21,787 opportunities to quit.

Today I had 21,787 reasons to quit the Omaha 1/2 marathon. I tossed and turned all night and got about 2 hours of sleep; the weather was cold, with rain and wind. I hadn’t trained enough. I had so many justifications I could make not to run. Getting up this morning, I looked at Tina and said I don’t want to do this. She said I know, and if you don’t, it is ok. I mustered up the inner talk and said no, I committed, and I will make my way to the starting line. Runners, are you ready? My feet hit the pavement. I passed one mile, then two, soon I was at mile 10. It was mile 10, where my legs locked up. I have never had cramping like that during a run. I had 21,787 opportunities to quit today.

Believe me; I wanted to quit. I was still 3.1 miles from the finish line, and I knew I would need to shuffle, if not walk and maybe even crawl to the finish. Slowly, I put one heavy leg in front of the other, and ever so slowly, the miles counted down closer to 0. I round the bend where I would normally sprint to the end, but today, none of that happened. I shuffled slowly, and about 50 feet from the finish line, I mustered up the last bit of strength and jogged through the arch. Today’s run is basically a microcosm of life; if you keep moving, you will reach your goal. Sometimes it is slow and sometimes fast, but the key is motion. This is by far my slowest 1/2 marathon (3:10 at 14:31 per mile first 10 miles were at 12:47 per mile), but also one that I am most proud of. Today I used 21,787 steps that allowed me opportunities to finish. Keep going, folks; the run is hard, and sometimes your legs will cramp, but keep going.

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