On Crossing The Finish Line

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I watched a Run Disney video on YouTube this morning showing how people cross the finish line. There are so many reasons why people cross the way they do. It’s really neat to hear the stories about why they do it and who they do it for.

I’ve been thinking, as I sit here with Benedryl coursing through my sleepy brain (love those little pink pills… I’ll be glad when the weekly allergy shots have passed) about crossing the finish line in January and how I crossed over the past three races…

The first year I did a half marathon was the February after I was diagnosed with RA. I went to the race with Adam (who volunteers)… he took a few pictures of me on my adventure. He also walked bacwards through the course and met me at about the 10.5 mile mark and walked me to within about a quarter of a mile to the finish line. I remember very plainly the pain I was in as I walked (nearly crawled) around the capital building. I didn’t think I was going to make it. I don’t remember much about the drive home. I got my medal. I crossed the finish line. That was, at that time, all that mattered to me.

The second year, my RA was way better controlled. Adam had the Flu but volunteered anyway, Lance Armstrong was the mascot, and I finished way stronger. We were both worried (Adam and I) because the website said you had to finish by about 11:00 am. I didn’t cross the STARTING line until after 7:30. I crossed the finish line at 10:58:36 and I was so relieved. Turns out you actually only had to migrate to the sidewalks as they opened streets behind the race. You could take a LONG time if you needed to… you just had to be on the sidewalk after 11:00.

Skipped a year…

Third year, last year, my RA was back out of control. I wasn’t in great shape, but I finished. Again, Adam walked backward through the course and walked me in. he was my cheering squad. I almost gave up SO many times last year. From about the halfway mark on, I lived for the cheering of the water stops (which were nearly unmanned by the time I got to mile 10). I recovered faster than I thought I would, but it was so demoralizing to be running alone when Adam was the only one in the family NOT running and I was relegated to running alone becuase, after all, everyone runs their own race, and my race was slower than I would have liked. Again, I nearly drug myself across the finish line. The picture shows me (entirly too big) standing tall, and finishing. I hurt but not as bad as the first year. I recovered faster than I thought I would.

Now, here I am, staring down the barrel of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon thinkng some of the things that I’ve through so many times before. I know that, this time, I won’t be watching runners flying past me as I complete the last half mile. WDW seperates half marathon day from marathon day. I won’t feel like I’m competing with people who are WAY more fit than I am and still hurting as badly as I know I will be hurting. But I will still be thinking… who do I think I am. I’m not fast enough for this. I will be ALL alone… which will be just as demoralizing as it was last year, but this time I will have Disney to keep me going.

I got a watch (pretty obscenely expensive… but gorgeous) from the Disney Store. I’m using it to keep me thinking that… I really need to EARN this… I need to work hard, train hard, finish strong. Yesterday deflated my resolve a little (I’m on pager duty and it was Orencia infusion, and it means that my first Tuesday of training I wouldn’t actually make it to the gym) but I’m determined to do this. I have my outfit coming together nicely. I will get my watch band adjusted so it fits better and I will SO be doing this. How will I cross? If I don’t get swept, I will cross like Figment would cross… dancing and thinking about what colors of the rainbow to pain the day with!

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