No Day But Today: Cadbury Half Marathon 2013

A cold and lightly windy morning greeted me as the alarm trilled in my ear this morning. Race day.

A deep breath in. A shower. A hug from Mum. Messages from the loveliest of friends all over the world and at home.

These are the moments that got me on the road this morning.

The road before us.

The road before us.

What a lovely road it was. Down from the mountain we ran, around the lake, over the water, and back again. Rising, falling: the road ahead, our footsteps, our breathing. Cheering for those who pass by. Smiles for the tired. Camaraderie created by our pursuit of a common goal.

Before.

Before.

The chant in my head, a refrain from ‘Rent: the musical’, my running mantra: ‘No Day But Today‘. I write it on my arm before every race or long run. There is no day but today, no moment to be but right here. I cannot come back tomorrow. I have to show up today and give this race the best I have. Leave it all on the road. Learn the lessons that it offers to me: stay in the present, get lost in the beauty of this moment, have faith in yourself, just breathe Amy.

Our lovely morning. These clouds parted to reveal gorgeous rays of sun and sky.

Our lovely morning. These clouds parted to reveal gorgeous rays of sun and sky.

There were moments when it felt too hard. There were moments when it felt so easy. In the end there was only one moment that mattered: the finish line.

Mum’s face in the crowd with ten meters to go. My favourite running song playing through my head phones. The cheers.

The wetness of my tears against my face as Mum wrapped her arms around me and told me how proud of me she was.

At the finish: smiley, salty, satisfied.

At the finish: smiley, salty, satisfied.

In the quietness that follows a run like this, the achievement of a goal, there is a chance to reflect on all that we are grateful for in our pursuit:

  • My family, friends, and everyone who has supported me on this journey. People I am lucky enough to be able to give a hug to and thank in person and all those I have connected with across wide web world. My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. I know I was not alone today because your words, your thoughts, kept me company out there on the road.
  • My body. I am so grateful to be this healthy. To have a heart that can take the rise and fall of a million beats in pursuit of a finish line. Lungs that burn in the right way as they take what they need from the air around me. Legs that have grown strong as I have made my way from the girl I used to be to the woman I am today.
Done.

Done.

Now I sit back and review each step of that 21.1km. Each second of my 2:20:47 finishing time. And I smile.

There is no day but today. And I made today mine.

15 thoughts on “No Day But Today: Cadbury Half Marathon 2013

  1. Awww you are the cutest Chickpea! Congrats on an awesome run and how special that your mum could be there. Beautiful pics too that captured your day! I hope you are enjoying your recovery and have a safe trip home.

    Of course this is the most beautiful race recap I have ever read… awesome runner and talented writer!

    PS I love your Running Mantra… will have to remember that one!

    • Thanks Jenelle! That line has stuck with me since I first saw the musical and it seems appropriately anchoring for so many moments in life. Thank you so much for your support and well wishes 🙂

  2. awwww, congrats!! that day, that race, every second of that 2:20 IS yours!!! hard fought and sweaty awesomeness!! great job, and just as excellent that in addition to being proud u are grateful for ur body in just being able to get to the starting line. i also love ur mentality, once done u are already reflecting on all the points in the race, the ones where u were tough as nails and will use as PROOF that u can do the same again come the next hard workout, but then seeking the spots in a race where u can improve upon. well, good old type-A will do that…hehe.
    that said, SAVOR this race and be excited because i kno u’ll be busting that PR again here soon. 🙂 XOXO

    • Thank you Cait! I am owning every single part of the race, and now I know that I need to work on my hill repeats – majorly 🙂 That being said, I can’t wait until my next race 🙂

  3. Congratulations Chickpea! really ant to know how you got the name on your bib 🙂

    That’s incredible. How did you celebrate? Oh my gosh Amy, I am so, so happy for you.

    • Thank you Kate! My old blog had chickpea in the title and I guess the nickname has stuck with some of my friends and family so I thought it would be an inspiration to have on my bib. I must admit that I celebrated with a nap and then had a bit of food, but Mum was really sick so we spent most of the night watching strangely bad/good TV in the hotel room. Oh, and eating a lot of chocolate 🙂
      Here’s to the next one!

  4. Amazing blog. You wrote beautifully and truly capture the moments and the feelings of what it is like to run a race. I will reread this before my best event to remind myself of the mantra you use. Congratulations!

  5. You are an inspiration to women everywhere! You are one the biggest inspirations to me. You should be so proud of yourself Amy! Gone are the days that you used to shy away from anything to do with fitness! You welcome in your stride the rhythm of the road. I loved reading about your adventure and what you felt as you ran. I often wonder what goes through people’s minds when they are running these massively long races. It was nice to read that you felt so elated by the experience and so humbled by the fact that you crossed the finish line knowing that you had run the best race against yourself. What a wonderful moment for your Mum watching you achieve such a mighty goal that you have spent so much time preparing for. Congratulations Chickpea!

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