been shaken up and my whole body felt like it had ran a marathon (or a half).
So a couple days afterwards, I have done some reflecting and I don't want to lose this reflection so that is why I blog. I made a goal to finish it before 2 hours 30 minutes. I reached this goal. I finished it in 2 hours 29 minutes and 10 seconds. Boom!
I trained for this a lot (for me). Below is the greatest training partner a person could have. Cassie Genglebach was my accountability partner and she kept me going this whole race. We trained 3 days a week at 5:15 in the morning and then we would spend 2 hours on Saturday running. I hated running that long, but she would stay with me no matter how slow I went. Below is a picture of us pre-race. This is me all smiley thinking "I trained for this so it should be great!" The picture below that is post-race and I am working to plaster that smile on my face. Notice she still looks great because she is a true rock star.
I started running in August to help with my depression and anxiety. I was never a runner before but I liked how it cleared my head and I would feel like it was a time for God to speak to me. I quickly signed up for a 5k and loved the race atmosphere. My in laws, Wendi and Kurtis, talked me into doing a Half Marathon. I love a good challenge so I said YES.
Below is Wendi, Kurtis and I holding our medals at the end of the race. Wendi ran like the wind the whole time and finished way before me. Kurtis and I got to run holding hands up in the air as we crossed the finish line.
So the idea of a good challenge brings me to a big reflection point. I am a quick starter. I love planning. I love figuring out details and delegating roles. I love thinking up ideas. I love to start things, but then run out of steam and a lot of times don't finish. If you know my husband, we are similar in this fashion of not completing things. This is why we have a lot of things only 90% done in our house :) We have learned to love each other for this but it took awhile.
I completed a half marathon. The word "completed" is a huge accomplishment for me. I started this thinking "I can do it." and I finished it with "I did this." There were times during this training, I wanted to quit and say "It is too much." but because I had Cassie, I didn't quit. While we were running the half marathon, there were times I thought "I can't do this whole run." but I kept going because I had Cassie beside me, I had two family members running in the same race, going past the same finish line, and I had family members waiting for me at the end.
I know that I am not strong enough to go through this life without people to hold me up, encourage me and keep me going. Sometimes it is easier to go through life without people close to you because you can hide things, keep secrets, make your own schedule and not have to worry about anyone else. I feel like I did that for a long time. However, the ending constantly seemed to be "I can't do this. I am going to quit." I have learned it is so important to have a village around you. People who are okay with your baggage and like to celebrate with you through it all.
This marathon was so much more to me than running 13.1 miles. It is a huge accomplishment and I am so proud of myself and the others that did it. But I am even more proud of the fact that I decided to do it, I stuck to a training program, I kept an accountability partner and I completed it.
It is interesting that this comes the week of Easter. Jesus came to Earth with a plan, He had to follow it out even though it was really hard and scary, and He completed it. I am so glad He completed that plan. It gives me hope each day.