Sunday, April 12, 2015

Finish Strong

I've never bailed on a race before. I register/pay, I train (hopefully well), and I drag my ass out to the starting line and go; even when I don't want to. I was always taught that you must finish what you start.

Well, today for the first time, I bailed on my race. I was supposed to run the Negative Split Half Marathon, but I couldn't find my strong through my tears. I was disappointed in myself and knew I had people who were cheering me on (thank you). I had a friend, Traci, who was running in memory of her husband Aaron who she also lost to Leukemia similar to my friend Andrea.  (Photo: Pre-race photo of Traci in her memorial shirt.)

I was well supported on the outside, but my heart wasn't in it. I felt like I was letting so many people down.

I'd woken up early, gone through my race prep routine, gotten dressed, and when it came time to leave the house, I just couldn't do it. I was emotionally and physically exhausted from Andrea's memorial service yesterday and my heart still hurt. 

I knew my 8-year-old son would also be disappointed as I'd promised him I'd bring him home another medal. Instead, with all my race clothes still on, I climbed back in bed and closed my eyes. 

When my son woke up and saw me he was so excited, thinking I'd already finished my race. I told him I was very sorry, but I didn't feel well enough to run 13.1 miles today.  To my surprise, instead of being sad, he hugged me and said, "I love having you more than a medal." I burst into tears at the power of those words. 

In the meantime, my friend Traci found her superpower STRONG, and ran an honorable 2:14 race! Afterwords she texted me, "Sister, I had a 36-year-old guardian angel use me as her pacer.  It was her first half marathon...but she was a God Send...At mile 12 we introduced ourselves, LOL...[her name was] Michelle."

Later in the day, I was glancing at Facebook and saw that my Facebook friend, Shannon, had posted pictures of her friend crossing the finish line of the same race today. Her friends name? Yep, you guessed it: Michelle! And there was Traci with her in the photo as they crossed the finish line! Small world! (You should have seen my face when I saw the picture and texted Traci to tell her!)

Traci and Michelle have now connected on Facebook, thanks to their angels! Here's Traci with her finisher medal!

Someday, I will be as strong as Traci and run a race in Andrea's honor. Unfortunately, that race wasn't today. Thanks for all the prayers, miles, cheers, and virtual hugs. They mean a lot to me! Soon, I'll find my strong again....

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