The morning was perfect weather wise, actually a bit cool.
I was quite anxious and found myself with an excessive amount of nervous energy.
I am with girls from my core group of workout friends. Some racing to beat times from last year, some out there to just complete it, others doing it for the first time like me!
Personally, I am there to accomplish something outside my comfort zone and to build physical & mental strength. I am learning that so much of what we do is part of having a strong mind. Physically, I have trained well for the distance and I am feeling good.
I am ready!
Race start is 7am; it is a breath taking sight as the sun is rising at your back.
There are 1,500 runners from teenagers to an 80 year old, talk about inspiring.
As we begin the journey, it is a thrilling feeling to see hundreds and hundreds of people running over this stunning expansive bridge. Seven miles and nothing but water views all around you; I couldn’t have picked a better race location to do something this challenging.
Early on in the race, a gentleman passes me with a shirt that says, “It’s only hard until it’s not”. That stuck with me and had big meaning around mile five and six.
Along the way there are volunteer stations many of which have water, fresh fruit snacks, another was entertaining us with steel drum music and the fire department of Marathon misting the runners was a welcome gift as the miles added up.
I stopped at the top of the bridge to take in the 360 degree panoramic views. I attempted to get the perfect selfie, but truthfully the pictures in my mind are much better.
The run for me was hard. I hit the wall at mile marker five. I just kept saying, ‘how do people do this’? They had mile marker signs each mile and at this point my positive energy mantra had turned to ‘where the [beep] is mile marker six’? Ironically, the same gentleman from earlier passed me. I read his shirt again, “It’s only hard until it’s not”. I take it in and know that message was divinely timed.
At last, I pass the mile six sign. A sense of relief comes over me knowing the finish line is so very close. I was thinking, ‘ok, I can do anything for 10 minutes, I got this’, and switch back to my positive ‘gentle strength’ mantra.
Within minutes I see the finish line and familiar faces. My #1 fan, my husband, greets me at the end of the bridge; he puts a huge smile on face and grabs that a pic to capture the moment.
Never in a million years did I think I would or could do anything like this.
I Did It!
It took several days to completely recover muscle wise but that was expected. Epsom salt baths and essential oil blends were my healing remedies for a week or so.
I have a new sense of gratitude for my body and what I can do with it.
I am officially starting to feel like a runner. This race has given me that boost of confidence I needed for the Keys 100 journey coming on May 21st.
Click here to read more from my I Am a Runner journey.