Well, I didn't die.
Can it be possible? Not only are my joints not popping, not hurting, not sore--but I didn't have a heart attack, either!!
At mile 1, I was REALLY scared. As everyone had to wait in line to turn corners (the half&full started together for 4 miles so it was crowded), I thought, "This is going to be a long, long day". The humidity, (it was supposed to rain), the heat (at the end it was almost 90 deg), and my hamstring strain from the day before made me really anxious beforehand. But, as it turned out, as I ran I got used to that tight feeling in my hamstrings and I got used to running with "pain". (Not a shooting pain, more like a 'sore' pain). I focused on how hydrated I was from the day before (mentally), and, let each gust of wind mimic the wave of the ocean over my body.
Poetic, right. Ha.
I did forget to thank a couple people who helped me along the way--Jason C.&Kelcey who gave me training tips (because I wasn't able to train with a club). Also, John whom I met at the race around mile 19...he has run 60 marathons and he gave me encouragement the last 6 miles! (He had run a marathon the day before!)
(Yes, we made shirts. I figured, if it ends up being my only one, I'm going all out)
--I loathed this particular race. Not the course, although a friend told me it was harder than the Austin course because of hill amount& placement? Well, thank you God for Brushy Creek Trails for training! My problems: the dis-organization, the LACK of water stations (people were fainting, puking which always happens but really?), lack of adequate medical stations, and Oh Yeah, Let's start a race in late Spring at 8AM! Even winter races start at 7!
--It was hard? I use a question mark because this is both a "Con"& a "Pro". It was challenging, and I had to push through at parts. But, I was never 'breaking'.
--Training was hard on me physically and was time consuming, though I chose to train for 4 weeks. (Training is the hardest, hardest part. It is the only deterrent in keeping me from going at it again)
--I 'beat' my goal time
--I never hit the "wall". I perhaps could have gone longer? Which I know is CRAZY to say. That last stretch was not my favorite.
--I was able to thank God during my run for where He's brought me over the year--which is why I ran it.
Which brings me to making a long post even longer. The reason I *really* ran this race was a thanksgiving to God for my body.
I've had a rough year in terms of dealing with my body--in terms of body image, hormones, extreme wear. I went from being a stick figure (pre-pregnancy mind you!) to gaining almost 45 pounds in my pregnancy, to nursing the baby and the extreme stress that was on my body, to losing some weight, and back to a healthy place again--all within a year. It all is a normal human thing to go through (obviously) but it was difficult mentally and physically. My hormones were hard on me, I had extreme nausea and fatigue--to the point I couldn't go to work during my 3rd trimester. Torture for someone who loves staying active. I had days I would cry out to God in such anger, frustration, helplessness over my body--"Am I stuck in this huge fat-suit glued to my bed forever??" I seriously thought that was it for me. Even post-pregnancy, I thought, this is it for me. I'm stuck here.
I couldn't even finish decorating the nursery, and decorating's my FAVORITE.
Thought I would never be able to be my 'old self' again. So, when I started running for the first time, it was a huge celebration in my heart to God. I knew He had given me back something I didn't deserve in the first place. I realized the health I had experienced my whole life pre-pregnancy--was something I had taken for granted for 27 years. God has given me my life back now--and it really IS more abundant! The more he teaches me the MORE abundant my life gets. And having my baby here now---Oh, Lord. Oh my gosh oh my gosh, God is better to me than I deserve.
So, that is why running a marathon was such a big deal to me. If you would have seen how sickly I was a year ago, you would not have believed I could move again, much less run a marathon at 10months post-parptum. (Yes, I used the word "sickly" past 1892). God created my body, in every stage, and I finally understand what it means to "lift up your body as a living sacrifice". I run because I CAN. And when I do, it's me saying, "See, what I can do with what You gave me, God? The possibilities are BEYOND what I realized, You made a miracle in me".
P.S. Oh and Labor is Harder.