Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am home, I am alive, I am VICTORIOUS! This past weekend, I ran the Chicago Marathon. It was the biggest emotional rollercoaster I have ever been on In MY LIFE!  More so than being pregnant with raging hormones! This was actually QUITE an experience. The night before, I must have woken up every hour on the hour. I was so nervous that I would wake up and it would all be over and I missed it! hahah! When it was finally time to roll out of bed, I got ready and my stomach started to churn. The nerves mounted and I think I may have almost thrown up 3 times. I didn't want to eat, but I KNEW I had to get some food into me. 1 banana, 1 bagel and 1 bag of Sports Beans later, I was locked into my starting corral.

Before I knew it, it was time to start. My nerves were still on fire and I knew this was what I had trained for. As the miles began accumulating, I told my mother it was time to run our own race. She has a better pace than I do and I didn't want to hold her back. I want to run this race my way and I know she wanted to be there for me. We parted ways at mile 7 and that's when I realized I was all alone. Okay, with 45,000 runners, I wasn't really alone, but I was alone in my head. THAT was NOT a good place to be. The sun started to brighten and as the weather hit just about 80* I was getting negative. By mile 12, my shin splints were acting up and I wanted to just give up. Out of nowhere I started laughing like a crazy woman. Then when I pictured myself laughing out there on the course looking insane to the spectators, it only made me laugh harder. At this point in time, I knew I was losing my mind. Mile 13.1 came and that was the halfway point. Instead of saying YESSSS!!! halfway there! I said: OH MY GOD, I can't do it anymore. I was ready to throw in the towel and then I saw them, my husband and 3 children. They were definitely sent from the Lord, because it felt so good to stop and have them all hold me. The tears flowed and I couldn't stop crying. I told my husband that I didn't think I could do it anymore.

He told me how proud he was of me and my kids hugged and kissed me and told me it was time to finish what I had started. A woman that I don't know and am FOREVER GRATEFUL to, pulled me from my husband, hugged me and said 'do you want to finish this? If you do, let's go, let's DO THIS' She pulled me back on the course and told me that we may not be the hare that wins the race, but we will finish this race. DEAD last, is better than quitting and waaaaay better than not even starting.'  This woman was AMAZING and she helped me pull away and keep on going. It gave me the boost of energy that I needed as I thanked her and headed on. If you are out there, thank you so much. You were wearing an orange Diabetes Charity shirt and you were so inspirational.

I pulled ahead and kept on going, as I passed people, I stopped to walk and talk with them. I encouraged them and told them they looked great and that no matter what, we had the courage to be out there. If someone hadn't had the heart to stop and help me, I may not have finished. i had become determined to encourage everyone just as that woman had done for me. Before I knew it, mile marker 20 came into view and I was exhausted. The above photo describes it ALL. I was ready to sit down at every curb that I rounded. By mile 21, my shins were on fire and I had to stop at a medic tent and get iced up. When they asked me if I wanted to continue on, I knew there was no questions, I was TOO CLOSE to GIVE UP NOW. I was running or those that couldn't, I was running for those that didn't have the courage to try, I was running for the families of the Ronald McDonald houses. It was time to gain control of my head, my legs and DO THIS. Then it happened, at mile 25.5, I was ready to give it all up. My legs were numb and my heart was beating wildly. I stopped running and started crying. I thought for sure the end was too far away. When I looked up, it was my Daddy! He had come to help me get through this! He hugged me and told me to FINISH WHAT I HAD STARTED and OWN IT with pride! My mother had earned her medal and was right there with him. She said 'Come on sweetie, I am so proud of you' Together we ran on through the rest of the course and crossed that finish line with pride.
I earned it, I made it! I unfortunately finished over course time by about 30 minutes (10 minutes in the aid tent and 5 minutes with my husband didn't help, but I needed them both!), but I finished and I got my medal. When the man put it around my neck, I hugged him so tight, I may have frightened him. It was the greatest moment of victory I have ever felt. The pain seemed to go away and I couldn't stop smiling. I had just joined the 1% of the population that has run a marathon. I wasn't the 1st, I wasn't the last, but I finished. Thank you friends for your thoughts and prayers. You have made me feel so strong, healthy and happy. Is this the end? No, I have just found my next marathon! I am running Disney in 2012! I will do better and you know what? I will still encourage everyone I see. Thank you Chicago, for making me feel amazing and Thank you Mom, for giving me life for the 2nd time. You are a true inspiration and I am so proud of YOU. 



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