Sunday, October 21, 2007

Marathon Completed!

This weekend, my sister-in-law, Fiona, and I took a road trip to Indianapolis, Indiana. We had one thing in mind and that was to complete a marathon we had trained so hard for in the past 6 months.

We awoke Saturday morning to beautiful weather which was quite the contrast to the 90* heat index we had for the Chicago Marathon. Our goal would not be cut short due to the weather, of that it seemed certain. As we headed to the starting line, it was obvious that this was a much smaller scale marathon in comparison. The mood was more of a training morning as we anxiously awaited the start of the race.

A giant-size American Flag hung at the starting line as the race commenced with our country’s National Anthem. There was an entirely different sentiment at the start of this 26.2-mile course at the Historic Fort Benjamin Harrison U.S. Army Post.

Around Mile 8, we were reminded of the many hurdles endurance athletes face. Fiona’s IT Band required her to speed walk rather than continue with our 6:2 run/walk strategy. Shortly after, she assured me she would persevere to the finish line and encouraged me to press on and meet her there. With her assurance, I continued with the strategy towards the finish.

At mile 12.5, many of the participants went to the finish line as they were only in it for the mini (half) marathon as we kept going straight for the duration of the 26.2 miles. We ran through one of the State parks where Autumn was displayed by beautifully colored leaves on trees as well as decorating the ground.

It was a lonely race in many places as spectators were scarce – another contrast to our Chicago experience. Any encouragement came from other runners as I, in turn, tried to encourage them, which gave inspiration to continue on.

Mile 21 was the point I began to feel muscle fatigue and tightness in my legs. I told myself that I’ve asked Dad to persevere and my pain does not even compare with what he is enduring. I would press on no matter what.

Prayer was my tool to get me to the finish line. As I prayed for Fiona, Dad, and many others in my life, along with myself, my body continued to move forward mile after mile. At mile 24, I was anxiously anticipating the finish line. There were few runners as my strides continued. Even still, I was pushing my body to miles it had never been before and in a timeframe I was happy with.

I crossed the finish line just minutes after 5 hours. Completion. It was for so many reasons: My dad; Rod’s dad; My own personal satisfaction; Those who donated money to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Everyone who gave their support through friendship and prayer. Mainly, at this point, it was something I needed to prove to myself. I wanted to know that I could complete a marathon. That I did, and by my 30th birthday, too. It’s a goal I thank God for giving me the strength to accomplish. This training has given me something positive to focus on through my dads’ battles with cancer.

As I left for Indiana Friday afternoon, Rod had placed a note on my front seat. On it, he had written Hebrews 12:1: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Verse 2 goes on to say, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” This is how I got through those final miles.

Thank you to each of you for supporting me in this endeavor. Over $2,000 was raised to find a cure for blood diseases through my journey alone. More than $2.5 million was raised through the Chicago Marathon event. Research has come such a long way and still has such a long way to go. Thank you for being a part of improving the lives of all blood cancer patients.

1 comment:

  1. I feel that your efforts also honored my mother and her experience with myeloma. Thank you, congratulations, and God bless.

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