Portland Marathon and Half-Marathon 2012
I did it! I finished the Portland Half-Marathon on Sunday. It was a beautifully warm day. Memorable. Ahhhh.... the sense of accomplishment! I finished in 3 hours and 15 minutes. That's about 15 minute miles (or 4 miles per hour). I actually finished in a shorter amount of time than my Marathon running husband who finished in 3 hours and 16 minutes. Okay... okay... he did the full 26.2 miles and I did the half which is 13.1 miles, but he said it was okay if I said that. And I have to say that he was just about more excited that I participated in the half-marathon than the fact that he had another PR shaving off 5 minutes of his time. Yup, he was super proud of me.
Portland Half-Marathon 2012
But... I'll be honest... I could've used a little more cowbell.
I didn't realize how lonely it would be. I mean, I was surrounded by runners and walkers. But very much alone. TobyMac blaring in my ears. But there were times I was just plain alone.
I had this image in my mind that the whole course would be filled with spectators cheering me on. Whenever we would cheer Anthony on at his races there were always a ton of spectators. I just hadn't realized that spectators all hang out in the same places. And either it is feast or pretty much famine.
And so it gives you time to think, right? About being in the race. About finishing the race. About how sometimes you just have to go through things alone. That there are times when there will be people cheering you on. Shouting... or holding a sign... or ringing a cowbell. And there will be times that people will handing you a cup of water (or Ultima... or gummy bears). And there will be times when people are even walking alongside you. But there are times and a lot of times that you will just have to go through it alone.
You and God.
On the course.
Heading for the finish that you can't see and seems miles away.
Fortunately, I had trained. I knew that it was going to take time to get to my goal. That it might feel monotonous, but that I would finish. That there truly was a finish. That I would finish the race and be told, "Well done." That people were waiting for me. At the finish line.
I wonder what it would be like not to train. Not to know that there truly is a finish. Not to know where all the water stops would be... or that there even would be water stops. Not to know if anyone would be at the finish. Not to know if anyone would care that you finished or had even been in the race.
That's life sometimes, isn't it?
No end in sight.
Going through this trial.
Wondering if anyone cares.
Wanting someone to finish the race for you,
but realizing that you have to walk your own race.
I loved it, really. The pirates, the drummers, the cheer squads, the signs... especially the FINISH sign. But most of all? The people. Those people. Those special people who were looking for me and cheered me on. And they knew I needed cheering. And cheering. Yes, they pushed me across that finish line in their minds. And it felt great. Being on the other side of the fence. Being the one cheered to the finish.
But it was lonely. And the next half-marathon (yes, I already signed up for the next one at the expo two nights before the race), I want to walk with friends. And chat a little... and encourage one another along the way... and finish together... and be distracted.
Because let's face it...
I'll be honest...
I could've used a little more cowbell.