Monday, June 6, 2011

13 of 1 OR Half of Another…

“It's not about how fast you go. It's not about how far you go. It's a process.” - Amby Burfoot, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

I’m a multi-tasker; I can’t help myself.  If I can do one thing, but add another activity to either enhance the primary activity or cut down on the time it will take me to do activity #2, I’ll do it. This is how I ended up completing my 3rd post-op MRI and 6th Half-Marathon in the same weekend. I figured since I was already in San Diego county for my MRI, I might as well do a half-marathon.

With every race, you learn something. Part of my lesson is- I will never again say, “just a half-marathon.”

A best friend, Rachel- Who has been
with me nearly every step of the way,
from the ER to the half-marathon.
I knew I couldn’t set a PR (Personal Record) at this race, but I did this race to prove something to myself- that I have more power over my life than my brain tumor.  My realistic goal was sub 3 hours; I figured with a little pushing this would be possible. To make sure I didn’t focus on time, I left my Garmin at home.  At Mile 8, my feet felt bruised and at mile 8.5 my hip-flexors were sore. Somewhere in there, a girl passed me wearing a Philippians 4:13 shirt.  (This happens to be a friend's go-to Bible passage for when things get rough and on his first run back after the his difficult marathon, we did a 10-miler together and he shared this with me.) My body still ached but I pressed on. The bands nearly every mile fed some energy to me and the other runners, but the stretch along the sloped 163 was void of crowds and bands. I buckled down and sang from a song another friend burned for me  “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ ‘Till You See What God Can Do…”  It has helped with just the normal healing process and helped here to get through the less eccentric areas of the race. 

There were portions of the race where I just couldn’t run, and hobbling several yards was the best I could do. From mile 10 to mile13.1, each mile was 3 min slower than my starting pace, which was slower still than my old training pace.

I am not a gifted athlete. I love what I do and I try really hard.  My found love of long-distance running is what made me a great patient and helped with my initial recovery. I’m not going to set the world on fire with my pace, but I will always be grateful that I can put one foot in front of the other and run 13.1 miles (especially on 6 months post-op).  

It’s not “just a half;” it’s a journey. It’s a journey that took me 2:50:00 to complete and a heck of a lot of post-race Ben Gay. 

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