I could not be more proud of my sister-in-law, Jennifer, for rocking out 13.1 hilly miles at the Inside Out Sports half marathon on Sunday! She did a fantastic job!
As part of training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer that we’re doing together in October, she’s been walking regularly for longer distances. In the process, I think she’s found the exhilaration of doing more than you thought you could do.
I’ve loved seeing her FB updates for her increasing mileage and knowing how great that was making her feel. So about a month ago, I suggested that we walk this half-marathon here in Raleigh. I wasn’t sure if I was putting too much pressure on her with that, but she said “YES!” almost immediately and had been getting more and more excited about it every day.
Race-day finally came and we were up at 5am to get an early start to the walk before the runners started. The route was an out-and-back through Umstead Park and included several wicked hills, no mile markers, no cheering spectators, and no port-o-potties. Ummmm, yeah… it didn’t take long for me to realize I had accidentally signed us up for a pretty hard-core event. And yet, she smiled and just kept walking.
Since the furthest distance she’d ever gone before was 6 miles at once and she had recently had a lumbar puncture test (in addition to several other medical challenges she’s been facing for a while now) , I wasn’t sure how far she was wanting to go. I knew she could do the whole distance, but didn’t want to put too much pressure on her. So I finally asked what her goal for the day was. She said that she would really like to do the whole distance. That’s all I needed to hear… there was no backing out now… we were doing those 13.1 miles! We were tired, stinky, and sore, but we finally saw the finish line… and proudly strutted over it.
Throughout the morning, she had thanked me a few times for doing this with her. I told her that it was absolutely my pleasure… and it really was. I love that we were able to share that experience… to have that uninterrupted time for all the silly and serious conversations we were able to squeeze into just over four hours… to be able to witness someone who I both love and admire be that courageous. Honestly? I’m the one who should be saying thanks…