I'm delighted to share with you today a guest post by my lovely friend Rebekah. She just completed her first half marathon a couple of weeks ago, running in support of Love146. I hope you'll find her story both encouraging and inspirational, just as I did. Thanks, Rebekah!
I ran 13.1 miles and lived to tell about it!
In fact, I ran 13.1 miles in considerably less time than I expected to. My goal was simply to finish. Other goals included not meeting any paramedics along the way, not getting picked up by the pace car and, most importantly, to bring attention to a cause.
Joanne challenged us to run and spread the word about Love146. I have and am continuing to do so. Though I wasn't able to wear my shirt – temps were too hot for the long-sleeves – I have and do wear it when I'm running around town and I've placed donation envelopes at my husband's office.
Last year I set some goals for myself and this race was a big one. The Atlanta Track Club posed a question on Facebook today: “As a runner, it is so important to set goals. Let us know what you're ultimate running goal is, whether it's a certain distance, race, or PR. And press "Like" if you are confident that one day you will achieve it!” My answer was: “The best part about running is that you can always set a new goal! PR, log so many miles in a year/lifetime, longer distance, etc.. Running is for movers and shakers, baby! I set and met my half-marathon goal last month which I thought was my ultimate goal. Time for a new goal!”
I have an added motivation to running now. But it's not just about measurable goals. Running is for my physical, mental and emotional health, for my future, for an example and to see these same things happen for the millions of people currently living in slavery. Physical, mental and emotional health. Freedom.
You can do it, y'all! I know you're training. If you've never done something this big before you're thinking, “Holy crap! That's a long way!” And it is. But I did it and so can you.
I didn't start running consistently until January of last year. This time last year I could barely run a mile and a half without being really winded. I definitely wasn't running faster than 4 miles an hour. After running for 3 months I participated in a 5k race and finished in 31:30 and a year later I've run a half-marathon.
And just like you can finish this race (whichever it might be), you can be a part of something bigger. One person at a time bringing awareness about an incredible injustice, a horrible reality, and supporting change.