Super Hero - ME? Yes I guess I was!!
Monday, November 03, 2014
As a part of this week's WEC we are to write a blog about a time we exhibited 'super hero strength' we didn't know we possessed. I thought long and hard about that one and decided a time I did that was when I ran my first marathon. The year was 1987 - the date was January 17. I remember that because it was my 39th birthday!!
I'd trained to run the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day 1986. That day I met a new friend who had just moved back to Atlanta from France. I invited her to join a little running group I was a member of (just some friends who trained together) and she did. A couple of weeks later she asked if I'd like to go to Savannah with her on January 17th.
She was running the Savannah Marathon, but she said they also had a half if I didn't want to do the full (she knew I'd never done a full) . I agreed and we continued to train together. Long story short, after a few more long runs I decided I'd run the marathon too. We had planned to get in an 18 mile long run (the longest before that was 15) and I figured I'd be able to run at least 20 on race day and I could walk the last 6. As if happened we cut short the 18 mile run because Holly began having leg cramps and I was having some knee issues (an ongoing thing).
I did it!! I was so blessed - it was a small marathon and I was DEAD last!! A volunteer, riding a bike, kept checking on me, encouraging me. He'd say, how about running until that street light (or signal tree or something is the distance) then you can walk? When I got there he'd say, think you can run a little more? Sometimes I'd walk a while first, but often I'd say, 'Yes, I CAN run a little further!' I finished that race in 5 hours 15 minutes - at the time I thought it was slow but I ran slower ones later LOL.
He gave me a quote I've NEVER forgotten: 'Winners finish and Finishers win!' I still draw inspiration from that quote!!
Did I hate being the LAST runner to finish the race? NO!! I was high as a kite when I crossed the finish line!! My friend had told the other runners and officials that it was my birthday and they all sang Happy Birthday to me as I crossed the finish line!! What a day!! And YES I felt like a Super Hero!!
ETA: I forgot to tell you a fun fact - I WON third place in my age group!! Huh? When I was DEAD last? YEP - because only 3 of us in my age group ran! I still treasure the cup/stein that was my award!!