Friday, May 8, 2015

13.1 things to think about

tomorrow i will be running my 5th half marathon. wow! not something i ever envisioned in my life but it's pretty damn cool, right?

as i run the picturesque hills of solvang i will need motivation and strength to get me through the miles. i know this course pretty well by now and can see myself running past every mile marker along the route.  i came up with 13.1 things i can think about to help me finish strong.
  1. jordan - my first born. born on the first of the first month of the year. he works so hard at everything that he does. he struggles sometimes but is dedicated and determined. this past year his attitude shift about swimming helped him soar and now he works out harder than he ever has. he inspires me and teaches me about strength and perseverance every day. 
  2. gratitude - i am so thankful for my body that lets me put it through the pain and test of pushing it to it's limit.  my two legs are stronger than they have been in a long time. they support me and sometimes give out on me. but i do not take them for granted. i'm sure there will be people running this race who only have one leg and they will remind me to be grateful for what i have.
  3. bobby - we were married on the 3rd and have 3 outstanding children. his support and encouragement to do this race is what got me up every saturday morning - or maybe he just wanted the bed to himself. he is always reminding me how proud he is of me and makes me feel like i can do anything. love is what will get me through.
  4. lavender fields - a highlights of this course. the smell of sweet lavendar is intoxicating and soothing. one of the best parts of running is being outside and experiencing nature. i don't do it enough when i'm not training. being outside and getting to experience this moment is what i want to remember.
  5. my fifth time around. this will be the fifth time running this trail, seeing the sights, fighting with my thoughts. FIVE. one for every member of my family. five training seasons. five pairs of shoes. five medals. five seems like a good number to me.
  6. passing the half way mark, water station, wine station?, seeing my parents and other faces i recognize gives me a boost. the big hill is coming but then it is beautiful vineyards and rolling hills for a while. 
  7. sofia - born on the 7th. she has an "i can do anything" attitude and she doesn't let fear stop her. she has spunk and sass and energy to go from school to sports to more sports to homework to bed. she is love and laughter, softness and strength. she lights up my heart. this one's for you.
  8. my family - we have had some loss recently that comes from having a big family. uncles who have passed away that meant a lot to all of us. the strength and unity of my big, beautiful family and the memory of those we have lost will carry me through this mile.
  9. feeling free - this is typically my fastest mile of the race. i love running downhill. it is one of the best feelings to let go and let gravity take me. i will enjoy this mile and let my stress go.
  10. andrew - born on the 10th. laughter is what i will think about. if i am struggling here andrew would make me laugh. i can think about commitment and focus - things he has told me he is working on. when he struggles he often turns to humor to get through. i will need it here and i will laugh.
  11. it's ok to cry. this is where i start wishing this was over. every ache aches more. my feet are numb and i can't bare to think about the hill on mile 12, who does that? i also tend to get emotional here. shocker. but i think about the miles i have run in preparation for this race. lots of miles. that hard work is over. train hard, run easy.
  12. running 12 miles alone. at this point i'm tired and there is still a hill to conquer. a few weeks ago i missed the training run due to our busy schedule. so i made it up on that sunday. 12 miles split up into 3 sections. but i didn't have a group to encourage me. i didn't have sergio to run beside me and remind me to keep my head and my pace up. i didn't have water stops to take a break. i did it on my own, encouraging myself, getting my own gatorade at 6.5, 10, and 12 miles. it was a reminder that I CAN DO THIS!
  13. don't stop running now. the end is near. the crowds are cheering. soon i will be able to rest and eat and take these shoes off. this is where the glory happens.
    .1. what's next? besides a good meal and a hot shower. i am both exhilarated and exhausted. at this point last year i said i never wanted to do that again, and here i am. maybe too early to answer this question. i do have something in mind but i'll wait until the agony and pain of this race passes. either way, enjoy the moment of crossing the finish line, smile for the camera and don't pass out!

ETA: just saw this article and i busted out laughing. so true. perfect humor for today.

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