You know you’re recovering nicely from your race when:
Your toilet no longer reminds you of a medieval torture device.
You understand don’t you…tell me I’m not the only one! 🙂
We started training together this year before her first half marathon. She’s my weekend, long run buddy. I was there when she hurt her leg before her half, and I’ve watched her rest, ice, go to PT, run through the pain, try out her options, finish her 1st half, be frustrated…the whole time doing everything right & by the book. We’ve now spent the last few months(in this winter’s crazy mix of weather) training for the Mercedes…her second Half Marathon & my second Full. We’ve discussed running, diet, exercise, life, kids, beliefs, pretty much everything you can think of. She has become a dear friend.
I’m not typically the kind that has a lot of “girl friends”…but on race day I felt very much “girly” and full of emotions. I had Julia call me at 4am to make sure I woke up. I think that would be one of the worst feelings ever…to complete all that training and then sleep through the whole marathon! We texted all morning, and then the last contact we had was…”I’m going to the bathroom in the Boutwell.” I didn’t have room for my phone AND food for the race, so I didn’t have any way to call Julia…I just assumed it would be easy to find her by the bathroom. WRONG.
Long story short…
Tip for next race: use the porta-potties outside, not the bathrooms with the 15 minute wait inside the building. AND meet your running friends somewhere away from the crowds of 5,000+ people.
I was so disappointed to think that after all those miles of training, we wouldn’t be able to run this race together. I headed to the sign that was around the pace we had decided we wanted to run. Just before start time, I heard her call my name! I was overly excited(for me) and we gave each other a big hug and joined the throng of runners.
I LOVED sharing this experience with Julia. I was excited for her to be part of something that I had only told her about before. The excitement of the crowds, the gummy bears, the music, the signs, the 1st place winner lapping us with the police escort and all….those were all things I had wanted to share with her. I was concerned for her when she started experiencing pain at mile 4…but she kept going, like a trooper. Then all of a sudden the course split. Half-marathoners to the left, full marathoners to the right. I knew it was going to happen, I just thought it was later in the race. Once again…I was surprised by the emotions that I felt. I wasn’t expecting to feel sad to leave her. We quickly gave a teary(for me) hug and went on our way. Knowing that she was in pain I was concerned for her. I was also disappointed for her because I thought there was no way she could catch up to her goal time of 2:30.
But, I was wrong. Here is a picture that I stole off of her FB page. 🙂
Even in her pain, she missed her goal by only 1 minute!
I was SO surprised…and I’m very proud of her accomplishment!
Just look at that beautiful smile!
…and even though I missed my goal by almost 30 minutes…
That’s her with her hands up, cheering me on towards the finish line. (I’m the pink, black and white blur in the back there.)
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:
Thank you Julia Cantley!
It was a blast ❤
The Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, AL is just two days away!!! I’m just a little bit excited. 🙂
It seems that in all my accolades of Thanks earlier today (which you can read here)…I neglected to thank my biggest fan. My husband, Matt.
Some of their response included: commitment, compromise, teamwork, living for the other, hard work, warped, “It’s what YOU make it.”, Loving someone even when you don’t feel in love all the time, they laugh together they cry together but at the end of the day it still = one Big <3, Committed regardless of how you feel because the two have become one, Enduring commitment to God with one’s spouse. Daily choices to love.”
My theory was that no one would use the word “fun” to describe marriage. Some came pretty close! Just as in running, a “fun” run is often used to describe a 1 mile run. The marathon, on the other hand has a different purpose. It is 26.2 miles. A commitment. A challenge. Seems impossible…and even “warped” at times. You choose to run, even on the days that you don’t feel like it. Most of their responses could be applied to training for and completing a marathon. It is a rewarding & life altering experience….and in retrospect, some might even call it “fun” as well. Training for the Marathon always reminds me of marriage…
Matt’s not a big fan of social networking & blogging, so I try to leave him out of it for the most part. But, sometimes I just can’t help it. Training for a marathon with my husband, just makes me love him all the more. His commitment through the miles is a picture of his commitment to me & our family. He keeps me going through the miles on the road and in my life. He watches out for me, encourages me, keeps me focused…and he’s even nice to look at along the way. Thankful isn’t even a strong enough word for how I feel about him.
~Matt’s #1 fan~
Did I mention that the Mercedes Marathon is just two days away!?!
Last long run…finished.
Last short run….finished.
New songs loaded on my ipod….check!
Laying out clothes for Sunday’s marathon & packing bag for after the race…in progress.
