Several years ago a friend of mine came to me and said she had this great idea for us...that great idea was to do a Half-Marathon. Now at that time in my life I wasn't doing a lot of exercising...I did enjoy walking though. So the silly person that I was said, "I am all for it....sounds like fun." Little did I know. It was a lot of fun, it was also a very good learning experience. I had only walked four times prior to the event. Suggestion...you need a little more training than that to do a half marathon. When it was all over...I felt like I had been on a horse for a week...every part of my body was sore. Even parts I didn't know I had. That was in Feb. 2008, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We had the best time and laugh a lot about it now....especially the story of trying to keep up with the 84 yr. old who could hardly move...but eventually we were able to pass him. Since that marathon I have completed a total of 3 and am signed up to do a 4th in September 2010, in Virginia Beach.
It was my second marathon that I would like to share about. This was in September 2008, in Virginia Beach. This time Debbie convinced all her children to do the marathon with us. She has 3 kids. Christin, who was in college at the time, Hope, also in college, and Kenyon, a cross country runner in high school.
Christin and Kenyon's plan was to run the half marathon together. Keeping at a 10 minute mile. At the 10 mile marker Christin was going to "release" Kenyon to do the last 3.1 miles by himself. Hope was going to walk a mile and run 2 miles, while Debbie and I were going to primarily walk and every now and again do a short sprint.
Sounded like a great plan to me. Except when Kenyon and Christin got to the 9 mile marker...Christin told Kenyon that unless she slowed her pace down she wouldn't be able to finish the race, therefore he needed to just go on at his own pace with out her, which is what he did. They both came in within there original goal time.
Hope was a different story. To give you a little background on Hope. She had severely broken her ankle several years earlier playing high school basketball. She realized during training for this marathon that her ankle could give her some problems, but she didn't think it would be too difficult. At the 9 mile marker...she passed by my family and they noticed she was walking and limping...she looked over at my family and asked that they call her Dad and to tell him to be waiting at the finish line with some ice, you see Hope could no longer feel her ankle...it had become so swollen. As Debbie and I passed my family, we were not far behind Hope, they filled us in on how everyone was doing. Debbie got concerned about Hope...you see, Debbie had encouraged Hope to walk with us...but Hope thought we would be too slow and didn't want to do that. So as we passed Debbie's husband...we asked how Hope was and he said she was still going and refused to stop. When Hope had reached her Dad about the 11 Mile Marker, he had encouraged her to stop, telling her that she may be doing permanent damage to her ankle, since she could no longer feel it. Hope's response to her Dad is the whole point of my story and still today, as I think of what she said, I realize that we should never give up or quit, because we don't know how close we are to that finish line. Hope looked at her Dad and said, "I didn't come this far to quit. I only have 2 more miles and I am going to finish this race." And she did. Through the pain...she continued to limp on until she saw that finish line and when Debbie and I completed our race...only 5 minutes behind Hope...we found her sitting on the side waiting for ice. Hope didn't give up...she didn't quit. How many of us do that when the going gets tough? If only we would hang in there and keep going until we complete the race. God never said it would be easy, but He did say we need to persevere and finish the Race!!! You may only be a mile or 2 from the finish line, but if you quit you will never know. Lean on God for your strength...He will never let you down. Keep running the race!!! There is always HOPE!