Race Day..."What A Long Strange Trip it's Been."
The highest hurdle for this half-marathon run was getting to the start line. I knew that, once I started, I would finish the race. If I had to go much slower, walk, whatever, I would finish the race. Starting was another story. My nerves were not about my finishing time. Considering how my training had been stalled and I was coming off a stomach flu, I had given up on that long ago. I was concerned about how bad I might feel.
Jen had spent enough time watching from the sidelines to have a better understanding of what it takes to run a ½ marathon (13.1 miles) than most other first timers do. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play” were the words she had spoken softly for the past few years. This year, Jen decided to “shout” those words, and she was heard. Be careful what you wish for, because Jen was summoned to get in the game and go play.
There is no “one size fits all” training program, and Jennifer’s program needed to be adapted to fit her lifestyle and ever competing struggle of attempting to balance work, play, and school, all while being a single mother of 2 highly energetic boys. Jen continued to undergo weeks of stress, sickness, and a few bumps/roadblocks during her training program, but managed to make it to the starting line due to her personal commitment and resiliency to whatever life threw at her.
I could sit here and access all of the things that we did right with her training, as well as all of the things we did wrong and could improve upon. I could provide details of the race, analyzing each mile, while being overly critical of what we would do differently next time to improve our results. However, I’d prefer to highlight Jen’s dream and her accomplishment. After having sat on the sidelines long enough, Jen had the courage to shout “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play”. Having the courage to sign up for a race is easy, but committing to do the training while overcoming all of the hurdles and obstacles along the way is easier said than done. This dream was something that Jen was willing to work for, investing hours of time, energy, as well as a lot of sweat to making this dream happen. Jen admittedly took responsibility and choose not to let anything defeat her, which is why she not only started the race, but finished it, and in crossing the finish line, was no longer that person watching from the sidelines.