Exactly one week ago today I completed my third half marathon. I had many different feelings going into the race, one of which was fear which I talked about in my last blog. The day before, my family and I traveled to Philadelphia for the race. We did some sightseeing and also had dinner with some teammates from our running team who were also there. Then we settled in for the night.
The morning of the race was overcast and cool. I had my usual pre-race nerves. I tried to keep them in check because this was my husbands first half marathon and I did not want to do anything to detract from his experience. As I stood at the starting line with my husband and my son my husband turned to me and said, “Just focus on yourself.”
It turns out I did just that. It was the first long race that I did not put music on. I simply went along and thought about various things. Here were some of my thoughts:
OMG, WHY am I doing this?!
Where is the next mile?!
Is that sun I see!?
False alarm, rain!
Then, I also had other thoughts:
I am SO lucky to be doing this.
There were times in my life I could not do this.
There will be a day I can no longer do this. Today is not that day.
And I simply went on… and on… and on…
From about mile 3 on I walked. It felt long, but I embraced the experience. Towards the end when it was raining and pelting sideways there was this man who wound up next to me. In terms I should not write here (insert a few choice words!) I asked this man where the finish was. Him and I then stayed together as he talked me through the end of the race. After finishing he turned to me and high fived and said “See you next time!”
In reality I will probably never see this man again. Yet, I will never forget him. He was there for me when I needed somebody to talk me through when I was fairly exhausted. And seeing somebody greet him at the finish line not caring that he was at the back of the pack with me and greeting him loudly with “I’m so proud of you!” made me realize something. It truly is not about speed. It is about finishing, accomplishment and being my best self.
Until next time dear reader.