I got an email a few months ago that I was really interested in, but I didn’t want to tell you about it.
It was to do something that would push me way past any limits I had, and that made me not want to tell you about it even more.
It wasn’t something I was ready for.
So I didn’t tell you.
But in that email from Nike they were telling me about a virtual half marathon to raise money for research to help find treatments for leukemia. My 25-year-old cousin died almost two years ago from leukemia. I could form a team and then raise money to donate to the cause. And while I don’t believe in giving money to these huge organizations — I’d rather give locally to people actually affected than to research — I did want to run in this race to honor Christopher. Because he would have loved to see me be able to run a half marathon.
In order to participate in the half marathon all you had to do was sign up, pay the admission, track it with one of the devices and the upload it to the Nike website. We’re all supposed to get bracelets in a few weeks for finishing, but I’m not much of a jewelry girl. I am, however, crazy, so I signed up for it.
But I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t know if I could do it. I talked to Bridget a little about it, and she offered to come run with me for moral support. I
couldn’t wouldn’t have done it without her. The great thing about it was was that I could chart my own course. I could stop and go whenever I needed to. All I had to do was be on the lookout for cars.
So I charted my course. I thought that it would be great to run somewhere familiar, so I clocked it one night to my friends’ house. It was 6.5 miles from the end of my road to their house. So my plan was to run a little past their house, get some water and use the bathroom and then get back running. So that’s what we did.
The first four miles I felt pretty good. Which isn’t bad considering the longest distance I’d run straight through was 3.1. I was pleased. Then it started to set in. My side cramped a little bit after drinking some water too quickly, I started getting aches in different places all over my body and the course I chose was ridiculously hilly. Like it was all hills. Looking back, I don’t know what I was thinking.
After the four-mile mark, Bridget had to start getting a little creative. We’d run for two minutes and walk for one. We did that for a while. After we got to my friends’ home, we did run one/walk one for a long time. Most of the way back, though, was downhill, for which I was extremely grateful. What I was even more grateful for was that we walked up the hills and ran down them. A good trainer knows you and knows how far you can go. I’m ever so grateful that she didn’t make me run up them.
Once we got to 12.5 miles we started running every other tenth of a mile. The time limit to finish at the Nashville Half Marathon is 4 hours. That was my secondary goal…following closely behind just finishing. We hit 13 and Bridget said we’re going to walk half of the last tenth and run the last. Those last .05 of a mile I had this burst of energy out of nowhere. All the moments of “I can’t go another step” went out the door as we passed the finish line.
I still had to walk a little ways to get back to my house. That was followed by protein drinks, water and some serious stretching. A couple hot baths and a shower, and my body is trying to tell me today that I’m crazy. And maybe I am. But I’m okay with that.
Because I just finished my first half marathon.
And in my own way I was able to honor my cousin. And I know Chris was cheering me on and helping me push past those walls that just kept getting in my way.
I think this post is getting too long. I’m going to go into a little more detail Thursday and share with you some things I learned through the process. So for now just know that I’m relaxing because my whole body hurts and that you may not see me much at the gym this week. Feel free to send Icy Hot or something. I take donations of Aleve, as well.
But also know that you are capable of things far beyond what you could ever imagine.
So go out there and do it.
There’s nothing holding you back now.