"That is the sort of race which one really enjoys - to feel at one's peak on the day when it is necessary, and to be able to produce the pace at the very finish. It gives a thrill which compensates for months of training and toiling. But it is the sort of race that one wants only about once a season." - Jack Lovelock, a New Zealand athlete
I've been doing a lot of processing since yesterday when I did my very first ever Marathon :-) I really would like to write about this, my heart is still full, things are still sinking in!
I learned so much yesterday. While I was running almost the entire time I was thinking of all the people who had helped me get there but I don't think any of them (certainly not me) thought that I would actually go that far. You know, take it to a whole new level. I do have a couple friends who predicted this would happen and as much I wanted to believe them I really didn't. I would think, "Oh I can do this" then my very next thought, "What are you thinking? You can't do that?" I don't believe I was putting myself down because I would just laugh it off. And I think it was at that point I heard a still small voice start saying, "You are better than what you think you are." It never went away. When I was tired and just knew I couldn't go longer or faster or finish I would hear that and it was like wind at my back somehow I would go longer, faster and finish. That still small voice was with me ever single day I ran. He gets all the credit....He is my King. But also God used A Lot of other people to help me not quit. I mentioned Jeremy, Janet and Dan but there are many more that their voices helped me get through. During the marathon I did not walk once, I kept moving and God reminded me of what they said as I ran. The reason I don't want to walk is because for so long I did not have the ability to run. There are a lot of walk/runners who are faster than me but as for me I feel like I'm living in the past when I walk, just a "Toni" thing. So, that being said, I want to give these people an honorable mention:
1. Kailah and her whole xcountry team! I learned to "lay it down!" Kailah's coach, Coach Bremmel would say that when you get close to the finish, 100 yards or so run as fast as you can all the way through, past the line. Kailah, I think did that more than anyone on the team and also to push through the pain (but not so much you hurt yourself, and the finish is a miserable one, not a fun lesson) But one good side of that injury was Kailah's therapist, Dr. Jouble, he gave us wisdom on how to be a better, faster runner and overcome hills! Coach Kim, telling me what to do for pre-racing; rest, eat right, pray. The voices of moms telling me, "good job!" Hahaha and last but not least a dvd that would touch my heart and push me out the door, it is responsible for many days I didn't blow off, thank you Holcomb family! I wish I could play it for you all but I haven't figured out how to do that....yet! Its the end of the Crown Athletic Xcountry Teams DVD, I needed it!
2. The little old people on the track. My goodness, they were some of my biggest cheerleaders :-) I love them!! How could I stop to walk when they just cheered me on saying things like, "You inspire us!" That helped make me a better runner, I'm not kidding!
3. I have friends at who walked or ran with me who were much faster but they did at least a mile and encouraged me the whole time! I don't know if they'll ever understand the many mornings that they did that actually forced me to be out there because I wanted to sleep in bed but because they were out there, I showed up!
- Nicole, walking and reminiscing about living in Europe, working out things with God.
- Rebecca, totally pregnant running and walking!
- Linda, Michelle, Thomas showing up for the Mcalister Pancake Run haha, it was fun and fun
- Erin, so so so sweet I did my first 11 min. mile with her. I didn't know that was in me? What a victory day it was :-)
- Natylyn, helped me capture my sanctuary, using her gift of photography at Boling Park....its simply beautiful....
- Quin, a friendship that grew from those trails.
- Rachael, going to a deeper place with God and deciding that we were going to "cut the crap!"
- Tamra, who gave me great tips, running by my side and learning "hydration" I came to understand and it got me through!
- April and Justin, who did a 5K with Jeremy and I as couples and had a blast!! Loved it!! :-D
- Meghan, my little Meghan who would do the place I hated (with a new name) Taylor's Victorious Hills (my neighborhood.) She knew I needed it and would say, "I'll do it with you mom," running as far as she could then walked but never quit!
- Marishell who I didn't know lived 5 min. away from me because we went to high school together in Germany! We did softball then, and run together now! Who knew?? Oh wait, never mind, God did ;-)
- Tim, the coach for the Foothills Running Club, knowing where I was at telling me I could do it and gave me strategy to do it. He said, "Use the first 3 miles as a warm up then start cutting your times and you will definitely do in under 3 hours (which was my fear to go over 3 hours!)
facebook, emails or blogging kept me going! You know who you are (I have over 300 fb friends so I can't write them all down.) That is to show you how many people and how much encouragement I had ~ many, many thanks, you gave me confidence! Without confidence you can't move forward...I'm moving forward!!
5. I must recognize my immediate family, who might I say are a military family! Meaning my mom enforced the phrase, "suck it up!" My brothers who from the past (16yrs old) bagged on me to the point I wanted to beat them up but I was soooo tired I couldn't kick their butts! They were yelling at me from the back of a Dodge Ram van while I was running! So, as I run now, I think....I owe them a butt kicking! I'm better now than I was then! Finally, my dad who would push me to be better than I thought I was because he knew I could! Sometimes I had live off what he believed because I couldn't believe it for myself... I love you all and I'm doing it!
Whew! I am sore! Everyone pushed me to my limits I really don't believe I could have done any better! I did the best I could. But I now know whats really in me :-) Not too shabby, yeah!
