Sunday, November 14, 2010, marked a significant day for me. I attained a personal goal of mine. I completed my very first half-marathon.
It was an amazing experience, completing the 13.1 miles with some family members and watching my husband complete his first full marathon. The day was not without challenges. It was cold. (Thank goodness it didn’t rain!) My music didn’t work (technology! pfft!). And most of the “Rock and Roll” bands set up at each mile marker were taking brief breaks as I ran by them. There were a few bands and one turntable station, that got me pumped, though, which I greatly appreciated.
Yes, it was an amazing experience simply because I finished something I never thought possible, but it was wonderful in other ways. It was inspiring just to run with 27,000 other people. Of varied backgrounds. As I ran behind them, beside them, and past them (on occasion), I imagined their stories. Where did they come from? Is this their first race? Are they nurses? Why were they running? Was it for themselves or for someone else or an organization, perhaps? I awed at the number of causes right in front of me. It seemed every disease had a runner representing the fight – numerous cancers, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, autism, cerebral palsy – you name it, someone was running for it. I was brought to tears several times – reading memorial t-shirts of loved ones, contemplating “survivor” plastered across a runner’s back, seeing a marathoner push a jogging stroller made part vehicle and part medical cart with an adult, disabled woman inside throughout the race…in front of me. It was overwhelming at times, and since I wasn’t thinking about music, I thought a lot about health – and gave thanks many times for my own – while I ran. It was a great three hours and 17 minutes.
Not only did I set and break my own personal goal, a few of the race finishers helped set a world record, too.