When I entered the dating scene 3 months ago, I had no idea what would come of it. There was no way of knowing how God would mold the conversations between him and I, nor how He would use this man to be a source of encouragement in one of the most taxing things I’ve done. But, first let me back up some.
Runner was in his user name. I’ve learned as we’ve grown together that me being a runner was one thing that caught his interest in me. Only difference- he’s been running for 15 years. Me? 2. He ran in high school and college, both cross country and track. So early on, we decided to go on running dates. Truth be told, these are some of my favorite outings. The first ones were rough though. Why? Because I’m one stubborn headed southern belle who is not going to give up for anything. Since he’s ran for so long, he’s faster. We barely made it 30 minutes running together. Eventually I had to lose my pride and ask him to slow down for me. He of course was more than willing to, and the next run we made it 5 miles.
He was amazing. Finished with a time of 2:06. We came home and a week later he signed up for his first full ( next March) as well as got a training program to finish sub 2 hours. I’m so proud of him and the hard work he puts forth in this- because it rubs off on me.
Two weeks after his half, we joined up early again ( seriously, getting up for these runs means being on the road before Starbucks, this might be the one downfall I have) and headed for our destination. Being the overly nervous and excitement filled mess I was, we got there super early but scored great parking and were able to walk around which helped calm my nerves.
Was also extremely blessed to have Michelle and Neil there. I didn’t know they would be volunteering for the event until the day before. As the 5k lined up, I looked down and noticed my phone was dying. So I switched to my backup ipod and just went with it. I’m so glad I did. I had the pleasure of running to some of my favorite people- Will Goodwin and Rachel Noel, as well as other popular artists. The mix was perfect for the race and better than anything Pandora could have given me.
The first 3 miles went by fairly easy. I kept a good pace and despite the climb of the hills, was enjoying the race. As I neared miled 6 I saw him. Standing there, hand around my camera clicking away. I found out later that in the midst of the photos, he was also praying for me. Prayers I would soon need.
Mile 6 would lead into pain growing in my calves. I stopped every now and then to stretch. The pain increased and my muscles began to spaze. Mile 9 I was greeted by Neil first, he signaled thumbs up or down and I immediately went thumbs down. He ushered me up to Michelle but in the process of climbing that hill both calves seized up bringing me gracefully to the ground. I was in tears. The watch read 2:45. I only had 15 minutes left to run 4 miles. I couldn’t give up now. I cleaned myself up, iced for a second, grabbed some water, and continued on. I was determined to finish. MIle 12 is when I saw them picking up the trail marshalls. My calves had been cramping up and at this point the cramp in my left leg moved up to my quad. It was painful. I felt like sitting down and quitting. I was exhausted and crying and then I saw them approaching me. Two of my favorite people coming to help me finish. Neil and Michelle walked me to the last bit of pavement where the last loop of the race took place. Neil grabbed me water and caught up with me ( I began jogging again) and he stayed with me until the finish chute. Standing at the other end was my runner. Capturing my moment of victory as I crossed and finished my first half. 3:36 was my final time. I was the last runner to cross the finish but that was because many before me quit.
That race might of been the hardest thing I had done up until that point. But having my family, my boyfriend, and CrossFit athletes who I love cheer me on, meant the world. I said it then and I still believe it, I will do another half- but next time will be a road race :0