So, today I ran my VERY first Half Marathon The Chosen for Adoption 1/2 marathon. I was 'awake' at 4AM, because I was nervous I was going to oversleep for the race..LOL. I also needed to help get 2 children dressed and loaded into our van.
Anyways, we got to the race and I had to go potty REALLY bad, but the line was LONG and they had already started the race. So, I sucked it up and went ahead and started. When I looked at the start clock, it said 3 mins, so I started the race 3 minutes late. I got to the first mile marker/water station and waited in a line for 5 min to use the Porta John....after that, my race went pretty well.
I rounded the #2 mile water station and my legs started to already fell extremely heavy; however, I knew I could push through the little hills that were there. I looked up into the rain clouds and saw a very faint rainbow, and a whisper from God, "I AM HERE today." I started to get very emotional knowing that God was running with me today.
After the water station at the 3.5 mile marker, I saw the sunrise through the storm clouds, and God reminded me again, "I AM HERE". As I came up to the 5 mile marker I saw the vastness of his creation in the waterfalls, trees, and the river below, and He reminded me AGAIN, "I AM HERE". I got a chuckle going down a really steep hill knowing that I was going to have to go back UP that hill in a bit, and thought, "God you have a GREAT sense of humor!" I even saw God in the rain because it started very humid, but it cooled off a bit and the wind picked up, and I could feel Him fanning me.
After mile 5 I began seeing others from my church's running group, and a high came over me that was very encouraging to me. I turned around at 6.5 miles to go back the way I came, which was pretty cool, because I could kind of gage where I was in the course and how much further I had to go.
Along the way, my feet, ankles, and knees began to hurt. And I would pray, God, please take the pain away. This is when I felt the furthest from Him in my race, but as I prayed and asked Him to keep giving me the stamina and the endurance, the pain would disappear.
Towards the end (and even right now) my right ankle and knee really began to hurt. I remember hearing thunder and laughing because I had 'forgotten' that God was with me and he was giving me a audible reminder that He WAS STILL THERE with me.
The craziest thing is that it hurt to walk more than to run. Now, here's the COOLEST part of the WHOLE race. I RAN THE ENTIRE THING!! Well, at least 90% of it!! I walked through EVERY water station (which I had planned to do). I used 3 of my 4 energy gel packs along the way. I stayed very well hydrated.
When I crossed the finish line, they said my name and where I was from, I got a bottle of water, and a medal. My total time was 2 hours 54 min 23 sec. Now if we took the 3 min from the late start and the 5 min bathroom wait off, I ran my very first 1/2 marathon in 2 hours 46 min...LOL.
Indian Rescue Mission and keep up with what they are doing to help rescue girls in India (this is where my sponsorship money is going.)
Be looking for me to continue to run for these girls. The next race for sponsorship will probably be in the late winter/early spring and then I'm looking to run a triathalon in June. I can NOT wait!!!
For your enjoyment, here are some pictures of what Gabe and the kids did while I was running. He also snagged some pictures of the other Austin Stone runners...I heard we had 50!!!
**Now I just need to figure out where to get one of those cool 13.1 stickers for my running box. Heehee.