Friday, November 1, 2013

How I Crossed the Finish Line

It was a struggle for me. You can clearly see in the event video that I'm struggling to finish. Others are feeling their finish line surge, my better half appears to glide effortlessly along, and I push forward in clumsy, obviously painful, awkwardness..
Take a look..

See what I mean?
Now. Note something else. There was a finish line there, and I crossed it. In fact, I crossed the finish line still moving. STILL RUNNING!! Well, doing "The Dukr Shuffle" anyway :) This is a big deal for me for a few reasons...
  1. I ran this event cold. I didn't bother to train and hadn't run anything significant in months. Like 6 months (pre-house remodel mobile living). Hence the pain in my knee shown all over my face.... STUPID.
  2. I almost didn't go. I tried to back out. Right up to the night before, I teetered on the edge of throwing in the towel and succumbing to excuses of fear, anxiety, and wavering self-confidence. That just seemed "easier".
  3. It was COLD!!! My lungs were out of cardio conditioning. That's a bad combination for me under normal circumstances, and I knew it. Dangerous. Risky. Again...STUPID.
  4. I wanted to give up multiple times during the event. 
    1. I was losing my breath too often - not due to the old asthmatic Burn&Wheeze in cold temps, simply unconditioned poor elasticity. Now that I look back, that's actually a good thing. 
    2. My left knee began to holler at me periodically after about mile 8. An intermittent "SURPRISE!" for a few steps that eventually worked itself out - twice requiring a walk. That was just irritating. I knew I could be doing better.
But I kept moving forward, which was the whole point of this little endeavor - to finish.
Up to this point in my story it may sound as if I'm pretty full of myself! I dug deep to call upon gritty determination and steely resolve to overcome hurdles to reach the finish line. Hooray for me!! Queue the theme from Rocky!!
Yea, I know I'm as stubborn as the day is long. I get that I have a head like a rock. But in all honesty, I had very little to do with why I was able to finish The Army 10 Miler.
Take another look ...
To my left is the real reason I was able to finish.

This picture is truth.

This was Melissa's third ATM event. She had been training for it. She could have achieved a PR. Instead, she achieved her worst time by far. She chose to stay with me from the beginning. She talked with me at the beginning when I still had breath to speak. She talked me through pacing myself so I could endure the entire race. She talked me through the loss of breath to allow me to recover while continuing to move forward. And lastly, she talked me through the knee pain that certainly would have been the final straw for me had she not been there. All the while she trotted along gracefully without seeming to break a sweat, and essentially carried me along with her. So yes, technically I finished The Army 10 Miler.

Realistically, "WE" finished The Army 10 Miler.

Yet one more reason I am thankful for this life we have and the goodness it continues to bring.

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