Monday, February 20, 2012

Austin Half Marathon Complete - bucket list check mark!

I did it! February 19th, The Austin Livestrong Marathon and Half Marathon finally arrived, and I am happy to say, I hold the title now as "Finisher"

What an incredible journey this has been and I'm thrilled to have a check mark added to my bucket list! I'm typing this right now still on a bit of a high....and with achy legs! This never started with me having a goal to run a half marathon. More than anything, this took shape and became more clear to me what that bucket list item was going to be when I started adding together the descriptives of things I wanted to do. Demonstrate a really cool life lesson to your children. Exercise is important. Commit to something long term that's hard. Do something you're afraid of trying for fear of failing. Your body is in good physical health, use it, don't waste it. Conquer the inner dialoque that often whispers words like, "You can't. It's too hard. You're too old. It's boring. You should be doing other things right now that need to be done." Oh I could go on, inner dialogue can be such an enemy to oneself can't it?

I started by trying to recruit some friends. I figured my best bet at enjoying this would be to do with friends. Share in the progress and push each other through the slumps. I am not one of those folks that wakes up and looks at my running shoes saying to myself, "oh goodie, time to go run" While I trained solo, I had my peeps that I checked in with and many many neighbors I saw driving while running. Always great to have so many friends honk and wave while you're out doing your thing. I loved that!

Thank you Pinterest, it became so much easier heading out when I saw this quote someone pinned. How true that is. Letting those endorphines out was a guarantee I looked forward to at the end of each run. Here was my other FAVORITE quote when it came to my running goals.

I spent the next 4 months training. My dog may have been the most excited family member in the house. All I had to do was motion towards my running shoes and my ever so faithful running partner exploded in excitement. I often thought to myself, "If only I could share his natural enthusiasm!"

Here we are, the compadres from our section of our neighborhood. The race began at the Texas Capitol which was a really cool place to be to kick things off. It was freezing (according to my cold standards) out so I started out with my "throw away clothing." I learned that tip along the way from other runners. Wear something you're done with because it's still dark out and cold when you arrive and then just take it off and throw it away when the race starts. I hate being cold. Sorry to my hubby, I wore one of his company sweatshirts and added that to the piles of clothing found all over the starting line area.

I admit, I can get emotional :) There were so many moments along the way where you are struck with a tidal wave of emotions. Since this is the LiveStrong Cancer fundraising marathon, you absolutely cannot miss seeing t-shirts of people running in honor of "fill in the blank" or folks along the way holding signs cheering for you saying "Keep going, you are running for me!" Or seeing someone running with a shirt that reads, "I'm stage 3 cancer and I'm running this race" the wheelchair and other special needs competitors leave you in awe and the list goes on. I am so grateful for my healthy body and what it is still capable of doing. Getting older but working fine!
It's not all somber, so many things made me crack up. I enjoyed the posters that read things like, "Ryan Gosling is 100 feet ahead, keep running" or the huge #'s of people dressed in crazy costumes as if it's Halloween. Yes, this race started at 7AM and either some spectators parties started early that AM or they never quite shut them down from the night prior.

Of course nothing struck me like seeing my husband with my kids near the end at the finish line. I could see their huge smiles, crazy colorful hats and bright clothing and could hear their voices from far away. The genuine love and support and enthusiasm coming from them melted my heart. Their posters were a surprise, I wasn't allowed to see them til the end. Who wouldn't love seeing this at the final half mile!

My little guys poster.

My middle daughters poster who fancies herself a runner as well. So fast, flames are coming off those shoes.

My oldest daughters poster who is my deeply thoughtful child.

Of course my husband couldn't be more proud and it felt amazing seeing his face when I finished. I am such a lucky gal as I look at my life. I look at what's past, what's present and where I'm heading. None of this has fallen into my lap and I'm so grateful that all along the way, I've been in touch with Him who powers me through lifes challenges. My children have felt inspired and are working on their own goals and talking about things they'd like to try. Through all of this I've learned my most powerful means of influence over these kids. Stop talking so much and model the behaviors and attitudes I want them to embrace. As a mom, it makes it so worthwhile and I'm ready to sign up for my next one. This week though, I think I'll take a break!

p.s. I have a rockin' playlist to run to. Doing some running of your own? email me, I'll email you a screenshot of my playlist if you are looking for new songs. I love seeing other people's lists, makes for a great range of tunes to power you on!

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