Last week I reached an amazing personal goal. I ran the Disney World half marathon and I beat my boyfriend! Kidding aside, my focus was not on beating my boyfriend (even though it felt pretty good), yet, I was determined to push myself beyond my mental ability.
Orlando, Florida hadn’t seen snow for decades but on this given weekend, 9th of January 2010, it snowed like it was Chicago. Not only did pretty snowflakes come down and covered the course, but there was rain and hail. My limbs were nearly numb running and it did not help having to be at the race 2 hours before the start. It had me shivering to all ends.
So the race started and I ripped off the trash bag I was wearing for warmth and my legs were moving faster than I was thinking. After the second mile mark and my continuous celebratory fist punch in the air (which I did at every mile mark), I told myself I wasn’t going to stop until I past the finish line.
I wasn’t doing this all for myself but in my head I told myself I was doing it for all the type 1 diabetics who feel or have felt held back by their disease to reach physical goals.
I was once one of those diabetics, but I am proud to say I’ve enrolled in 4 half marathons, a dozen of 10k’s and many many more races in the last few years. I will admit, every race I have fear of going low or skyrocketing high, yet, I know how to react to these occasions if they arise and I do my best to be my best and to keep my glucose levels in goal range.
So I was right around mile 5 and there it was, the shriek of pain in my left leg. My IT band, as expected, was acting up. But in my head I told myself to run through the pain to prove myself that I can reach this half marathon goal and that this pain was only the beginning of what is to come. I was and am determined to give back to the diabetic community and reach every goal I set for myself.
The next milestone was right around mile 8. Wow, eight miles. I’ve never ran this much without stopping for a stretch or a water break in my life! But I will admit I wanted to crawl up in a warm bed more than anything. Again, I told myself, “there is no pain, no gain, I am keeping to my goal.”
It is not easy getting through the last few miles of a half marathon. I focused on positive things and I mostly thought of the lessons and morals my parents and peers have taught me.
I heard my dad echoing in my head to always strive to be the best person I can be and to live my dream. I kept recollecting how well my mom and dad raised us four kids and that we are so fortunate for the bond we have and much more.
I guess these races really break you down right?
After the race my dad and mom were the first people I wanted to call to tell how well I did! I called them as soon as my hands warmed up enough to move and my determination to reach more goals hasn’t stopped there. I plan to become a more solid player in the diabetic charitable and research community starting…yesterday. I turned down a great position on the Chicago Dietetic Association board to spend more time with another passion: JDRF.
Two-thousand- ten (2010) is going to be a good year and it took a 13.1 mile race through hail and rain to prove it!
Have a healthy and fit day!