I just had to stop and take a minute to say Thanks.
Thank you to the Lord…the giver of Life. The one who fills us with His power and strength. It is only because of Him that we live, move and have our being.
Thank you to my friends and family. Who show interest and listen to all my running jibber jabber…just because they love me. They are such an encouragement.
Thank you to my fellow runners. Our running group, Chilton Runners, has been such a big help. They “like” my statuses. They post their latest runs, which inspires me to get back out there. They expect me to be meet them for our cold, dark, 5:15am runs…so I do. We spend hours together chit chatting during our Saturday long runs, which has made this year’s training much easier! Sometimes they run slower to be by my side, or maybe just run circles around me….it’s a No runner left behind! kind of thing. 🙂 They share their tips, gu-gel, stories, and even left me a nice prize one day! Some of them have become dear friends.
Thank you to you, my blog readers. My outlet. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers as well!
…and last but NOT LEAST! Thank you to my girls! They have made sacrifices that haven’t gone unnoticed…and I appreciate them very much. They’ve changed their plans so they could babysit for me during my long run. They’ve waited to take showers, so I could have hot water after a freezing run. Their support is not required, but is freely given…and that means so much to this momma.
So now…I will get back to work & preparing for Sunday.
I already feel like a winner…and it’s not even race day yet. ❤
I am currently training to run the Mercedes Marathon for a SECOND time this February.
Today, the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Marathon Training Program called for an 11 mile run. Less than half way through the run, I was really struggling.
Hence, the following short conversation:
It did get easier! 11 miles are officially in the books!
This reminds me of a quote that I can’t quite remember, but it goes something like this, “The man with the experience trumps the one with the theory.”
as one of my friends said to me one day……
In my running group, Chilton Runners, there has been a lot of discussion about marathon training. I realized that I have never written about the ONE marathon I’ve completed. We ran the 2013 Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, AL in February, so any facts about it are coming to me randomly. I’m just going to list what I remember now & then add more thoughts as they come to me later.
-It was FREEZING COLD! The first picture(top left corner) is us just before the race started. I remember being a little concerned about Matt. Lesson #1 learned: buy a cheap jacket at the thrift store that you can leave somewhere for a homeless person….or…I saw a lot of people wearing trash bags. I assume this allows your body heat to warm you. It was fun to see all the trash bags being thrown in the air as the race commenced.
-Lesson 2: Don’t discard your gloves too early. As the race progressed my body temperature rose. Thinking that I didn’t need my gloves anymore, I threw them on the ground. I was WRONG! My hands froze. The funny thing was….I just slipped my hands up into my jacket to keep them warm. I could tell how surprised bystanders were to see this handless person running towards them. They were amused(and I believe, slightly disappointed) when I would pop my hands out to relieve their concerns.
-…and #3: That big bowl of gummy bears that they hold out for you may LOOK good, but could be hazardous to your health. Just don’t breathe in deeply at the same time that you throw one in your mouth. It’s a choking hazard. Trust me.
-This was by far the most exciting racing event I’ve been a part of.
-There was a sweet lady holding a sack of candy bars to give away during the race. I didn’t realize what she had until I had already passed her. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. 🙂
-The course loops around twice. So I had a moment of glory…I had news crews in front of me & police escorts behind me….as the 1st place winner lapped me. (BTW, he finished in 2:18:47)
-I felt humbled as I ran past the Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital. My race would only last a few hours, compared to their race of a lifetime.
-Most of the race, I ran behind a lady who’s shirt read: “4 marathons, 4 months, 4 my 40th birthday” I found her to be very inspirational along the way. About an hour after the race, we stopped for frozen yogurt on the way home. Guess who was there? Yep! It was her! Pretty cool right?
-I loved the signs, music, news crews, & supporters that lined the course. They were invaluable for the first half, they made it fun and the time passed quickly. At the same time, they were sparse for the second half. Just like real life, there are times when you could use encouragement the most, that you find the least support around you. You can draw strength from within during your toughest moments. Strength from the Life giver Himself, Jesus Christ.
-I couldn’t wait to get to the finish line where I knew my family would be.
-On a whim, I added this song to my playlist the night before the race(It makes me think of Matt):
It randomly played two times in a row just when I needed it….and I thought that was really neat… ❤
-“The Lord is my strength, He makes my feet like the feet of deer…” I meditate on that scripture often when I am running. During this race, I would picture Him literally being my legs, my arms, my body. He is my source of strength…in Him I am complete.