Do you know what my first prayer was....this is bad and I still have issues, "Dear God, please let me run this without going potty! Please!" For me that determines if my run will be a good one or not. And you never know! Well! It Was A Good Run!! Yeah!! Thank you God, only you could have granted that request! I had two other requests, that I would do it under 3 hours, by the grace of God and I did work hard I did it under 3 hours! That raised my confidence :-) The last request is probably selfish but seriously the day of the race, just a few hours before while I was sleeping I had bad dreams that I would be the last person. That was a my final prayer, "Lord, I don't want to be last, please help me not to be last." Well, the day before I found out it was a small race and it was the real thing no one was going to be dressed in costumes but this was for real, everyone had watches on! And this probably kicked off the bad dreams, it was a timed race! I didn't know that, if I would have known that I would not have signed up! God obviously hid that from me. He wanted me to do this race. I wasn't last but I was praying while I was running that no body would be!
Well, I had to do this. It was a conviction in me! No Joke. I did a 5K at Boling Park and it should have been my best, it was my worst. But one thing that aggravated me and it was mental but it won that day. A girl ahead of me was wearing a shirt that said something along the lines of "Dear God, please let the person behind me, stay behind me" that "person" was me! I remember at the time saying I will never wear that shirt! So, I began to think, what would encourage people? I know I won't be first and so for me and everyone else who isn't first, we are racing against ourselves! So, this thought came, what could I wear that would push someone to beat their PR? Then I remembered, "You are better than you think you are!" Guess what I did? I took a marker and wrote that on the back of my favorite running shirt :-) It was sooooo worth it! I had people yelling it! Runners told me it pushed them to beat their times! People cheered it!! They ran by thanking me for wearing it! I felt like that day I helped people become a better runner and you know what ~ I DID!! They told me so!! It was awesome!! That word I heard from God, I shared it and runners were encouraged....so worth it! That was one of my favorite parts of this Marathon.
Someone asked me, "So, what did you think of the race?" My first words were, "it was simply beautiful." I have NEVER ran in a place that could touch the beauty of the places I ran. I ran right next to Lake Melton. It was quiet and still, like a mirror the reflection of the mountains pierced into the water and it was like a beautiful painting. There was a light fog that rested gently and slowly lifted, there was not a ripple it was calm yet inspiring. Then I got to run into a green way surrounded by a forest through and through. With little creeks running beside me and you could hear it so pretty, the forest speaks. The birds and leaves and creeks moving and singing I was in Gods country. I feel peace in the woods and my body may be shot but I feel vibrant and alive! haha one thing about that lake is in 2002 I tried to exercise and I could not run 100 yards! I was 229lbs. my heaviest ever! I remember, only after I signed up for the Marathon saying, "one day I'm going to run this thing and not be out of breath and sit" 8years later, Isn't it funny how life comes around. It was a such a blessing, wow.
And the lake. This lake has a personal story and as I ran by it, it brought closure into my life. It was a healing process. But I didn't cry and so I know that I truly am free, there some scars but no pain! I will share this because it is a part of my story. Jeremy and I found out in 2004 that a Dr. instead of tying my tubes, cut them out. I had them tied in the first place because I was a sick person and could barely take care of the children I had. But in hopes that maybe God would heal me of the sickness I could get them untied. Well, God did heal me! He used an implant to stop seizures! So, we decided we'd like to have more children. We paid to get them untied only to find out the Dr. who did it, just cut them out.....I can not begin to tell you how emotionally painful that was. It literally took years, years to move on. Well, that being said, I would drive out to Melton Lake at night and in my car talk and pray to God concerning this matter and lets just say many tears have been shed along the places I ran on Sunday! But not that Sunday. I was able to smile at me overcoming the hurt of this thing....Jesus is King.
So, this whole Marathon was victorious in more ways then just beating a PR....what a journey this has become....God is so amazing. I wonder if it will be like the Pumpkin Run? A year later I beat my time at aprox. 15 min. or so....wouldn't that be cool if I cut down my time and next Nov. I was finished about 15 min. earlier??? That thought is too huge, lets move on shall we :-)
Honestly I don't know that I'll ever do this again. Like I said, this became a very personal thing and I needed to finish something. I don't know if "time" or "distance" in of itself would keep me as focused as this became. We'll see. Gods way's are not our ways....I'm not opposed but I don't like the training. Its not the time, eating, distance, racing...its the resting! They have you not run for 3-4 days a week.and you only do one long day at the end of the week! Not cool. I think because running didn't start out to be racing and my relationship with God has developed in a different way through running, the idea of not going out there has to do that, lets just say I broke that rule tons of times. I may have been a better runner if I would have rested more? But my time with God was worth it!!
I'll post this for now, I know there is more to come but I'm tired....hehe I wonder if the Marathon has anything to do with that??? Until later....
Well its later, ha! Do you know what? My watch broke in the beginning of the race, like literally stopped and would not work! I think its my implant. I was really nervous but they had someone at each mile say the time and I remember thinking, oh, ok run as fast as you can to the next guy and that's all I had to go on.
I later learned about pacing. People pace with you while you run. I was asked if I did that, I didn't know how since I've never done it. I told my father in law about it and he explained it to me, and that would be so cool!! You'd have like a buddy running with you and they or you could tell you if you go too fast or slow down, that's really cool! I told him that when I run I just try to hear if my body says slow down or you can go a little faster. But it got really hard at mile 10 and I remember closing my eyes and thinking just put one foot in front of the other. Dan (my father in law) said, "You ran with your eyes closed?" I said yes I couldn't move forward unless I focused. He laughed, I guess you're not supposed to do that :-)
Today I took a lot of Ibuprofen and rested. Tomorrow I'm going to walk because going up and down these stairs are torture! I'm hoping to cause my legs to stretch out cuz I'm ok when I sit but then when I stand up, its a ripping feeling and takes of few minutes to stop limping :-) And you know what? I'm proud of it!! Good night, Lord, I'm asking that my muscles be fully recovered by morning so I can run and not walk, love You.
Day of Rest!