I wear a RoadID bracelet when I run. On it has my name, emergency numbers, and the quote: ALWAYS BELIEVE YOU CAN. I wear this bracelet every time I run for safety purposes, yet it also serves as a reminder to me that I can complete each run. I can run up that hill. I can go another mile. I can beat my personal PR. I did all those things on Sunday when I ran my second Half Marathon.
This race was very different from my first half marathon. I knew it would be and part of me worried how that would affect me. This was a smaller run. Approximately 750 people. There were less crowds which meant less cheering. The race went along country roads and along side the lake. The colors painted the sky. The smell of the apple orchards filled my nose. The view of the lake and mountains under a morning sky looked like a perfect painting.
As I sat in my car yesterday morning waiting for the race I tried to take time to relax. I brought a book and was able to read. I love to read and find it near impossible to do so these days. I watched other runners do their personal preparations for the race. I prayed for the strength and endurance I would need to do this race. I was nervous. More nervous than the first time. It was as if this was my first Half Marathon.
My goal was to pace myself for the first 6 miles. After that I would kick it up a notch. It is hard for me to pace myself. Even when I try not to go fast I find my legs taking me forward and I just can't seem to stop them. I also try not to pay too much attention to my GPS watch. Running this race though I did try to pay attention because I did not want to burn out the first half of my run. My focus was the end of the race. Jason was going to meet me with the boys at the finish line and the image of seeing their faces is what helps me to finish most of my runs.
Somewhere after mile 4, I heard cheering and my name. To my surprise, I looked over to see my parents, sister in law and nephew. They were there for me! I did not have a clue they would be there and as I ran by them I was filled with love and emotion. As my feet hit the pavement tears ran down my face. When it comes down to it, I could not be where I am without my family and friends. I was fueled in that moment by their love and support. I am grateful for each one of them.
The road and the earth are my personal church when I run. I think, I reflect, and I pray. This run I tried to focus on the things that make me happy and pull from that the positive energy I would need to move my feet. Toward the end of the race there was a hill. The kind with a slow incline. One that seems to never end as you are running up it. I run hills bigger than this on my normal runs but since I had tried to push myself harder the second half of my run, by the time I hit the end I was feeling my legs work for each step I took. My challenge was soon met with the sweet victory of the finish line. I had made it! I completed my second Half Marathon.