The Race is Not Given to the Swift nor to the Strong, but to the One Who Endures to the End.

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I competed in my 3rd half marathon in my 3rd state on Sunday, March 1, 2015 along with running the 5k the day before in Little Rock, AR. Three states down with 47 more to go towards my 50 by 50 campaign. It felt like 18 degrees on Saturday and it was 32 degrees with a cold rain on Sunday. Saturday was cold but doable. Sunday on the other hand was a different ball game. I must share a transparent moment concerning Sunday’s race. It was the most grueling, mentally and physically exhausting races I’ve ever done because of the elements.

I was soaking wet from head to toe, shivering, felt defeated and wanted to give up after mile 5. The race coordinators were about to get the deuces from me, but I didn’t give up. I had to do a lot of positive self talk to push my way through because I had 8.1 miles to go. I didn’t come that far nor ran 5 miles in the rain to give up so easily. It’s not in my character. Once I saw that finish line, a smile came upon my face because I finished what I had started. Cold rain, slippery streets, feelings of cramps, bloatedness,  and nausea didn’t stop me.

I had finished MY race.

After the race, I cried several times and even questioned why I became an avid runner in the first place because so many different thoughts had crossed my mind. I had even beaten myself up for running 2 mins more than my previous race which was still a good time considering the circumstances and I couldn’t train due to the snow and ice the last couple of weeks in Memphis. Why, I was feeling down I don’t know. I have always told myself that I am my own worse critic. But each day I’m learning that things happen and I’m not perfect.

After I had gathered my thoughts, I told myself I became an avid runner because it’s something I’ve come to love and enjoy, it’s a great stress reliever, provides great health benefits, and I run for those who say they can’t. I had to realize every race won’t be the same. I won’t meet every goal. I can’t control the elements. At the beginning of last year, I barely could run 3 miles and now I’m running half marathons.

When storms come into my life I have to dig deeper, never give up, and push my way through to the finish line.

didnt give up

Overall, I had a wonderful weekend with good friends, met some great people from other cities, the opportunity to break bread and cook for my running crew the night before the race, prayed together as a family before the races, and accomplished running 2 races in one weekend with one of them being 13.1 miles done in the rain. With that being said, I feel like I have something to be proud of. My tears of defeat are now tears of gladness.  I can truly say I’ve learned a lot about myself with each race and for that I am thankful. State #3 and 3rd half marathon completed. I’m well on my way in completing my 50by50 goal. Up next: Kentucky.

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