This Saturday, I finished my first 1/2 marathon! It really was my first as my training never included more than an 11 mile run!
It was an early morning … we rose around 4am and were on the road up to Kenosha (about an hour north of Chicago) by 4:40am. Jon and the girls had packed the car with all the essentials the night before, while I had gone to bed before 9, to get a bit more sleep!
We arrived in record time, but not being familiar with this venue, I wanted to be there an hour before the race start to check things out, use the potty, scope out the course, etc. It was an absolutely beautiful morning and a rare privilege to watch the sun rise over lake Michigan. We saw the transformation from blue to hot pink to orange as it peaked up over the lake and as the clouds cleared to an absolutely perfect morning for a long run!
Jon, the girls and Baxter were all well equipped to cheer me on with great signs and even a loud cow bell .. just in case I couldn’t see them in their bright yellow ‘team laila’ tshirts! You couldn’t ask for a better cheering section! I felt very loved and supported.
For me personally, I had to overcome more than a few obstacles around this particular race. The details /content and circumstances of those obstacles are not as important as the process of the overcoming. We must create what we want with what we have. We don’t always have what we want, but we do have the ability to create our own experience. I knew that would be my work for this race!
I was so happy with the outcome of this race. I loved having my family there to support me. They were at the start, the 5 mile, 10 mile and finish line! Perfect!
As it turned out, I ran this race without any running buddies of any kind. I knew just the day before that this would be the case, so I collected a community of friends and family via text to support me while I ran with my iPhone as my Ipod. I loved hearing from so many, encouragement to keep going and finish strong. I had a specific time goal that I knew I would have to work very hard to meet, especially running alone and not experienced in pacing myself BY myself. I’m so happy that I beat my goal by 5 minutes! I had specific plans around water stations and fueling throughout the race, that worked really well.
What do I take away?
Gratitude for Jon and the girls for their support. I often take that for granted, and it meant so much to me in this particular race. I’m so grateful!
I feel empowered to do hard things. This race was hard. The training was hard. Overcoming fear and obstacles was hard. But, I did it, and I can move forward in life and face hard things in other areas too.
Community. We were not designed to do life alone. Again, family was key . . . as were the community of friends that also wanted and expected me to do my best. I felt their support and wanted to honor it, by actually doing my best! I believe I did that, and I was so pleased.
Additionally, running alone gives me time to be with myself .. to listen to myself and also to talk to myself .. I did a bit of both on this run. Being alone is most importantly an opportunity to listen to God. I’m thankful for what I heard and for what I said.
Thankful to God that my body works well enough to run, for a beautiful day to enjoy pushing myself physically, soaking in a beautiful morning on Lake Michigan and thankful for many lessons learned.