I have. Most recently I had that feeling this past Sunday at mile 9 in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon.
Almost 30,000 people had shown up from around the world to run this race and I was there, along with our past board member Christa D., to run for NF Canada’s Dream Team.
As the gun went off we crossed the start line and headed down the famous Las Vegas strip. I was awestruck as I ran past Caesar’s Palace, the Flamingo hotel, the Bellagio, passing runners dressed up as Elvis, brides, Michael Jackson, and other zany characters. The adrenalin flowed as I was swept away in the energy of the pack and settled in with the 2:00hr pace group.
When I run my mind wanders and as the miles crept by I started to think about why I run and in particular why I was running this event at 7am with Elmo and Spiderman, when I could still be tucked away sleeping in my hotel bed.
I have run on and off since I was on the track team in elementary school. It has been my companion through some very difficult times- sick kids, divorce, move to a new community, loss of job. It has been and also continues to be my reprieve from the demands of being a busy working mom. Signing up for the half marathon was about pushing myself beyond my perceived limitations and committing to a goal amidst life’s chaos. For the past twelve weeks I had trained and even run the full distance so I knew I could finish the run but then I came to mile 9.
At that mile marker I began to doubt if I would finish the entire 13 miles. I started to get discouraged as I slowed down and saw my pace group pull away. Then my mind started to stream a dozen excuses I could give people to explain why I didn’t finish. These include telling my family and friends that my hamstring injury had flared up, the travel had caused extra fatigue, I was carried away by an alien. You get the picture!
But then my thoughts drifted to some of the people I had met the day before from the Children’s Tumor Foundation. They were out there on the course with me. There was Melissa, who had lost her leg to NF and was running, Olivia who had lost her hearing, Bob who had already run 288 marathons and was running this event barefoot, and Christa ,a working mom who in her busy schedule still found time to train and fundraise for the Dream Team.
These are the people who inspired me at mile 9 not to give up. If they had the courage to show up after battling NF on a daily basis , then I had no right to quit just because my knee hurt . (That was excuse #13)
We all have challenges to face in life. But its the people who live with NF and then add another challenge to their lives by signing up to run and fundraise to cure NF that inspired me and kept me motivated as I ran the last four miles to the finish line.
I was so glad I didn’t quit! Crossing the finish line was THE best feeling! Knowing I had the strength to dig deep when I needed to made all the desserts and wine I had given up in training, all the long miles logged in rain and snow, worthwhile…just to taste that moment of victory! (And speaking of taste, they served beer at the finish line!)
I encourage you to join check out the events the Dream Team has planned for 2011. Don’t dream about making a difference just do it! Register today and it will be a life changing experience!