Over the course of the 13.1 (which was actually more like 13.38 according to my gps on my phone) miles I had lots of time to think and have come up with 13 lessons that I learned over those 13 miles- so here goes...
1) A half marathon might not seem like a big deal to some (especially those who run fulls often) but for me it was a major deal. Two years ago this summer I had a bulging disc and was told not to do anything but low aerobic activities that October. That didn't sit well with me so I had to work hard to get to where I could run. So, when I stepped up to the start line- it was the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination.
2. The little things mean a lot- the cheer from a random stranger, the high five from the policeman along the route helping to direct traffic, seeing a friend cheering for you, and seeing the reminder (on a shirt) of Philippians 4:13 several times throughout the race.
3. The Determination of others- the race started with hand cyclists and then in my corral were several older gentlemen who were carrying American flags. And then there was the Marine running with full gear and to top it off a 91 year old gentleman who ran the half marathon. They never quit, never gave up, and took their run seriously- the journey that they took to get there must have been amazing and I can't help but think they have found joy in that journey.
4. Music- I had a post last week about music motivation. I was back and forth about whether I wanted my headphones- I decided to wear them (but took them out for the trip into Neyland Stadium). The music was perfect- whenever I wanted to walk a little more- one of those songs would come on and remind me just how much of a gift I have been given. I am running, not just for myself, but for those who can't run- gives me some things to ponder about the direction I want to take this. It just truly made me grateful for the life I have been given.
**and since this is so long I'll be breaking this up into 3 posts :) (all pictures are from pinterest)