|I Finished my First 1/2 Marathon!|
And just like that, the race is over. After about 12 weeks of training, countless miles to prepare, I completed the Pittsburgh Half Marathon yesterday.
9:57 Mile Pace
2:10:20 Finish Time
If I am being honest, the training took a lot longer than 3 months. In fact, looking back, the race really started about 3 years ago. I was newly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and the half I finally felt ready to run was put on hold. Mike, my husband, sweat for me. He took my place in the 2014 Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon. He battled the 13.1 miles while I fought a bigger battle, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I remember watching him run, anxious about his finish time, excited for his accomplishment and overcome witha mixture of emotions- a little resentment for being unable to run and so much love for his willingness to run in my place. Let me assure you, running isn’t something he loved, but he did it because that’s kinda just the way marriage works- a give and take of sorts, a willingness to rise up when the other falls down.
|Sweating for Something Bigger.|
I don’t think I realized it then, but during that first marathon, I think #everysweatmatters was finding me. I started to develop the firm belief that sweating was a way of winning, a way of mentally beating the cancer. I started to look at my workouts as a gift, a reminder that my feet hit the floor. Sweat was so much more than weight loss. It wasn’t about the calories burned. Sweat became something bigger. And if I couldn’t do it, then maybe someone else could do it for me.
|A Bundle of Nerves at the Start Line.|
|Every. Sweat. Matters.|
Throughout the past 3 years, the race had been on my mind. It’s been a thought that I would brush aside, another year, another time. I’m not sure where those thoughts came from, but if I had to guess, it was fear speaking. The marathon still reminds me a lot of sickness. It reminds me of cancer and my struggle to breathe. I feared coughing. I feared my lungs not being strong enough. And believe it or not, there’s always the lingering fear of the “what if”. What if cancer comes back? What if my lungs can’t handle it? What if I can’t finish the race?
|Kid’s Marathon with Nick!|
If you know a little of my story, then you likely know that “grit” is more my word, not fearlessness. Fear is part of life. It’s about feeling that fear and doing it anyway. I think this is why I tend to be relentless when I am pursuing a bigger purpose.
You see, around December when my son asked me, if I would run the Kid’s Marathon again with him, the simple thought crossed my mind…
My sons will know my story. They will know about the cancer. They will know that mom missed her first half marathon, and that dad ran it for her (a lesson in marriage, I feel blessed to share with my boys down the road.) I want my sons to know this chapter too. I want my sons to know that when mommy was finally able to, she sweat for those who could not even though she was afraid. Not running would’ve been letting the fear win.
I didn’t run for me. I ran because once upon a time, when I was too sick to sweat, others so kindly sweat for me.
Perspective changes everything.
You can do hard things my friend. When it matters enough, you can do hard things.
Sweat because you can.
Sweat for those who can’t.
Every. Sweat. Matters.
Don’t give up. Your fight matters.