I've been a negligent blogger. Especially when you consider that I've strung y'all along in suspense over this whole "will the crazy 38-year-old be able to complete a half marathon" issue! So?... Do ya wanna know?... Since it's a full two days after the event?...
The answer is a resounding YES! I was able to finish. But not only did I finish, I learned so much about enduring, overcoming, and truly finishing *well*.
Three weeks and three days before the race (coincidentally, about the same time I fell off the edge of the blog world) I had a little mishap. While riding my scooter to work, a gentleman in a greater hurry than myself ran a red light as I was beginning a left-turn into my business parking lot. I didn't make it to the lot. I had a split second to decide whether to gun it and beat him (not realistic), keep going and get hit (not attractive), or slam on brakes on fog-wet pavement and eat it (sounds good to me!). I went down on my left side with my arm Supermanned (yep. it's a perfectly good descriptor) out in front of me. He kept going; don't think he ever saw me. The bike wasn't scratched, my clothes weren't torn, but my shoulder kinda wouldn't move. Hm. That was interesting. So, I did what any woman with my bloodline of stubbornness would do: picked up the bike, used my right arm to set my left one on the handlebars, rode it the rest of the way in, parked it, then went in and called my hubby to come pick me up because my arm wouldn't work. Turns out I messed up my rotator cuff pretty badly and, over the next several days, I discovered that my muscles were pretty bruised and unhappy about the trauma of hitting the ground that hard. Race training? Not happening. Three weeks and three days.
Restlessness? Frustration? Anger? Yep. Dealt with all those things. Fear of letting people down? Fear of letting MYSELF down? Affirmative. Complete aggravation at watching *nobody* in the house fold my laundry the right way? Why, no! Nobody with one good arm could be that ungrateful, could they?
It was a L.O.N.G. two weeks before I was physically strong enough to try to train again. And it was exactly one week before race day. Ugh. Confidence level rock bottom. That first run didn't help it any. Tired, creeping pace, cramping muscles...those two weeks took a toll. It was the first time I really doubted that I could finish this thing. So I went home, cried on Dan's shoulder, and ate ice cream.
And got back up again after a day of rest and tried it again. And ran a full 5k at pace. That day felt like I HAD run the half-marathon... and won.
The rest of the week was a little nutty with finalizing my costume, making sure we had the family logistics figured out for race day, checking in and getting final race instructions, a little trip to the ER with my mom the day before the race...Oh? You caught that? Yep. Day before the race. Dad and Mom came into town to cheer me on. And the stinkin' road came up and took a swipe at my Mom, too. Me and asphalt don't have a good relationship right now. After her tumble from a curb, Mom ended up with a fracture in her hand and a really painful upper lip after using her nose/lip to catch herself. Ouch.
But y'know what she did? She got up at 4am and came out to cheer me on. Smiling. Not complaining even though I know she hadn't slept much and was in pain. Go, Mom. If I ever need an example of endurance and grace, I don't have to look far.
And so, I ran. Thirteen point one miles at an average pace of 14.74 minutes per mile. A better pace than I averaged in training. My first three miles were at a pace of 10 minutes each. Carried on angels' wings as one of my dear friends was predicting. And along the way I met so many other people running for their causes. Encouraging each other. Cheering for those running faster and drawing inspiration from that rather than being jealous or grudging. Graciously yielding to stronger runners. Teams running together whose captians FINISHED their own race, then came back to re-run the final miles with their slower teammates. Beautiful women of all ages struggling through the course together but enjoying every minute in our girly get-ups. Laughing at our own weak places, stopping for a moment to stretch, then carrying on. And God even put a family in my path who read the wondercape and picked up their pace just to talk to me about Daniel, Parker, and Josslyn. Because their son was born with Down Syndrome and the kids' story brought them to tears and gained another prayer warrior on the Carlins' side.
In the end? I fought the fight. I finished the race. I kept the faith. And God was faithful.
I'm trusting Him to be faithful in the Carlins' race to bring those sweeties home, too. I don't think He'll let me down.
I'm a 30-something Wife to Dan and Mom to 4 amazing blessings ranging from PreK to Early Teen. We are a homeschooling family embarking on life in an RV. Life has become a totally unexpected adventure full of surprises, excitement, heartache, "teachable moments" and overarchingly filled with the loving, protective hand of our Wonderful Counselor leading us through it all.