This weekend, RRL and I traveled with a group from church to run the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon in San Antonio, TX. I paid to do this race in July, long before the BL3 morning sickness set in and my exercise goals changed radically from 1/2 marathon training to just getting off the couch. Being the accountant that I am, I hate to waste money and since the race was not cheap, I was determined that whether they had to push, pull or drag me, I was crossing the finish line. I did not care how long it took, I just wanted to finish and enjoy the fun of the run.
It ended up being a perfect day for a nice (long) jog through the fun town of SA. I finished much faster than I thought I might and lived to tell about it!
Here are a few things that motivated me to finish:
1) THE ORANGE SHIRTS- There was a team of people running this race to benefit Crohn's Disease Research, all wearing orange shirts. The first time I saw one, it nearly brought me to tears. Here were people like me, who had been impacted one way or another by this disease, and were out to do something about it. I thanked every single one of them that I saw, but could never have said thank you enough. Thank you to each of them for what they are doing, and Thank you to the powerful Healer that I serve for giving me such a miraculous 4 years, pain free. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the Lord brought at least one of them across my path every single mile to help motivate me to finish this race (and keep pressing on in my health race). That's pretty amazing considering the 30,000 people in SA to run...no accident, I'm sure that each one of these orange shirts crossed my path.
2) I saw a woman on the biggest hill in the race, really struggling. She was zig-zagging back and forth across the hill. She was struggling up the hill because she was in a wheel chair. She was doing the full marathon (26.2 miles) and I have never seen anyone so driven. Several people asked her if she needed help and she refused each one. What an inspiration!
3) Along the way there were tons of Daddies with their children holding signs that said "Way to go, Mommy" or "Run, Mommy, run" or "Mommy's pit crew". Even though my husband was running ahead of me and my boys were home with their Grammy, I didn't think these families would mind if I borrowed from their motivational moments. Nothing motivates me more than the three (soon 4) I love most. Even just imagining that it was them standing behind those signs pushed me on.
A few not so wonderful moments:
1) About the only kind of power bar or energy drink that I can tolerate is the snickers marathon bars. I have a race routine of eating 1/2 before the race and finishing the rest during the run. I was carrying my left-over 1/2 on the race with me this time and had decided I would make it to the 60 minute mark before enjoying it. At 57 minutes, I dropped the bar in the middle of a crowd of runners and it was unrecoverable. I almost cried.
2) At about the 11 mile mark, I was taking a (scheduled) walk-break. I usually run about 8 minutes and walk 1 minute. As I was walking along, a snooty girl and her friend came running past and smugly said "I hate it when so many people start walking at this point in the race". BAH. ARGH. And how far along in your pregnancy are you? Not nice.
3) At the end of the race, I was exhausted (to say the least). All I wanted to see was RRL's sweaty face. I knew he would finish ahead of me and that there was a HUGE crowd to sort through, but I just needed to find him. We had set up a meeting spot, but it took forever to limp-along and find it (and him). I felt so lost and started to panic before I realized I was in the wrong place and got turned in the right direction. I kept thinking "If I could just call the people we are supposed to be meeting, I could find them" but I couldn't remember anyone's phone numbers. Where I finally made it, and got to release some tears on RRL's shoulder, he sweetly reminded me that I had written the phone number on the back of my race number pinned to my shirt. NICE.
All in all, it was a great weekend, making lots of fun memories with friends and accomplishing a difficult goal. The Lord is good to give us what we need for each of the "races" we run and I was so thankful to have this race to remind me of that!