Tuesday, January 15, 2013

houston half

Sunday was the Houston marathon.
I'm only half crazy so I ran the half-marathon.
I had a hard time sleeping Saturday night.
I woke up at 2:53 and just lay there waiting for 4:00 on the clock.
I got dressed and then over-packed a bag of extra gear
...unsure of what the weather was going to do.
Cold in the 40's and rain is what the weatherman said.
They finally got it right after a week of what seemed like
bad weather predictions.
Our running group met at 515am and carpooled downtown.
It was drizzling and cold.
Once we all finished getting our gear on and in order
we stepped outside to make our way to the start.
Blustery winds were blowing like crazy.
More than one person suggested we just go to a hotel
and watch the race (and maybe some movies) rather than run.
Unfortunately that movement never gained serious momentum.
We ran over to the race headquarters to check some gear.
It was packed.
In the process we lost some people in our group.
I hate it when that happens.
I hate crowds and knowing that I have my peeps
around me makes me feel less anxious.
So I turned to my friend Joyce
(who has become privy to alot of my neurosis as of late}
and said "you won't leave me, right?"
I felt like a little girl asking her mom
{note: Joyce is not old enough to be my mother}
to watch over me and keep me safe.
She reassured me with an "I got ya!"

We searched but never found our missing peeps.
The "ten minutes to start" announcement sounded
and we had to leave so we all moved to the exit.
As we neared the door you could feel the cold.
It was like a slap in the face.
Like a "you dumb-bunny, you should be in bed!"

We found our assigned corral
and all huddled together to keep warm.
Think little penguins.
The race start gun sounded
and we shuffled to the start
trying not to trip on anyone's feet
amongst a sea of thousands.
Did I mention that I don't like crowds?

she takes flight.
via

We approach the start line in our little penguin march.
The real rain starts.
Everybody groans.

We run up an overpass.
I know I wasn't the only one thinking
"what in the heck are we doing here?"

Somebody says "watch that puddle!"
We all laugh.
We're in the middle of one big puddle
with wet socks and soggy shoes
and we've only just begun.

One mile down.
Two down.
Three down.
Some guy next to me says
"well, we just ran 3,
now I just have to run farther
 than I ever have before."
Say what?
You gotta train for this buddy!
I shake my head and keep trucking.

Now this whole time
we've been doing roll call
to make sure we're all together
{the ones we haven't yet lost}.
Tarsy and Lisa are the leads...
{these girls have got it goin' on...
love love love
 these recent additions
to our group}
today in matching rain gear
they'd bought the day before.
Smart buy!
We're all following their white and pink parkas.
Trying to keep their fantastic pace.
We keep calling out names
since its hard to look around
in all the rain
and with so many people
and in all our rain gear.
So we keep taking roll every so often.
"Steve"..."here"
"Laura?" "back left"
"Nancy?" "back right"
"Adrienne and Joyce?"
They had been behind us.
Now they weren't.
Aww pickles.
I kept turning around trying to scan for Joyce...
she is noticeable because she doesn't wear alot
of clothes when she runs
{ie whereas I wore a short sleeve shirt and two jackets}
she had on shorts and a running tank.
sleeveless.}
Finally I had to stop turning around.
I was afraid of losing sight of the peeps in front of me.

At about mile 5
I saw Steve go right
to a gatorade station.
I followed suit.
Now you know that I'm a multi-tasker.
Except when I run.
I ended up pouring gatorade all over me
as I tried to run through the station.
Nice.
I saw Steve go back in, picking up his pace
in order to catch the girls.
I screamed his name and everybody but him
turned around to see who the lunatic was
 screaming "STEVEEEEEE"
I admit I panicked.
I could see his head but that was it.
Uhhhh oooohhhh.
More than half way to go.
All by myself.
Ugghh.

I run to eat but I also run
because I love
the people I run with.
There's something deep that I can't explain -
knowing somebody in a way
 that most people don't...
almost always before dawn
when the world is still sleeping
{and you wish you were too}
so that you can push your body to its limits
and in turn
you're pushing your mind.
These friends of mine
have my back and I have theirs.
This I know.

My husband knew I was nervous about this race.
All week he kept reassuring me.
He told me to run my own race,
not to try to keep up with anyone else's pace
or to ask them to pull back to mine.
Let them run their race he said.
Its an individual sport he said...
you're trying to make it a team sport
and its not.
I understood where he was coming
from but I still beg to differ.
It is an individual sport, no one can run for you.
But we're a team.
This I know.

I keep going.
And then I see a little huddle on the side.
My penguins have waited for me.
I catch up.
We keep going.
By this time its around 8am.
Normally by this time
 I've had three cups of coffee.
I know. I have issues.
And I'm starting to feel my head.
Its begging for caffeine.
I figured out after my first half marathon
that I could bring an OTC migraine medicine with me.
It has caffeine in it.
Now's the time my head tells me.
I holler out that I'm pulling over to take the meds.
Nobody hears me.
I climbed up on the curb to keep an eye on my peeps.
So I can see where I need to sprint to get them.
But at that moment something inside me
told me it was ok.
To let go.


So I did.
I looked at my watch.
One hour four minutes down.
About the same to go.
Just keep moving I told myself.
Forget the people,
the rain,
the thoughts of stopping.
Just.
keep.
going.
One foot after the other.
Keep falling forward.

I thought of what I constantly preach to my boys.
If you think you can't you won't.
If you think you can you will.

I stopped for gatorade
every time it was offered.
Then I kept going.

Right before mile 9
I saw a lady
with a blue shirt.
It had "Phil 4:13" on the back.
I ran up and tapped her on the shoulder.
Probably not the best thing to do.
I made her jump.
I said "which bible verse is that?"
"What?"
I asked her again.
She turned to a guy next to her
and asked him for help remembering.
She was in a zone.
She blanked.
Then they both said it together.

Phillipians 4:13
via

I thanked her and told her I knew what it was.
I just needed to hear it.
The hairs on my head stood up.
I took it as a sign.
God was telling me "I got ya!"
Best.
Feeling.
Ever.

I knew from my watch
that I was kicking it.
I could pause for drinks.
I just had to keep moving.

I hit a wall about mile 11.
Typical for me.
Self-doubt was whispering.
Nope.
I'm in it to win it.
 

So I did...
I told the negative committee
 in my head
to sit down
and
shut up.

I never ever thought
I could run that far by myself.
But now I know I can.
Do I want to?
No.
But can I?
Definitely.

I set a PR again.
My best time yet for a half.
Two hours, twelve minutes.
I'll take it.

 Thanks for your prayers and kind emails.
I appreciate it.
Thanks especially to my running buddies.
I love you all.


1 comment :

  1. Congratulations, Nancy!!! I am so proud of you. What an inspirational post that was ... and you topped it off with a PR! Thanks SO much for sharing that. I loved reading about your run and the message you shared. You are awesome!

    ReplyDelete

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