my Half Marathon!

I did it.
a Half-Marathon.
13.1 miles.
2 hours and 35 minutes of running.
Next to a good friend the entire race.
Knowing several other good friends were out there running it with me.
Switching between smiling and tearing up the whole time.
It truly was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done, next to delivering my babies.

(me and Jane ran the whole race together!)

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is an exceptional one.
Planned so well, so many volunteers, the BEST crowds of supporters with some amazing (and hilarious) signs shouting encouragements to their loved ones and to complete strangers, so many people running with the mission in mind...
and it does attract SO many people. This years participation of runners reached 26,000!
Yes, twenty six thousand people!
Just amazing really.

It was definitely quite the experience...lots of unexpected things that I (and everyone) had to push past and deal with and choose to put behind us.
As you may have heard from knowing me or following me, Oklahoma weather is very VERY unpredictable. And with tornado season upon us, there was lots of speculation of bad storms on race weekend. But amazingly, it all held out Saturday and even early Sunday morning when we were all up at 4:30 AM.
The gun was supposed start the race at 6:30 AM, but at around 5:30, the storms we thought we had missed came.
Like, downpoured. Hail and all.
Luckily, the group I was with was inside a friend's office building a few blocks from the start.
SO thankful for that space to stay dry and warm in.
We had the news on in there and kept hearing reports of the storms coming through.
They started postponing the race. First to 7:00, then to 7:30, then 7:45, then finally to 8:00.

They had reported that if the race did not start by 8:00 it would be cancelled due to city road closure rules.
So honestly, a lot of us were "preparing" mentally that the race would not be happening.
Muscles were getting cold again after stretching hours before.
Tummies were grumbling because everyone ate at about 5:00 AM.
The line for the potty was never-ending because of nerves.
And worst of all, the enthusiasm and mental readiness was waring off.
Just not good when you are about to do a race...especially your first one!

But they had not called it yet, so we rallied...
stretched more, peed more, and commissioned some hubbies to bring us granola bars...
and headed down to be in the corral at 8:00.
Literally right when we got in with the masses, it began to pour rain and the sky started throwing hail pellets at us.
People ran for cover again. We hid under the open lid of a dumpster, no lie.
But the announcer came on one last time and said the race would now start at 8:15.

(our fashionable dry-cleaner bags to keep us dry!)

And then it was like the Lord heard and decided to answer everyone's prayers.
In a matter of a few minutes, the sky started opening to where we could see the peeking sun.
And the clouds started to part.
And there wasn't cold rain on us anymore.
It all changed.

Then it got real.
here we are, the race is not being cancelled, my mindset must switch into running mode.
Into perseverance mode, really.
Time to listen to my music and to the voice in my head, and the Lord's voice, telling me I CAN do this.
I CAN make it through.

And you know what?
The weather was PERFECT for us Halfers.
(it got way too hot for the full marathoners though, props to them!)
It was like God was smiling down our whole run.
And it kept me smiling.

And I can say with great joy that I truly feel like I accomplished my goals.
Not just the goal of the Finish Line, but the mental and emotional goals I knew I would face as I ran.
Running a long race like that forces inner-strength and lot of reflection.

I'll write more about what i did to train/fuel/etc....and what I did to not train. haha 
Just about my journey.
But for now, I just wanted to encourage you to pick something that will have a big meaning for you, and just go for it.
It was all worth it!!

THANKS to all who encouraged me along the way.
You know who you are and I love you for it.

Here's to more finish lines together!!!

(me and Kelli, the one who got me into all this!)

(lots of the first responders who were actually there at the OKC bombing in 1995 walked the entire race. In full uniform and gear. I choked back tears every time I saw one of them.)

set goals. find friends to do it with, don't give up on it just because life gets in the way.
You really won't regret it!