Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Journey, Captured In One Image

I'm not proud of this photo. I really wish I would have seen the camera so I could have smiled. But I feel this photo accurately sums up my journey to this point, in all of its brutal honesty; so I will post it anyway.

This is what sheer willpower, grit, and determination look like. It isn't pretty. It isn't glamorous. But it is who I am.

12.5 miles into a 13.1 mile race, on an uphill grade, fighting off leg cramps and nausea. Despite the pain I was feeling at that moment, there's nothing that could have stopped me from reaching the finish line. Looking back from the other side, it was all worth it!

As I post here and on social media, I hope that those reading realize that I post not to boast or brag about anything that I have done (this photo should be sufficient evidence of that), but that I post to create a public journal of my progress; and hopefully show that if I can do this, anyone can do it! The journey isn't always going to be easy and fun, but I can guarantee that there will be satisfaction as you reach your goals.

I make no claims that I am somehow doing something extraordinary on my own, but daily ask God to give me strength to continue down this difficult path of healthy living. He has blessed me with resilience which has allowed me to stay the course through pain and bad weather, and for that He deserves all the glory, not me! I'm just a slow runner who has managed to shed a few pounds... and build up enough endurance to complete a half marathon -- there's nothing boast-worthy about in that.

[Edit: I was just looking over the final results, and they list my average pace at 9:33.8 per mile -- no wonder I was exhausted! My previous PR at 13.1 was 9:50 pace! With a total time of 2:07:57, that puts the volcano course at 13.38 miles longAfter alerting race officials to the error, they have since recalculated, and my pace was what I had originally figured: 9:46 per mile (still a PR).]

By the way, this photo was taken by GCC Photography, the official photographer for many Run With Paula events.

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