Sole Mates

 May 2, 2011

"We started the day as mere mortals and FINISHED as HALF MARATHONERS!"

the runners: five first timers and our coach
My roomies
Well I did it.

This past weekend I ran my first half marathon in Nashville TN.

And I did it with 32, 000 other runners.

But really... I just ran with 11 others.

(7 kaz mamas, 1 kaz daddy, and 3 other friends)

And REALLY... I ran alone.

That’s the thing about an experience like this

at the end of the day, the end of 13.1 miles, it is an INDIVIDUAL event.

The race has nothing to with how fast you run, what place you came in or who else you  ran “against”.

(ok yeah their were probably a few guys from Kenya that were focused on those things, but this is for the rest of us back in the double digit corrals)

Instead (I’ve learned) it is about conquering your fears, striving to meet personal goals (many of which have nothing to do with a finish time) and learning something about yourself and others along the way.

The 32,000 other runners and the countless thousands of volunteers and spectators provided context to this experience

The 11 FRIENDS who set out to tackle this monster with me supplied the inspiration...

There was the “Old Pro” with nothing to prove who slowed down and ran with her newbie runner friends. She blessed us with encouragement, pushed me past my self imposed “limits” and made us laugh with the occasional cheer.

There was the “Former Runner” whose doctor (and knees) told her NOT to do this, who came anyway and walked the whole course just to be able to visit with and cheer on her friends.

There were the “Running Buddies” who REALLY trained for this event. They had goals way beyond “just finishing” and they were prepared: poised to achieve them until one had an unprecedented injury.  Despite the adversity and perhaps the opportunity for one to have a better finish time they choose to finish TOGETHER.

There was the “Over-extended Mom” who realized halfway though the race that it was about her this time. She ran faster than anyone (most of all she) thought possible and finished first in our group. 

There was the “Wife” who’s husband and family had inspired her to lose weight and RUN. Her modest goal was to simply finish faster than the walkers on the course. She did: not to anyones surprise, except maybe her own.  She and her family inspired me with their love and support for each other.

There was the “The Couple” who walked, sometimes hand in hand, sometimes with a beer (smile) and always together.

And there were “The Three Amigos”: a new kaz mama of three and the friends getting her though the transition step by step!

(Thank you all for inspiring me each in your own way through incredible examples of determination, friendship, love and grace.  Never mind if I could, I wouldn’t want to have done this without you.)

And (in case you wondered my role)

I was

The Doubter”.

I went into this thing never truly believing I would do it.

After all I am not athletic, I’m certainly not a runner and honestly

I’ve been talking about running a marathon AND NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH for so long that I guess it had taken residence with my other "never going to actually happen plans”

like....for instance... become the first female president:)

But this weekend, despite miles of nerves,  followed by miles of negative self talk, and a couple more miles of lumbering UP HILL ALL THE WAY agony.

I did finish.

earned...the hard way.

...with some pretty awesome friends

and 32,000 other people

who I may someday ask to support me

when I run for president.

I ran 13.1 miles all I'm asking from you is a little click of the button...

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