Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ready or Not Here I Go!

With it being last day of this year, I've been thinking of what I've done this year and what I want to do this next year. I have the normal resolutions, to be a better person, eat healthier, yada, yada, yada. But I also have a big one.

If any of you know me or have followed any of my posts, I've become a runner. I've only started using that word recently to describe myself and with out the clarification that I can't run a mile. Since I started running two and half years ago or more, I've completed four half marathons at the event site (you show up, run, use water stations and porta-pottys and get your medal at the end) and a few virtual runs (you sign up, they send you a medal and you have two weeks to a month to complete the total miles).

This year I think I'm getting older or wiser. I want to run for more than just me. In the beginning and it's still true today I entered races based on bling and what motivated me to run was the shrinking number on the scale when I was seriously training. But I need more. I have more now because I don't run for myself anymore, I run for a buddy who can't run. She's 7 and lives in PA and her name is Olivia. She pushes me to keep moving when I want to quit. She's fearless- she will cheer in front crowds or jump in the pool for swimming. When we run we earn meals for the hungry with the Charity Miles app on my phone but I still wanted something bigger than myself or Olivia and I for my 40th birthday. I don't have a family of my own to leave a legacy with yet but I don't want to wait for that. I know I will someday have my own family whether that is through marriage and natural births or through adoption or fostering. I have many in my family who have been adopted or friends who have adopted.

A friend approached me about running in the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Half Marathon in January to raise money for Sixty Feet. It's an organization that builds orphanages in Uganda for kids that don't have a home and it keeps them safe and hopefully they find their forever home. I have friends that have spent time serving there and it's great. And I loved the idea of running to help others. So I agreed. In the process of training for that and running my most recent half I have been thinking of running a full. I know it's totally crazy and I'm not a fast runner so there will be a lot of training to do it both mentally and physically.

Actually, during my last half, I was kicking butt at a 14 min pace (mine is usually 16 minutes per mile) and around mile 9 this is the conversation I had with myself.

"You are kicking butt, this isn't so bad, maybe we should try for a full marathon for a challenge.

You know you are right, I always have said I wouldn't consider it until I could do a half in under 3 hours but this is easy, a marathon wouldn't be that much harder."
At mile 12 it was

"You can forget about a full, you may not finish this, I think you were dehydrated or low sugar balance to even consider something so insane. You can't do it, you would never finish." 

And I ended the race, a little defeated and getting my gear bag, I chatted with a lady sitting on the grass. We shared our stories and she encouraged me to reconsider running a full. She said if she could do it, I could to and that's my line for anyone wanting to do a half. I've been praying about it on my runs. I pray for people or run memory verses or do math- anything to keep my mind occupied during the miles.

Because of encouragement from friends who I consider to be running mentors, I'm taking the leap and planning on running a FULL marathon in October. A friend suggested The Chosen Marathon. They raise money for families who are trying to adopt.  It's in New Braunfels, TX (San Antonio).

I'm scared I won't finish but if a friend can decide to run a half marathon because she wants to help make my 40th birthday special, then I can be encouraged by that and run.