So this morning I put on my 13.1 necklace that my mother and father-in-law bought me the Christmas after my first half marathon and I couldn’t help but think about this coming weekend. Saturday will be a day of firsts for so many people….first 8k, first half, first marathon, and for me- first time at a race as a coach.
2 years ago I was getting ready to accomplish the first half marathon goal for myself after months of training with the Greyhounds and found myself a ball of stress. I hadn’t had many bumps in my training, save for a horrible ten mile training run that left me questioning why I had signed up for this in the first place. But forward I forged towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
Come race day, I was scared and nervous. But I didn’t need to be. I got to mile 11 and thought about stopping. I didn’t want to run anymore- I was tired, my knees hurt, my hip hurt and I just didn’t want to continue….but from the sidelines, a coach from one of the Saturday teams spotted me and realized my struggle and came and ran with me. She told me we could do this…she wasn’t going to let me stop. About a half mile later Tommie (one of the coaches for my team) joined in running with me and the three of us went. She asked my goal and told me I was SO CLOSE so sped up with me (and the other coach went back to help some others). And we ran and we did it. I did it….because I had someone to hold my hand and show me I could.
I am eternally grateful for those two women…without them, I’m not sure what would’ve happened. I’m positive I wouldn’t have met my time goal (which I shouldn’t have set so low for my first to begin with)….who knows if I would have finished. But today I stand ready to be there for my team and all the others. Ready to show everyone (newbie or veteran) that they CAN make it there. You’ve worked for this, you can do it. And I am so happy to be able to be there to show you and tell you that you can.
Everyone has worked so hard to get here….and I can’t wait for everyone to start…and finish!
To those who wont be making it to the start line (for injury, life, etc)….I commend you. It’s so difficult to work hard for something, only to have to make a very difficult choice when it comes to race day. But your training wasn’t in vain…and your absence not for nothing. Listening to your body will ensure your future success and these bumps in the road will make the victory that much sweeter. I hope you all forge forward stronger…and I hope to have the opportunity to cheer you on when your time comes.
I’m so grateful to have been able to witness so many journeys and to do what I can to help with the growth and success. You are all awesome and you will prove that come Saturday. UNLEASH THE BEAST!