I had several panic attacks the week before but I managed to push through. My husband and I left our house Saturday afternoon and headed to Tulsa. We are not city folk. We do not like traffic. We do not like one way streets or road blocks. We drove around the Expo center for about half an hour before we found a place to park and decided not to pay the meter since we couldn't find it... I told you we're not city folk!!!
After picking up my registration packet we drove around for about an hour looking for a movie theater that was playing Flight. It was a very intense movie! I ate too much popcorn.
|Through Him alone!|
|On our way! SO SCARED!|
|Shakin' in my boots.|
|Say my prayers!!!!!!|
|And we're off!!!|
By the time the race started my fingers were already numb. I wish I would have taken a picture of them--they were solid white.Why didn't I wear gloves!?
The first 3 miles went by pretty fast. I spent most of that time with my hands up my shirt trying to warm them up! There were so many gloves lying on the ground from people tossing them after they got warmed up and I really considered picking a pair up and putting them on... but I didn't. Around mile 3 the feeling had returned in my hands and I finally stopped picturing my fingers falling off from frostbite.
I hit a wall around mile 6. That's a bad feeling considering I wasn't even halfway done! But the spectators cheering everyone on was an ENORMOUS encouragement! I LOVED IT! People were holding signs all over the place. Some were hilarious, like, "Worst. Parade. Ever." and "Kick some asphalt!" I was amazed at how many runners there were, too. The crowd never thinned out at all. There were several water/Gatorade stations throughout the course, and someone was handing out some gel energy packs around mile 8 which was much needed! I hit another wall around mile 10. I knew at that point though that I couldn't stop, not even to walk. My legs were getting stiff already.
When I started this journey I committed myself to giving God all the glory. I promised to trust Him to give me the strength to endure. I even bought a shirt with Philippians 4:13 on it to run in. With a little less than one mile to go I had forgotten all of that. But then, right when I thought I couldn't go any further, a spectator made eye contact with me and shouted, "You can do this! Way to run for the Lord!" I almost started crying right then. He was SO right! I was doing it for Christ and through Him I can do anything! I finished that last mile strong and full of energy. I even sprinted to the finish line :) My time was 2 hours, 16 minutes, 16 seconds. Not bad for a newby who doesn't own a running belt!
I received my medal beaming with pride.
Several hours later, we left Tulsa (after driving around lost for a LONG time... whole other story!) and the only thing I could think about was COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE! My husband took me to IHOP where I ate ALL of my food and drank almost the entire pot of coffee!
By the time we got home every part of my body ached. My poor feet took a beating--I ended up with 6 blisters and a bloody toe. :( My husband informed me, upon seeing my ugly feet, that I was in desperate need of a pedicure! HA! When we got home the heating pad became my best friend.
So there you have it. My half-marathon experience, from start to finish! And to think that when I first started running after my son was born, less than two years ago, I couldn't even go half a mile without stopping.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!