I wish I could say that I finished my half marathon like a beast, but I really didn't.
I kind of finished like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music...just not that pretty or elegant.
I had made a decision that I would not worry about time with this half. The longest run and I'd done was eight miles. And I'm using the word, "run" loosely. With all my half marathons, I do a combination of running and walking. I stuck to that method pretty strictly with this half marathon. I didn't want to injure myself and I wanted to actually finish.
The weather report leading up to Saturday's race was horrible. It was almost an exact replica of the weather back in 2013 when I first ran this half, just a tad warmer.
I griped and complained about it the whole week, not looking forward to running in severe weather. Thankfully, the day of the race ended up being almost perfect. The temperature was a little cool, but not too bad. It didn't rain but it stayed overcast for a long while which made this girl happy!
I had a first this time. With the past four half marathons I've done, I've always had people there with me...family, friends, boyfriend. This time I was all alone. I really thought being by myself would upset me especially while crossing the finish line, but surprisingly I didn't bother me at all.
I had no worries with this half. I didn't feel like I had to finish it in a certain time because I had people waiting on me...hence the reason I kind of felt like Julie Andrews.
I actually enjoyed running this half. Well up until mile ten anyway. I paid attention to the signs and the volunteers...who are the most awesome volunteers in the world. I enjoyed running through Nashville and really took in the sights and all that was going on around me. I enjoyed watching runners find their families on the side of the road who were cheering them on. I didn't put any pressure on myself and that really made a huge difference in my attitude.
At mile ten, I hit that inevitable wall. I really expected it to happen sooner. Thankfully it didn't and I know that's because I took it slower. The last three miles were torture. I wanted food. I wanted any beverage except for water. I wanted flip flops. I wanted to lay on the pavement and take a nap.
I eventually found the finish line and once again took the time to take in all that was happening around me. I love the feeling of crossing the finish line. I love the sense of accomplishment while feeling absolutely exhausted. It's really hard to put into words. Maybe like child birth but you hold a medal at the end instead of a baby? Hmmm....maybe that's not the best analogy.
Anyway, it ended up being a very good day.
Surprisingly, this wasn't my slowest half. It was my most enjoyable though.
The best part of all is that I was able to raise money for a great cause. I'm still raising till the end of May, so it's not too late to donate. (PLEASE!!!)
I also have the awesome privilege of running for this adorable little girl. :)
I think anyone can take this word and apply it to his or her life. I mean, isn't that what life is...a journey?
I've had so many journeys:
Each one of these journeys is still a big part of my life. I'm convinced that each one will be a part of my life indefinitely. I hope that I continue to learn and grow. I hope my life doesn't become stagnant where I'm stuck in the same place forever.
With that being said, I think sometimes we have to sit on the side of the road and take a little break. Drink some water. Have a snack. Take a nap. Look around and evaluate how far we've come on our journey. Take time to mourn the bad times and rejoice in the good times. Remind ourselves that it's ok if we're not exactly where we want to be because we're still moving forward.
I'm not where I want to be with my weight loss. I've lost weight and then gained it back. However, I'm not where I was when I began. I now have five half marathons under my belt and enough knowledge to continue on this journey of becoming the healthiest person I can be.
I've made a lot of mistakes as a parent. I get tired and snappy. I don't always make the best decisions. Sometimes I forget to make quality time a priority. But, I have a great kid. He's smart, a natural leader, loves God, and makes me laugh on a regular basis.
Oh goodness I have made a wreck of my personal life. I've gotten in relationships that I know I shouldn't have. I had not given myself time to get over one relationship before I dove head first into another. I've hurt people. People have hurt me. You know the good thing about these experiences? I've learned from them. And now I'm giving myself time to work on myself and make sure I'm happy with me before I decide to reenter the dating field.
I really wanted to have my bachelor's degree by now, but I don't. However, because I waited to get my degree, I now know without a doubt what I want to do with my life. I couldn't have said that even a couple of years ago.
I would not be who I am today if I had not gone through the trials that have come with this journey. I have cried many tears, but I have also laughed and enjoyed good moments just as much.
This is my life.
And, as a certain band would say...
Don't stop believin'