Why do I do this again?

Lot’s of people look at me cross-eyed when I mention I ran a half marathon recently. Some smile nicely as if to keep the crazy girl calm and quietly slip away. But many slap me on the shoulder and say, “Great Job!”

Talking about sports, especially some of the things I do (long distance cycling, speed skating, etc), sometimes draws mixed reactions. Especially when I talk about my dad (climbed Kilimanjaro & Rainer, biked 3100 miles across the country, etc).

It’s genetic. And I’m okay with that.

Although this past weekend, I might have questioned it once or twice.

I ran the Sedona half marathon Saturday.

Any athlete knows that some races just aren’t as good as others. Stomach trouble, freak cramping, or some other random issue.

Me and Stina at the start

Well, lucky me, I got a few of them. I still managed to enjoy the day and take one minute off my time last year, but it was painful.

At the start, with my friend, Christina, excitement hummed in the air. It was COLD (29 degrees) but the bright sun bounced off the beautiful red rocks. *sigh* I’ll never tire of that view.

Me chugging around the last corner toward the finish

By mile five I had a stitch in my side that burned like fire from hades. Couldn’t get a good deep breath and that just snowballed into fatigue, cramping and whole nine yards.

But, my good friend Christina kept my spirits up and chugged along with me. It was her first half marathon ever, so it was fun to share that with her.

I’ll be honest, I thought a few times, “Why do I do this again?” But the answer presented itself shortly thereafter.

A challenge.

What is life without challenges? Some we choose, such as running, extreme sports, etc, and some we don’t. My mother-in-law, while I was running this 13.1 mile race, was sitting in a chair getting ready to receive her very first chemo treatment. She didn’t ask for that challenge, but she’s facing it head on.

Stina and me at the finish with our medals and Sun Drop soda

Her finish line might not be lined with spectators cheering, tons of food, Sun Drop soda and a finisher’s medal, but she’s persevering, regardless.

The challenges we face, no matter what they are, we can grow from. Spiritually and mentally.

My race ended with me being a bit short of my goal time, and I was very sore, but I’m stronger because of it.

When I wanted to stop and walk, I thought of my mother-in-law.

When I wanted to stop and walk, I prayed to God for strength.

When I wanted to stop and walk, I thought of my sweet hubby cheering me along back in Phoenix.

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When you want to stop and walk, what do you do to keep going?

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