Since I have the St. Jude race in the morning, I thought I’d go ahead and get you your Saturday morning blog tonight. It’s an easy forecast, so it’s no big deal. But, I also wanted to share a little bit about this run with you, which you’ll find as you read along.
It’s nice seeing such a stretch of nice weather, isn’t it? Just keep in mind that the Saturday morning dry cool front may kick up a breeze as we go through the day. That could make it feel a bit cooler, but there will be lots of sun, and that will be sufficient to get us into the mid 60s by the afternoon.
The next chance of rain looks to hold off until Thursday. I still don’t see any signals of severe weather. There certainly will be severe storms across the Plains, but I’m not sure any of that will hold together to get here next week.
This means the weather will be good for our election day on Tuesday! It’s important that you vote, since so many of our races will be determined by this primary. With no Democrats on the ticket, most of the races will be settled in this primary.
So, Saturday morning is my St. Jude run. I admit I always get the jitters the night before race. Tonight is no exception.
I first started running while in grad school at Western Kentucky in the fall of 2005. The first time I ran I couldn’t make it one lap around the track without being so winded that I had to walk. I knew something was going to have to change. I wasn’t overweight, but I was out of shape. I started running more and more and eventually I made it to the two mile mark without getting winded. And I just kept running. Three miles, four miles…I felt like Forrest Gump (ha!). But seriously, I’ve heard several runners say that the two mile mark is the magic number. Once you get to that mile marker, you’ve found your pace and you just keep going.
That’s all well and good but I have a personality “flaw” that often (not always) works in my favor. I like to take goals to the extreme. I wanted to get to a point to where I could run a marathon. That was the goal. Not a one-miler. Not a 5K. Not a half marathon. A full marathon.
And on September 1, 2012 I accomplished that in Marquette, Michigan. Sorta. Read on.
It was the most horrible experience of my life. But, my goal was to finish in under four hours, and I finished in four hours and two minutes. This meant that I would have to try for another one. I was heartbroken when that clock read 4:02. Seriously? That number will forever be burned on my memory.
The next spring, I ran the Rock-n-Roll marathon in Nashville and finished the marathon in 3 hours and 58 mins. It felt absolutely amazing, and I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s nothing like the feeling of doing something that you thought/knew you could never do.
It’s all about being at the finish line and looking back and saying, “I did that. I DID THAT!”
Please find something that you think you can’t do and try for it! Just try! Even if it absolutely scares/terrifies you to death. You’ll never feel more alive than you do in those moments. If you fail (IF you fail!) you can say you tried your best and the cards fell where they fell for a reason. Failure is an option. It’s always an option. Anyone who says otherwise is a dang fool. But, you must try. It’s even better when people tell you that you’ll fail. The only thing better than showing those doomsayers that they’re wrong is proving to yourself that you were right to have faith in yourself.
It makes ALL the pain worthwhile. And, you know what? Someday I’m gonna run the Boston Marathon. I have no idea how I’m going to meet the qualifying time but just leave that to me. I’ll figure it out.
I could go on and on, folks, about my running experiences. I really could. I’ve been working on a book for some time now about my journey to the marathon and the failures and victories along the way. I keep coming up with newer material! (ha) It’s called Mile 21 because it was at that mile that I had one of my darkest moments in life during that first marathon in Marquette. I learned things about myself that day that changed me for the rest of my life. Runners call it “hitting the wall” but I call it something else that I won’t put in words here (ha). But, I lived through that experience that day. I made it to the finish line.
And all this started one fall evening 13 years ago in Bowling Green, Kentucky when I, for some reason, decided to see how many laps I could run around the track.
It didn’t take me long to count those laps!
And from that one lap, here we are, running my 21st half/full marathon today.
I’ll end with sharing something I have typed up for my personal Facebook page and weatherTAP’s social media. I’ll share it here, as well. It’s just one of the million stories I have from this incredible running life that I somehow stumbled into.
“I wanted to take a moment and share with you something very special the company I work for has done. I have run in the St. Jude Rock-n-Roll marathon in Nashville four times. I always just pay the registration fee and consider that payment to be my donation to the cause. This year, however, I decided to do more and I pledged to raise $1,000 for St. Jude. I decided the best way to raise that money would be to have a Frito bandito (aka chili pie) lunch fundraiser here at work, hoping to at least get halfway to my goal.
By the end of the day, I had raised my goal of $1,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! Heck, I even went a few bucks over!
On Saturday, April 28, I will be running in this race as a St. Jude Silver Hero, since I raised a thousand dollars. HOWEVER, I could NOT have done this without the help and generosity from the folks I work with and for. It just wouldn’t have happened. I just wanted you all to know what a special place weatherTAP and the entire Cosby Harrison Company (TAP) is.
Wish me luck in the race! I’m hoping to set a half marathon PR. If, however, I fail to meet that goal it’s because my heart is so full of love and appreciation that it weighed me down.”