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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fast Forward, Big Accomplishments.

Feet stomping.  Heart beating.  Joints aching.  The pure feeling of aches and pains, breathing hard, the feeling of wanting to simply stop, because all it takes is not putting one foot infront of the other.  All it takes is landing on your left foot and putting the right foot down right beside it, and not forward.  So hard to keep going and so very easy to just stop and quit.

But then you look around and see this isn't just about you.  You see the anguish in every person's face, everyone is suffering.  Everyone is *feeling the burn* or the slow tearing of muscle fibers and the continuous pounding of feet on the pavement which radiates to the joints and makes it feel as though your cartilage is nonexistent.  And you know you are in this together.  And you realize the person next to you that is breathing 5 times harder than you and looks as though they are in 10x the amount of pain, yet they are keeping up at your pace and they don't look like they are quitting anytime soon.  Challenge accepted.

Then comes the roar of the crowd, people cheering and screaming, clapping and holding signs which read "Run Like A Kenyan" or "Run Like You Just Stole Something" and for a second you forget the pain because you can't help but laugh on the inside.  You realize how empowering these people are, cheering in the cold October morning, at least you are keeping yourself warm.  Cheering crowds and announcers fill the air, and then you realize you are about to accomplish what you thought you could not accomplish 5 minutes ago.  What you only thought about attempting to accomplish a year ago.  What you were sure of you could accomplish when you submitted your race entry form, and what you started to slowly doubt the closer the date came, because maybe you should have put in one more long run or eaten one more pasta dinner?  And what you knew you could accomplish that morning at the start line, at 6am in the pitch darkness.  And what you did accomplish when you placed one foot infront of the other, moving forward, on the other side of the finish line.

And still I look at my race certificate, online pictures, my medal and various other reminders which recognize that I not only completed a Half Marathon, but that  I did it in quite an impressive time: 2:01:49, a number I will never forget, and never truly believe.  And the fact that my father crossed the finish line only a second behind me and ran by my side the entire time makes the feeling even more incredible.  Maybe a good amount of people can say they ran a half marathon, and maybe most of those people can say they ran it at a 9:18/mile (avg) pace, but how many can say they ran it with their Father or any parent for that matter?  '

For those of you who can, how amazing of a feeling is that??