21.5 MILES!

Today I embarked on what felt like an endless journey.  My faith, my sanity, my physical stamina were tested as I ran through 21.5 miles on concrete, gravel, asphalt, grass and mud… all through my favorite city.  I enjoyed the first 17 or so (miles), well, you know, as much as you can with ankle, knee, back, butt, and hip pain…

I had some great conversations with my running buddies.  We talked about our love for: running, our spouses, our dogs, and we even spent some time talking about politics (one of my favorite subjects!).  The time went by quickly… until mile 18.  (One buddy had to drop out because he got 2 huge blisters on the bottom of his feet…)  I’ve never really experienced hitting the “wall”.  But I am pretty sure that is what happened.  So with the minimal energy I had left, pain in EVERY possible area of my body from my waist down, and growing delirium, I arm pumped my way to 21.5 miles!  (Which at the time we thought was 20.25 miles, but later mapped it and realized it was 21.5! I LOVE those kinds of surprises)  Incredible!  The longest run I have EVER run in my life.  And I am SO THANKFUL, in so much pain, but still so thankful.

21 miles gives you A LOT of time to think and sort through your thoughts.  So, during the silent times in our run, my mind wandered all over the place.  Thought about the cute shorts that the girl who just passed me was wearing, when I should be putting on those fresh new running shoes, pain, how hungry I was getting, HOPE, how disgusting the little lagoon looked, more pain, how could McCain choose PALIN!!, what I should write about next on my cool new blog, that creamsicle gel was delicious–I can still taste it, how bad I need to pee, oh, but those bathrooms are SO smelly, but I REALLY need to pee…

I had pretty positive thoughts about finishing this run until the very end, when I thought to myself (and then said out loud), “why am I putting my body through this”.  The answer came when I finished; “that’s why”.  There’s something about pushing your body to the limits and being able to accomplish something that quite frankly, you never really tangibly thought was possible until recently.  And it’s all because God carries you through.  I am learning (slowly, but surely) that only through the grace of God are you able to do the impossible.

This run was an impossibility 5 years ago, heck, 1 year ago.  It was a dream, a “life goal”, something that I told myself I would do but didn’t really think I would be able to do it well, let alone, finish.  (Still have questions about the doing it well part…)  With just less than 5 miles left, the end is in sight, I can almost see it, breathe it, reach it.

The official date of this ridiculous thing called a marathon is on October 12.  It would be AMAZING to get some fan presence along the long route!  (Plus! Come catch a glimpse of Olympian RYAN HALL who will be leading our TEAM!)  Sean and I will already be hosting a couple of girls that are also coming in for the race (YAY GINNA!) So, if you need a place to stay, we always have more space…

Meanwhile, I have about 5 weeks left, one more (over) 20 mile training run in the horizon and then the BIG DAY.  With all of your generous donations, I am getting closer and closer to my goal of raising $2000 for TEAM WORLD VISION.  If you have already donated, THANK YOU SO MUCH; you have changed the life of a child in Zambia.  If you haven’t yet, I would SO appreciate a donation in ANY amount.  I would love to be able to achieve this life goal of mine, but I am more excited about what this money will do for the children and families living on less than a dollar a day in Zambia.  Where the life expectancy is 38 years old (compared to our 78).  So please check out my donation site at: http://www.firstgiving.com/alicewightman

In the mean time, I’m recovering from my early morning run…and enjoying the pampering from Dr. Sean! (SUCKKAAAA!) 🙂 (Got him to come back early from studying at school! Now, THAT is love.)

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2 thoughts on “21.5 MILES!

  1. Congrats!
    I’ll be at the marathon–at the Fleet Feet water stop volunteering! You’ll have to get your water/gatorade only from me 😉
    I’m so proud of you, this is a huge accomplishment already!
    (And I totally agree about the random thoughts that pop up while running).

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