2.16.2011

Reflecting back on the Maui Half Marathon

The day started at 4:20 am with a wake-up call and a cell phone alarm. Sleeping through the race is not allowed. After cuddling with Palma for a moment, I crawled out of bed to change and eat a little breakfast -- a Powerbar and chocolate soymilk that Palma eagerly shared with me. Thirty-five minutes later we were all out the door heading to Whaler's Village...the start.

I was experiencing no major nerves today (I had those all week) but may have been a bit edgier than usual and I was definitely ready to run! After spending some time with John and Palma, I headed to the pack of runners at the start. I said a silent "Our Father" and sang a silent "Peace is Flowing Like a River" and remembered that today's run was for Dad. I know he is with me in spirit and has been every step of the way.

After some organized stretching and a fire dancer show the final 10-second countdown commences to a slow start due to a bottleneck at the race chute. With a final "Go Erica" from John, I am on my way. The run itself was not too bad. I am focused on maintaining my pace and not being compelled to go faster than I want to. I am here to just do my best for Dad today, winning is succeeding, not coming in first.

I enjoy watching other runners stop to take pictures. Cute idea and it will probably result in a great photo journal but you will never find me doing that. I am not one to slow down to take pictures when I run. I am there to run and I continue to run and thank each person that hands me a wet sponge, water, or Gatorade. I cheer and clap for the first two runners who past me on the flip side. I smile at others and send thoughts of hope and encouragement to those facing challenges or who have hit the wall (a runner can tell). And I remember why I run.

In my training in a long run I found and felt God and since then I know I am running to learn the lessons my spirit is to learn. I run to be a better me. I run for Dad and once I hit mile marker 12, I dedicated my final mile to him. I run for Palma to show her women are strong and can do whatever they put their minds to. I run for the boy on the sidelines holding a "Just Do It" sign giving high fives to show him we can all just do it. I run because it is me and I feel through running I have a story to tell. And of course, I run for the joy of reaching my goal for that day and today my goal ends at a finish line with John and Palma there on the sidelines. I see them, hear them, and blow them a kiss as I make my way to the finish line thinking I did it. So what's next? More training, more races, and perhaps the full marathon next September.

Date: September 19, 2010
Time: 2:08:39
Pace: 9:49
Overall: 330 of 1256
Females: 144 of 812
Division (F 35-39): 20 of 146

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