-My parents came to this race. It was so nice to share this first marathon with them. I am disappointed to find that I forgot to take a picture with them. I do have a picture of my dad’s hand holding a poster, and my mom’s gloved hand outstretched to me as I neared the finish line. That too is a mirror to my life. They have always been such a great support, mostly behind the scenes. Never pushy, but still, always present. I love them for that.
-I gave my family all “5’s” before crossing the finish line. I obviously didn’t care what my finish time was…I was just thankful that I finished standing upright and before the balloon lady. The announcer said that I was getting extra style points.
-My foot was hurt before race day. In fact I wasn’t able to run at all the last 3 weeks before the Mercedes. Even the Thursday night before the race weekend, I tried to wear high heels to a wedding and couldn’t do it. I honestly felt in my heart that I was supposed to run this race, or at least try. I don’t recommend doing that normally, but I’m glad I did…this time.
-I believe that you always need a “WHY”. Why will you stay focused when you want to quit? Last year’s WHY’s: To earn a 26.2 car decal. Because I don’t think Matt would have wanted to run it without me. For my friends that needed to know that it’s possible. It is possible to do those things that your mind and body says, “No way. That’s a crazy idea. Not possible.” If the Lord says to, then…”Yes, you can.”
-One of my goals this coming year is to cross the finish line in time to get one of those free massages. Last year, as I entered the building, they were walking out.
-Training for, and completing a Marathon with my husband is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my lifetime.
-and of course…from this marathon came the name of my blog:
My favorite mile. 23 behind. 3.2 ahead.
The cheering crowds are far behind and yet, just ahead… They are NOT in the NOW.
A transformation if you will. No longer only a belief that it’s possible.
But a knowing that it IS.
More than a dream… A reality.
My favorite mile was Mile 23. That was the point where I realized that all I had believed and worked for was actually going to be accomplished. It was no longer only a belief that I could and that the Lord was my strength…but it was the point that a “knowing” came into my life. A peaceful assurance that the finish line was in my grasp and was surely just ahead.
I have found that running imitates real life. In this life, we have all been at mile TWENTY-TWO many times haven’t we? I hope my blog inspires you to KEEP MOVING FORWARD through all your mile 22′s. Mile 23 and YOUR finish lines are surely just ahead!
I’m sure that I will be adding to this in the future, there were so many things to take in.
I had wished that my eyes were a camera.
Here are a few links that I found about the event if you are looking for more Mercedes Marathon info:
Don’t let what life has thrown at you in the past make you cynical, sarcastic, bitter, and hard.
There are things in your future that need you to be kind, considerate, understanding, and most of all, loving.
The past is….over.
~ Lisa Lyle Brooks
My sweet daughter surprised me with this edited picture the other day. She had taken this shot at the Mercedes Marathon as I headed to the finish line. You will see the photo now includes my favorite running scripture:
I consider this verse to be a gift from one of my friends, who shared it with me just before my first half marathon. (Thank you Mrs. Marilon Seay!) It’s a common thing to find it messily scrawled on my hand to help me through a tough race.
The happy finish line picture and this scripture sum up what the Lord has done in my life through running. When I was at my lowest point in life, & I wasn’t doing my part to get better…God didn’t mind.He met me right where I was at.
He speaks to me often during those miles. I’m glad I went when He said, “Hey, let’s go for a run…”
Just in case you missed it…my brain and I had a discussion the other night before a tough race, you can read more about it here. Sometimes you just have to let it know who’s boss.
The Peavine Falls 2013 run is now history…and I WON! Not the whole race…but I beat myself, and isn’t that our largest obstacle most days?
BRAIN vs. Julia It’s going to rain. Yes it did!…and it was lovely to run in the rain! It wasn’t just the run and sweat burning out my frustrations…but it was as if the rain washed them all away as well. You don’t like the rain or getting messy. You’re right. Typically that would be me. But I DID IT ANYWAY! Loved it! You were in better shape last year. AND your point is? Bet that speed walker man is going to beat you again. I think I saw him once. He was running this year. I applaud his efforts, and I have no idea if he beat me this year. 3.2 miles UP HILL? ARE YOU CRAZY? Yes, I do believe so. Maybe just a little bit….and next year I will run all the way up! Just watch me. You’re just not good enough. Not only did I finish, but I beat last years time by 1 minute and 26 seconds! You’re WRONG AGAIN!
Brain = 0 / Julia = winner!
I’ll write a race recap later.
“There will be days when I don’t know if I can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime knowing I have.”