Sunday, August 29, 2010

Keeping the Faith

(Sylvester and I before the race!)

As race day was approaching, I was becoming increasingly anxious for the half-marathon. Memories of my failed marathon attempt began to surface along with feelings of self-doubt and insecurity. Despite my years of running and my most recent four months of training, I was beginnning to question if I could even run the half-marathon. Have I trained enough? Am I really prepared? What if I get sick? What if I trip and fall? What if I can't make it to the finish line? All these questions lingered in my mind.

The week of the race I started to check the weather forecast, secretly hoping for inclement weather so I might have a cop out. I was so afraid of failing once again and I didn't know if I had the courage to make it to the starting line, yet alone the finish line. Suddenly, I was reminded of that voice that lives inside me that always loses the faith. It's the part of me that wants to give up, the part of me that is afraid to take a chance and simply afraid of the unknown. I have struggled with this inner voice for years and I vowed that I would never let this voice of fear discourage me from obtaining my goals. Thus, I knew I had to do it. Even it turned out to be the worst race ever, I still had to give it a try.

The morning of the race, my fiance and I along with our Yorkie, Sylvester (named after my father), woke up bright and early and drove to Dexter for the race. The forecast was calling for a slight chance of rain and the sky was full of clouds. Upon arrival, I saw hundreds, even thousands of runners stretching, jogging, and preparing for the course. I was terrified. The weather was a bit chilly that morning, so the three of us sat in the car for a few minutes while I tried to mentally prepare for the race. Sylvester gave me a few kisses telling me, "You can do it, Mommy." My fiance gave me his vote of support and encouragement and took a few pictures to capture the moment. I finally told myself that I had to get out of the car in order to run the race, so I did. We headed to the start line and patiently waited for the race to commence. My fiance took a few more pictures and we casually conversated with a few fellow runners. Within a few minutes, the race officials told us that there was going to be a 30 minute delay to the race due to a fallen tree along the course. Covertly, I was hoping that the race would get cancelled. At least this way, I wouldn't be a quitter. Hey, I can't run a race if it gets cancelled, right? (I would later find out that come hell or high water, most races don't get cancelled.) So, about 25 minutes later we head back to the starting point, much to my dismay. The butterflies were still flying around in my stomach and I felt a sudden urge to vomit. I fought the feelings of anxiety and I reminded myself of the importance of faith. I had to believe that I could do this. I had physically and mentally prepared for this day and I was willing to give it my best effort...

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