Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Run Half Marathons

One month and 16 days ago, I ran my first half marathon. It was a joyous day. The thing about December in Arkansas is the weather is unpredictable. I had no idea if I would be running in the coldest of colds or a heat wave. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't have cared what weather I faced.

I ran 13.1 miles. Or I should say 13.32 miles.

And I ran it in 2:45:37.

Not a world record, but it's a PR for this girl.

The two major things stood out from that day. Two things I will hold near to my heart forever.

1. I ran 13.1 miles representing The Brooklyn Project and Asher Brooklyn Ray.

2. I ran 12.5 miles with my mom, my favorite person on the planet.

I am so grateful for this experience. Running 13.1 miles for bald babies who need love and support is an awesome thing. Running 13.1 miles for a bald baby girl I love to death makes it even sweeter. And sharing the whole run with my mom was the icing on the cake.

But this is what I know.

  • Nothing is quite as exhilarating as standing at the starting line of a major race. 
  • Running through St. Jude's campus at Mile 4 bring emotions so intense that it brought tears to my eyes. I had to fight back the ugly cry. Towards the end of mile 4 coming out of St. Jude's campus, I thought I was in the clear. But a certain lady caught my eye across the road. We locked eyes. And she mouthed the most sincere thank you, thank you so much. Her eyes broke contact with mine and drifted down the little girl with a pink scarf on her head. I lost it. I was running a half marathon, but that lady reminded me why I was running a half marathon. 
  • Miles 8 through 10 were tough physically and mentally. You just keep running out and feel like you'll never turn around. Something about turning around is a mental checkpoint for my brain. I need a turnaround. 
  • Break off from my mom and Lisa at mile 12.5 was tough. I wished we could have finished together. And we will very soon.
  • The last half mile I ran by myself I felt like I was flying. Alone in my thoughts. Feet hitting the pavement. Passing other runners. Bringing it in. Feet crunching over gravel the last hundred feet. Seeing the finish line. Total sensory overload. 
  • Nothing is quite as satisfying as crossing the finish line of a major race. 

I hope each of you find something you are passionate about and hold on to it for dear life. Take time to find it. It's worth it. I promise.

1 comment:

  1. Yay Ashten! I knew you could do it! I've never been a runner, but reading your stuff sure makes me wish I was. Keep up the great work. I hope your job and everything else is going great for you. Rhonda