Sunday, March 18, 2012

February 12, 2012: Run for Donna

February 12, 2012: Run for Donna
{better yet: Run for Gina & Abby}

I am a little late getting this posted. Things have been a little busy in our world. Good busy though. :)
I was official! Race bib picked up from Expo the day before.

February 12, 2012 had finally arrived! I had trained for 12 long weeks on a Hal Higdon plan that seemed nearly impossible to complete the first week I trained. I was so ready for this day.

What I was NOT ready for was Florida to take a temperature NOSEDIVE. We woke at 4 am to 20 mph winds and 30 degrees with a windchill in the low 20's!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!?!? For my first half marathon I get to dress like I'm in the Ididitrod race?? Bless it!!!
To give you an DEAR FRIEND captured the weather on video before we left our hotel:

My dear friend also captured me at 4 am...somehow I can't ever be completely serious. HA! I guess it wouldn't be me if I was all serious. I mean girl's got to keep it fun and light!!! I'll let the hubs handle the serious. LOL
My custom race bib pinned on the back of my running fleece.
Trying to stay warm under the space heaters and a little "peace" tribute to a friend who runs a marathon EVERY weekend. I'm not even exaggerating...EVERY WEEKEND...bananas!
The hubs and I just before we entered the Runners Exhibition. I kept standing like that because I was certain it would keep me warmer! I bought those compression socks and gloves at the expo the day before as another item to keep me warm. I am so thankful I picked those up...FA-REEEZING!
The race began at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Of couse, a little ER shout out from my trauma days! 
During my training I claimed Phillipians 4:13. One of my besties reminded me of this verse the day before our race. Shortly after the race started, this girl ran literally right in front of me with THAT VERSE on her shirt. She and I had the same pace so I had this verse in front of me the WHOLE RACE!!! God is so good. So good!
This race was an emotional one. Everyone was running for someone or many. We saw people with ribbons hanging from their clothes with names on each ribbon {some had enough ribbons to make a skirt}, pictures pinned to their clothes, custom bibs, etc. Survivors were running. Fighters were running. Supporters were running. At mile four the gravity of this race hit me and I was choked up. What an honor to run for Gina and Abby. Gina was in Houston that weekend fighting for her life in a clinical trial. She wanted to run this race and began training back in October 2011 but was unable to get far in training due to her battle. Heavy.  Part of our run was on the beach and we entered the beach via "Miracle Mile". The view was spectacular! 
I turned around to get a pic of the hubs entering the beach. I had decided not to watch my pace or time on my tracker, but to just take each moment and view of the race in. My goal was to enjoy this race and not worry about time. After all, it's about finishing and not my time.
Our friends captured us coming through the finish line. I was smiling, crying, and shocked. I had finished and finished well. I couldn't believe I had accomplished this personal goal of mine. What was even better was finishing with the hubs right next to me! He's MUCH faster than I but chose to slow his pace and stay with me.
I was overcome with emotion. It's hard to explain what crossing that finish line for the first time is like. Unreal!
They gave us these thermal blankets to keep us warm post race. 
This pic is not the cutest but says it all. I had my medal in honor of Gina and Abby. I had my medal in honor of all the hard work and training I put into this race.
So proud!
FREEZING in wet clothes, but still so proud of my medal.
This medal represents so much! This medal honors two women whom I find incredibly courageous, faithful, and beautiful. This medal represents that I CAN DO ALL THINGS that Christ strengthens me to do when I don't think I can. This medal proves my doubt wrong. 

What a great time we had. How blessed we were to have two of our best friends with us to support us and take photos for us. 

So thankful to have the health to get up each day, walk, run, and do the things we take for granted regularly. If you know a runner training for a race please support them and cheer them on. It will mean the world to them! I have to say this was one of the hardest things to stay focused through. The training was not easy and took a lot of time, but the end result was amazing when crossing that finish line. I think that is the point in life...remember the journey and use that time to learn something about yourself. Remember what crossing the finish lines in life was like so that when you hit another "half marathon" you are prepared and know you can finish it. 



kera said...

SO VERY PROUD OF YOU FRIEND!! Such a HUGE accomplishment!! You SHOULD be so very proud of yourself! I had tears welling reading your blog & seeing the pictures....especially your emotional ones! Love you friend!!

Shannon said...

I am so proud of you! I can only imagine how emotional that was! I got a little choked up just reading this!