If only I had the gift to put into words the experience I had completing my first marathon. To explain the rush of adrenaline, the power of mind over body, how the encouragement from the spectators on the course and at home were able to keep me going when I felt truly defeated.
How do I describe the victory? How do I explain the emotions when I saw the finish line and was able to cross it?
Perhaps it is one of those precious moments in life that can only be experienced by a person to truly understand the meaning of such a big life moment. It is like a woman giving birth- the anticipation, then the hard and painful labor which is all forgotten with the sweet, sweet, reward of the baby in your arms.
Not everyone is a runner, and not every runner has ran a marathon. Yet, I want to share this experience with the world- not to boast, or to pull on my own boot straps- but to encourage, edify and inspire.
The 2019 Houston Marathon was an out of body experience. The start took 50 minutes! 27,000 runners including the Elite athletes from all over the world. How they are able to run 26.2 miles in just 2 hours is beyond me. It took me a little over 5 hours, and I couldn’t have been more ecstatic!
The main goal was to finish- no time restrictions, no expectations on keeping up with the ones passing me. Just run my own race.
When I committed to running the marathon I had my doubts. 26.2 miles! Really? I had run half marathons before and those were a HUGE challenge. How could I possibly double that mileage?
In my training I was only able to run up to 18 miles. So when race day came, I was nervous. Would my body be able to give me 8 more miles? Would I hit the wall and settle for the DNF (Did Not Finish) sticker rather than the 26.2 sticker?
When I hit mile 20 I told myself I would do whatever it took to get me to that finish line.
Mile 21 I text my hubby:
I knew back home that my family was tracking my progress- mile by mile- so I made every effort not to falter.
Mile 24 I was depleted! I took a deep breath- told myself that this will be over soon, just 2.2 miles to go. Even though I was in pain, I put one foot in front of the other.
The very last mile felt like a lifetime. I kept asking, “Where is the finish line?” THEN just when I felt like I could not go on any further- I saw it! The finish.
The tears! The joy! The feeling of accomplishment! I did it! All that hard work had paid off!
When I saw my dearest friend, Alma, when she had completed number 9… yeah 9… I hugged her and told her, “I get it now!” I understood the desire to do it again. I truly believed she was crazy- and even though that may be true- I realized that I wanted to be a part of that crazy. I’m not saying I will do another, but it is possible. When you cross that finish line, you do believe that anything is possible.
The best part, however, of the whole experience was the support and love I received from my family. Just a few minutes after finishing the race of my life, my Uncle and Brother-in-Law sent me a video of Congratulations. I received text messages from my sisters, my mother-in-law, my daughter, my friends and co-workers who were rooting for me. This may sound a bit like a hyperbole, but I never felt more loved! What I know for sure, is that even if I hadn’t finished the race-if I had given up- those same people would have still made me feel as loved.
That’s what life means to me. It means to love and to receive love. Sometimes our dreams come true, and sometimes they don’t. All that matters is that there are people in your life who love you NO MATTER WHAT!
~Special Thanks to my Best Friend Alma! Thanks for inspiring and encouraging me! Keep running girl!