Yes, it is official. This flat-footed, non-athletic, middle-aged woman has joined the ranks of people from all over the world to pay their hard-earned money to run 13.1 miles. If that weren't crazy enough, I am actually excited about it.
I had written in a blog last year about how I had toyed with the idea last year, but had not trained for the race. I decided instead to run a 5K instead. I think that was a good choice for me at the time since I had not trained for the half-marathon.
I was talking with my friend, Shannan, who ran the full marathon last year, and we made an agreement to run the half-marathon together this year. I was a little scared. Shannan has been an athlete most of her life, and here I was a non-athlete for most of my life. She encouraged me so much and let me know that I could do it.
As the Bible says, "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord." Well, God's plan was to bring another precious baby into this world and blessed Shannan with another baby boy. She proceeded to tell me she thought she could still run the half-marathon with me at 8 1/2 months pregnant. What? My response was something like, "Oh, no you're not." Her husband put his foot down as well. Thank God.
So, I was on my own. I started training over a month ago running three times a week after downloading a training schedule from online. At first, I would run 1 mile or 2 miles on my running days the first week. The miles I would run in a week would be 3 to 5 total. Every week you run more and more as you build up your endurance and condition your body.
This past week I ran/walked 10.5 miles total. This past Saturday, I was supposed to run 5 miles. I woke up and was dreading running the 5 miles. Nathan wanted to go running with me until I told him it was 5 miles. We agreed that he could bike along side of me. I treasured the time we had together. It was much better than going alone.
It was a gorgeous day. No one could have asked for more beautiful weather or scenery to run in. The temperature was about 50 degrees, a sunny day, and mountains with snow pack still sprinkled at the top in the distance. Horses pranced and grazed in the pastures as I ran by. Amazingly gorgeous. I ran about 4 miles of the 5. I was pretty proud of myself. I am amazed at how God made the body, and you can train it to get stronger and how my endurance gets better every time I go out to run.
After my run on Saturday, I came home and realized, for the first time really, that I could do this. I could run this race and finish it. I don't have ideas of grandeur here. I don't need to be the first female to cross the finish line. I don't have to run the whole way. I don't have to make a certain time on my run. My goal is to do the half-marathon and finish. Whatever that takes. If I run by myself or with a friend (another friend might run with me), my goal is to just get out there and do it. In the words of Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try."
If you think about me in the next couple of months, if you could pray for me as I train for my safety and for no injuries. I want to take care of the body that God has given me and not push myself too hard or too little. I have been clinging to the following scripture from Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." God willing, I'll be able to do it!