The run was exhilarating. The run was exciting. The run was a little hard -- Well, not too much. It started out with all of us straining at the starting line to get out there and not get run over by the others. Since there were a lot of walkers, I didn't place myself at the very back of the pack but sort of in the middle. As we all started off, I was passed by many people but soon I had established my pace and found myself even passing a few people. It's a great feeling to pass others and a not so great feeling to get passed by. You just have to roll with it. I wore my Garmin heart rate monitor so I could try to keep my pace in check. I didn't want to burn out before the finish AND I really wanted to finish strong. Oh yeah, the temp was in the low 50's -- perfect for running!
The run started off over a bridge and then curved in a downward slope. What goes down must go up so I was mentally preparing for the fact that I was going to face that hill on the way to the finish line as the run was 3.1 miles - out and back. There were several water stops along the way but I carried my own water so I wouldn't have to slow down. Before I got to the turn around I was already facing the rabbits that had reached the half way point and were on their way back. I gave a nod of acknowledgment and of course, respect. I will never be the first runner in but I can certainly enjoy and admire those that are.
I make the turn around and am feeling strong. I hit a relaxed stride and just settle in. Now, I am passing those that are still on their way to the halfway point. Some are runners and some are walkers. I pass the water stations and now the end is in sight. I come up to a couple who are running this race together. She is walking and running. I hear her say to him that she had wanted to do this 10k in 1 hour or less but now she is telling him that "just to finish" is enough for her. He agrees. I realize that many who have taken on this challenge have seriously miscalculated the challenge. I know that I have not. I regularly run this distance and I know the challenge I face.
I pass this couple and up ahead I see the "HILL". Yeah, yeah... the brochure talked about the challenge of the hill and how "fun" it is. Well, I wouldn't go right to fun. I run hills all the time but a hill at the end of a challenge is generally not fun. I remind myself that success in running is mostly in your head. You can seriously talk yourself out of a successful run and you can seriously talk yourself into a GREAT run. Ok, I can do this. I take it one step at a time. I decide not to keep looking at how much hill is left but to concentrate on each step. Sort of like living a successful Kingdom life, huh? Step by Step. Yeah, we still need to have vision but small goals go a long way in the road to success. Before I know it, I have crested the hill and am coming over the bridge. I get out my cell phone to call my husband who is waiting for me at the finish line. Oh, how I love how he supports my running! I promised to call him when I got close. Of course, now he doesn't answer his phone so I give up and just enjoy the run into the finish line.
I hear the announcer say, "And this next runner is Shell Swift -- a great name for a runner!" Well, I'm not so swift but heck, I finished! People on the sidelines are clapping and cheering. Emil is there with his camera and I remember to raise my hands in the air as I cross the finish line in good sportsmanship fashion. The excitement and sense of accomplishment is unbelievable. I did it! Now, on to the next challenge.