They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I am sure it is written somewhere that it takes a village to raise a runner. I am so grateful for all the love and support I have felt over the last few weeks while in the final stages of preparing for the Gold Coast Half Marathon 2013. My parents, my darling Chris, my little sister, and all my friends and social media buddies were just as important in reaching that finish line as each running session. Yesterday Mama, Dad, Chris and I were all up at 3:30am and headed down the coast. Each had their own special part to play in making sure I got to the starting line – and I am so thankful. I am also super grateful to a new running buddy – Annie – who I met at the starting line and ran with the entire race. We were both injured pre-race and so our goal wasn’t for a specific time, but just to cross the finish line under the three hour cut-off. Together we conquered those 21.1km and made it in at 2:33. Not bad for someone with mashed up knees (me) and bashed up toes (Annie).
As I mentioned in my pre-race post last week: every race teaches me something. This race taught me that it doesn’t matter how broken you think you are, how certain you are that you cannot achieve your goals, or how disastrous you believe yourself and your story to be: you can always triumph. When everything becomes real, when you cross that starting line and head out on the long road ahead – there is no turning back and you will find the strength deep inside yourself to just keep going. You are stronger than you know.
In the lead up to the race, here is what made my Thoroughly Nourished Life Gratitude List this week:
Monday: I met up with Caroline for morning tea. Just the thing to get my week off to a good start. There is something special about conversations with someone you have known since childhood and who knows you as well as you know yourself. Grateful for a chance to catch up with one of my best friends.
Tuesday: Grateful for time to spend in the kitchen making Snickerdoodle Cupcakes for Chris’s work – oh, and sampling the cinnamon cream cheese frosting was a treat! Also grateful for an evening spent curled up watching movies with Chris and reading food magazines.
Wednesday: Another perfect day at my internship at The Australian Writer’s Marketplace and then homemade vegetable curry for dinner.
Thursday: Grateful for helpful government employees and a beautiful, if challenging, run outside. Then traditional pre-race baking of banana muffins – carb-loading the Amy way.
Friday: My last run before the half marathon was perfect; everything aligned. I also picked up some fascinating books from the library – yay winter reading lists.
Saturday: My darling Chris surprised me with gold class movie tickets to ‘Man of Steel’ which I had been anticipating since we saw the trailers early in the new year. Thank you for a great rest day and the best hot chocolate I have had in a long time.
Sunday: Gratitude overload today. Grateful for: the run; the weather; my new running buddy Annie; good music to make the miles fly; the people on the side lines with funny signs (e.g. ‘pain now beer later’ – can I have cake instead?); my Mama waiting at the finish line with a hug and an ice-cold soft drink; my Dad for taking some great photos; and Chris for giving me hugs and making sure I had a nap and rested my knees; and my little sister and her husband for meeting us for a burger-filled refuelling lunch (mushroom burger on a gluten-free bun with crispy chips – oh so good).
And now, now it is the week after. Now is about rebuilding my muscles again and focussing on some other activities that I have been putting off because of half marathon training: ice skating, learning to ride a bicycle, increasing my strength training, swimming, and yoga/pilates.
So, thank you very much to everyone who wished me luck and supported me in anyway. Here’s to the next race!