There truly are no words that could ever come close to expressing the soaring levels of emotion and true, pure joy that I experience during this race. This was my third half, and now that it is in the books it is time to not only look forward, but to also process, to fully absorb and appreciate every iota of what I was so blessed to receive this past Sunday. This race in particular will be a part of my life until I am no longer able to run or at least hold a cup at a water stop as a volunteer. What I experienced on and as a result of April 19, 1995 was a catalyst for courage and change in my life....I just would not understand the how or why until many years later. Were it not for the mission behind THIS race, I am certain I would never have had the courage to even consider it. Life is a precious gift that can be cut short in the time it takes for one cowardly, insane individual to light a fuse. To live in any other way than to squeeze every second of every day for all it is worth would be so dishonoring to those 168 wonderful,cherished,loved, and desperately missed people who are no longer here with us. Fear, doubt, and insecurity are no longer accepted in my life...I no longer allow them to keep me from squeezing with all my might.
Someone asked me why...why do you do this, why do you want to run, of all things? I run because....nobody, chiefly and including myself ever thought something like this could be possible for someone who spent the majority of their adult life over 320lbs. I run because my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had other ideas and revealed to me the truth and power in scripture....I CAN DO ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 I run because, maybe, just maybe....someone over 320lbs. who feels as hopeless as I did that life will ever hold anything aside from a butt-shaped indention on the sofa will read this and see that it IS possible and not wait another minute to make changes and begin to DREAM BIG!! But most of all, I run for those who can no longer run into the open arms of their loved ones, for those who haven't gazed upon the face of their loved one aside from a tear stained photo in 17 long years, for those who could not have known that it would be the last time they rocked or read to their little one...and that they would not be here to grow into the adults they dreamed of, I run to remember...and I will never, ever forget. That being said though....this race is a CELEBRATION of life and all that it can and should be....about having the courage to live boldly and accept challenges head on...and to be triumphant in the face of adversity, no matter what. I am so, so deeply blessed to have been but just a face in the very united crowd of 27,000 plus people who came from all over the country to celebrate alongside each other! So bittersweet it is over....so excited for next year....find your passion...get excited about it...give God the glory...it is the best...and only way to live!!!
Somewhere around mile 3 before the rain set in.
Crossing the finish line, soggy but with spirits soaring!
The picture says what words cannot. I was so honored to have crossed the finish line just behind the young man in black with the green bib, he lost his father in the bombing.
Cannot wait to do it all again.
I finished 28 minutes faster than last years time and knocked 14 minutes off of my only official 10k time. My garmin(I actually remembered to stop it this year,lol)had me with 13.22 miles in 3:14:06, my official time was 3:14:49 I think. I had to stop briefly at mile 11 to quickly stretch my calves due to some mild cramping. Other than a couple of "black toenails" that occurred way back during training, I am feeling great and ready to roll...saw a shirt at the expo I loved...it said "life is too short to have perfect toenails" lol! Amen! I was so surprised and encouraged by my time, I'm going to knock another 15 minutes off in the next year and be ready to attempt the full. YEAH!
So thankful to God that He has allowed me to have the abilities I need to experience all these wonderful things....don't sit back and think I'll start Monday...or even tomorrow...NOW,this very minute, is the time to take the first step towards the life you dream of!!! Don't let ANYTHING, not even yourself, stand in the way. "Go CONFIDENTLY in the direction of your dreams, LIVE the life you have imagined." ~Henry David Thoreau