My wish for you is that you will do something in your life that’s out of your comfort zone. Something that you thought you’d never be able to do (in a good way, not an illegal way 😉) Yesterday, I completed my 4th half marathon, but my first one “post cancer.” I didn’t prepare enough for it, and I knew that. I had started training with a great group in Fargo in January (Faster Stronger Runner.) I soon realized that I’d need to walk more than run. I started skipping the training sessions. My kids had events, it was too cold… Lots of excuses. The problem was, that I don’t feel like a runner. I don’t love it like my husband does. I’m not fast. I cannot talk when I run. I don’t get a runner’s high. I had committed to do the half though, and I wasn’t going to back out. I did most of my training on my own, enjoying the quiet time.
Leading up to the half marathon, the weather reports showed it being hotter than it has been in this area. 80 degrees is great for spectators, but not great for most runners. You need to take in more water and try to keep your body cool. I started out ahead of the three hour pace group, knowing that they’d eventually pass me. That was ok. My main goal was to finish. I gave lots of high 5’s to kids and adults. I wore a big pink tutu and my “TeamEdith” hat. (I raised over $275 for breast cancer research) I twirled my tutu in the street, told the story behind it to a few people, and smiled big each time someone yelled, “nice tutu!” The temps were much hotter than I would have liked, but you have to deal with the day as it comes. I took water and Powerade at every stop. I ran through each sprinkler, and took advantage of kids with squirt guns. A friend handed me a bag of ice, which made its way around my body – in my bra, under my arms and in my hat. My husband and kids were out to cheer me on. Their cheers, hugs and high fives were wonderful. They walked with me the last mile. One advantage of Cameron being a 6 time finisher of the same race, he knew the last mile would be tough. He was right. They kept me going, and I was able to shuffle/jog into the Fargodome. My sister was in the stands, and husband and kids were right along the finish line. I did it!
I thought for sure I’d cry at the end. I didn’t. Maybe I was too dehydrated. I did almost pass out, but managed to keep it together (despite being clammy and having everything flashing/going spotty.) What did make me cry was when I thought of the people I was thankful for. I texted some of them as I was waking on the course. Not everyone, but some I was able to text as I ran “their mile.” The people towards the end had much shorter notes. At mile 5/6 there was a man in a wheelchair without legs, cheering on the side of the road. His sign said “take a step for me, I’ll be with you..” Something to that effect. I was crying in the street because I could walk/run/jog – it’s all about perspective. It made me think that a year ago, I had a broken foot, was recovering from lumpectomy & radiation and I was getting ready for a hysterectomy. This is why I ran. Because I can. I wanted to show people, and my kids, that you can do anything you put your mind to. My pain is only temporary. A few days from now, stairs won’t hurt as much and I will be able to get up more easily.
I struggled with not being fast enough, good enough, going far enough… But the look on my family’s faces said that I was enough. Peace be with you on your journey of enough & may you take the time to enjoy some high fives and spectators cheers. God put them there for you.