This past Sunday I ran in the Miami Half Marathon. My time was 3hours and 22 minutes. It was harder than I expected. I ran when I could and walked when I had to in places. I kept moving even as every muscle in my body screamed at me to stop. Not allowing myself to sit down because if I did that there was no getting back up again. I finished the race in a daze. The final quarter mile was the longest in my life. I just wanted to finally reach the finish line. I hardly noticed when I finally did. It took me a moment to realize that I had finished the race. Reaching the area where they were handing out medals, I discovered that they had run out of them for half marathoners ( more on that in another post)*. I could hardly take in the news. All I wanted to do was find my family and sit down.
The weather on race day was wonderful! For this Florida girl the humidity was not too high and I even did not mind getting soaked as the rain poured down towards the end of the race! Though it was colder than I expected! I live in a beautiful city and as I went through the course I did my best to take in my surroundings. I do not get out to this part of town near enough and I wanted to enjoy it as much as I could. Even with the drawbridge starting to signal going up as I was halfway over it and then the train signal just before the end ( thankfully no train behind it!), it was a good day.
I felt as if I would throw up. My mom provided a lifesaver mint which helped immensely. Slowly I began to come back to life. Turning on my phone, it buzzed again and again as messages of love and support came through, I had to set it aside as I felt overwhelmed. Later my family and I enjoyed a celebratory lunch at Denny’s. Too keyed up to rest I headed out to a super bowl party with my sister. The whole day felt like an out of body experience.
I was asked again and again “How do you feel?!” The honest answer is I just do not know yet. I feel I am still processing. While my friends and family congratulated me I replayed the race in my mind. Perhaps I am in shock that I did this. I have a tenancy of being too hard on myself. Telling myself that I did not deserve it. That if they only knew how much I walked, my stomach bothering me after taking gator aide at a water station instead of water. Feeling defeated instead of elated is how I felt at the end of the race. I know that is not the answer people want to hear but it is the truth. Confidence it seems will be a life long struggle. In the end, I ran MY race. I kept moving forward, pushing my body to keep going.
A lot of emotions have come to the forefront. I did not expect that either. Running in this race was the culmination of two years of hard work. It was an end. In some aspects it was the question of what is next? This goal has been reached, and that is it. I fought hard to become healthy, to be able to do this. That first day, two years ago when I showed up at the park I could not have imagined ME running a race such as this. I simply responded to a friend reaching out, offering to help me. That moment was the beginning of my new life.
Accomplishing a long set goal is an odd feeling. Finishing the race yesterday was another beginning. In the book of my life a significant chapter has ended. Perhaps that is why I have such mixed emotions about it. Something that was part of my life for so long is now over. This is not a bad thing, but change is hard. It had become familiar and routine. All the preparation is done, I have run my race. Or more precisely I should say I am still in the race. I wanted to run to honor those who could not finish their race at the Boston Marathon, I ran for those who want to run but cannot. I ran to honor all that God has done in getting me healthy.
As I write this my backside is sore. I feel how tired my muscles are as I move around the house. Even my brain feels tired. Every now and again I feel the urge to cry. I started to at the start of the race. Once I reached the finish line I was just too stunned to react. My dad told that I looked yellow, not even white when we reunited after the race. I cried just now while writing this post. I told you this brought up a lot of emotions.
Now it is time to figure out my next goal. Honestly I do not have one right now. I have a vague idea of wanting to get more into yoga. I believe I will run another half marathon, perhaps next year or the one after Lord Willing. Next time it would be nice to not run alone. As for this year I would like to do a few fun runs ( color run or electric run), perhaps a 10k at Zoo Miami.
I am so grateful to everyone who has n a part of my journey. From my friend who offered to help me get healthy, meeting me five days week to work out. My friends and family who have encouraged me all along. Most of all for the Lord who knew all along I would cross that finish line Sunday!
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out with us. (NIV)
Thank you to the following people in my life:
Wendy Delfosse, Megan McDonnough, Ana Amentetos, Kelsie Delgado ( for making this day possible!),* *Jackson, Linda Doherty, Janet Mickely, Michelle Amigo, Christine Connelly and many, many more!
*Not enough medals were available as full marathoners chose to complete the half instead during the course of the race. I will be receiving mine in the mail.
** Name changed per request