Here are the ten moments during the marathon that stuck out to me the most:
1. 3:30 A.M.
Up and Ready to go. I was so ready to get this thing over with. I trained well and dedicated the last four months of my life to this day. I was hoping for a great performance for once...
It was warm already at 5:00 AM and I was starting to get a bit worried. But, I prayed and put all those evil thoughts away and told myself I got this. Whatever it takes, I am crossing that finish line.
3. Start Line
Nothing is like the start line at the marathon. If you never have ran in a race before, it is an incredible feeling. Your adrenaline starts pumping through your body. Music is blaring. People all around you are pumped. It is great, even if it does take 20 minutes to finally cross the start line...
4. Mile 11
Ugh. And here it comes. I started feeling pretty rough at this point already. But, I knew I had to keep going. But, I was just so discouraged already. All this work and this is what happens? I have bad luck with marathons. At that point, Joseph jumped in and stuck with me...
My body can't handle the heat. Ever since I was a little girl, the way my body deals with overheating is vomiting. How attractive, huh? So, there is nothing I can do when it comes to heat. And at about mile 17, it started and continued all way to the finish. I must have been a great sight to see. And honestly, there was nothing I could do.
One of the sweetest things on Sunday was the fact that Joseph ran and walked with me from mile 11/12 to about mile 25. Seriously, he did. And if he wasn't there, I am not sure I would have finished. I am so blessed to have a husband like him. He is my number one supporter and encourager.
When I realized I couldn't keep any fluids or substances in my body, I debated between pride and humility. Do I keep running, get a somewhat decent time, and possibly end up in the emergency room because of my pride? Or do I take it easy, walk most of it and just suck it up that I might finish in the high 5 hour mark? With much tears and much pain, I choose the humble path. Walking most of the last 7-8 miles. And what a challenge mentally and physically that was for me.
8. Phone Call
My mom called me at about mile 23. I was a disaster at that point. I kept throwing up, Joseph was still at my side and all I could think about was quitting and that I failed. Mentally- I wasn't in it anymore. But, when my mom called right after she finished and asked how I was - she was so proud that I didn't quit. And even though I wasn't running anymore and I was so ashamed of my time, she told me she was praying and to keep going. I cried through the whole phone conversation...
9. Nike+ Powersong Zone
At about mile 24 they have a Nike+ Powersong Zone. As I was walking through, chewing on ice chips because that was the only thing I was keeping down (my mom said it was getting me ready for labor) :) the guy giving the announcements at that point said, "It doesn't matter if you are running, walking or crawling - you are going to finish." With more tears, I agreed and marched on.
10. Finish Line
All I wanted to do was sit and drink a large cherry coke. That was my carrot. The finish line never looked so good. And while I was sooo discouraged with the weather and my performance, I hobbled my way across that finish line. I finished. Finally. And with more tears down my check, I got my medal and anxiously waited for my cherry coke at Cheesecake later that day...
It was rough, I can't lie. And these past few days have been hard on me. Hearing stories of how well people did and then there was me, who did awful. But, I know one thing - that through all of this the Lord got me through and I know He is teaching me something. Maybe about my pride? Maybe about my priorities? Not sure - but He will make it clear. And while this wasn't the performance I hoped for at 3:30 A.M. on Sunday, I finished.
So, I am taking a break from training - for awhile. I'll run here and there but my focus will be elsewhere for the next few years. Praying that I will be content and willing to go in whatever direction the Lord chooses...