It happened. We did it. Together. We did it.
14 weeks of training. 14 weeks of waking up early to clear my head and run some miles, with hopes that the day of the half marathon would come and I wouldn't be terrified but, rather, excited for the challenge.
This past Sunday marked that day of the half marathon and we did it. My sister (who bought an accompanying entry to the race as a birthday present to me) ran with me and cheered me on when I was feeling tired and weak, through 13 miles of pavement.
On the third mile, a woman was carrying a sign that said:
"There will come a day when you will not be able to do this. Today is not that day."
The statement struck me.
On mile three, I saw the sign and was encouraged.
The same woman had come to another point in the race, maybe about mile seven, and held the same sign. At mile seven, my thoughts were different. I didn't believe it. I thought to myself "That day is today. I don't know if I can do this."
I talked to my sister and carried on, trying to bat away my own negative thoughts.
The fact is, I completed that damn half marathon and I had a great time. I got to the point where I was excited for the race but when that race came but it wasn't easy.
At mile 11, a man was holding a sign that said, "YOU GOT THIS." I ran over to him and said "Thanks for saying that, because I'm not so sure."
As I ran on, I heard him say, "Yeah you do! You got this!"
This stranger had faith in me, but I sure didn't.
At the very end of the race, when the finish line was literally in sight but half a mile away I told my sister I wasn't sure I could do it. I was so close but I was in such pain and the lactic acid was building so heavily in my legs--I was certain I had come this far only to fail. She grabbed my hand and we ran together until we were finished.
The fact is, sometimes one does lose faith and forgets about her strength. Limits get hazy. Fatigue and skepticism set in. In those times other people see strength when it seems zapped. In this time, I was lucky to have both strangers and a sister who had faith when I had none. I did the work and ran the race with help and encouragement.
Sunday was not that day, after all.
I finished that damn marathon, and in 2 hours and 23 minutes, even.
And I finished while holding my sister's hand.