My two sisters, their husbands and myself originally signed up as a relay team for the Ogden Marathon. My oldest decided to do the full, my other sister wanted to do the half, which led me deciding what I wanted to do. I decided then and there that I wanted to do the half with my sister, instead of doing just my leg, which was 5 miles. So I trained for the 13.1 miles.
The day of, I was feeling confident. Nervous, but confident nonetheless. I had trained, I felt good, I felt like a runner, I was ready.
By about mile 5, I was hurting. By mile 6, the pain was excruciating, which led me to tears, which led me to barely being able to catch my breath. The fight going on in my head was unlike anything I've experienced. Do I stop? Do I keep going? What if the pain gets worse? What if I can just run through the pain? It was then I realized running is much more than physical, it's emotional. Mental. It's your body telling you to stop, but your mind telling you to keep going. By mile 10, I was sobbing in the pouring rain. I knew I couldn't go any further. My body was telling me to stop, and I felt compelled to listen.
I was brought to the finish line in a medical van (a REALLY warm medical van, but still). I was first embraced by my mother, which flooded me with more tears and emotion than I can put into words. I had to tell her. I had to tell her I couldn't make it. I couldn't even finish. I couldn't help but cry even more when I saw my husband, my sisters, my mother-in-law, anyone. I felt like a failure. I felt devastated. I felt like everyone was cheering me on, and I let them all down. I set a goal of running 13.1 miles, and I failed to do so. I felt a disappointment in myself that I've never felt before. The feeling of being so close to something, but not achieving it, is a feeling unlike any other.
In the car ride home, I said to my husband, "Maybe I'm just not a runner." He quickly responded, "What?! Yes you are a runner! You run everyday! You can run 10 miles, easy!" With that I responded, "Well, not easy." It was then my feeling of failure slowly started diminishing, and a feeling of pride set in. I knew my husband was proud of me and that my family was proud of me, and that made ME feel proud of me. Even if I didn't get to cross the finish line, I knew my family was there to greet me whether I crossed it or not. PLUS, there's always next year. ;)