Monday, September 22, 2014

Bucket List is One Item Shorter: Half Marathon Complete


I'm still in disbelief that I actually ran and completed 13.1 miles. I mean, healthy-non CF infected folk- struggle with running that many miles. I couldn't be prouder of myself. Yep, I'm tooting' my own horn.

I've learned so much about myself during all these years of running and training. The thing with running is that even if you have a running buddy you're still on your own. You must have the physical and mental strength to keep going. Sure, having a buddy adds a level of competition which can and does carry you but at the end of the day its just you, your body, your mind and a good pair of running shoes. I guess thats why I'm hooked on running. The self-esteem boost.

When I'm running I'm just like any other person. I'm normal in a weird way. I'm battling exhaustion, breathing, wanting to walk, etc-just like any other ordinary person. Sure, I've got a few tacks on the wall that are drastically different from the other runners, but they too have different tacks than I. Some are faced with age, some are running to lose weight and a better lifestyle, some are burning rubber to overcome injury and the list is endless. We all have our "issues". This is what makes me normal amongst all the other runners.


I was as well trained for this run as I could be given the past 12-months health issues. That said, the last 3 miles were grueling. My lungs felt amazing, I'd done my feeding for a full week leading up to the half, I only drank water for 3 days prior, I stretched my muscles the day before, etc. However, at around mile 8 or 9 my knee starting hurting. I just ran thru the pain to the next water station. It was then that I knew something was really wrong....but I wasn't ready to give up. We continued walking/running hoping the walking would help but it didn't in fact the pain got worse and worse. My usual pace is 11:30 minute miles, but with the knee pain we were more like 13:30 min/mile for the last 3 miles. I had in my mind that I wanted to finish under 3hrs, so the last 3/4 mile I ran, grimacing in pain the entire way. We finished at 2:58:34; just under 3 hours.

Many times during those miles when my knee pain seemed almost too much to handle, I thought of all my friends with CF who are facing end stage disease, waiting for new lungs, struggling with coping and so much more. There pain has no end in sight. If they can continue battling and remain hopeful then I had to finish for them. Even in unexpected pain I pushed through. I knew my pain was temporary. The finish line was in site.

Its funny because at approximately 12.5 miles my running buddy-my mother in law-says "I'm about ready to cry for you".

I looked at her with so much pain across my face and said, "don't you dare, I've still got over half a mile, I've got to keep my shit together...."

We ran in silence both reflecting on all the ups and downs of this journey. All the times I had to step back and play a deck of cards that CF dealt and how we'd pick up the pieces to start over again. Running 13.1 is not just a bucket list item its also a opportunity to prove to myself that I am capable of anything. CF can't take away my drive, passion, and determination if I don't let it. 


My grand finish was met with ugly sobbing. I cried for myself. I cried for all my friends who have passed away never getting an opportunity like this. I cried for all my friends who can barely walk around their homes with oxygen. I cried because their struggles have carried me when my body was too tired.


video


13.1.......just an item on a bucket list.

 ~Doodlin'
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