On Sunday, October 26 at 7:45am, I stood in Mercer County Park in the starting chute of the CGI Perfect 10 Miler, wondering what the hell I was about to do. I mean...really, this seemed like a great idea 10 months ago, and it even seemed like a fun idea until my alarm went off that morning... But even with the doubt and nerves and adrenaline, I toed off at 8:00am to begin a 10-mile journey across pavement and through autumn-dusted trees. The energy was out of this world as the pack was nervously chattering and laughing through miles 2 and 3, then began to thin out over miles 5 and 6 (oh, good--only one more 5K-ish to go!); by the final miles, we were chatting again in partial delirium, wondering in unison why the hell that final mile was so absurdly long.
But once I set foot in the finish chute, it was like I was starting at the very beginning on fresh legs--something deep inside me woke up and pushed me forward, smiling hard, hands in the air, dashing by my mom, my husband, and my friend who had earlier finished her 5K event. I was there--I was over the finish line before I knew it, was being handed a medal and a bottle of water. As I screeched to a halt at the very end of the chute, I leaned against the fencing they had put up and actually cried a little. I did it. I did it. I set a somewhat ridiculous goal, and I actually achieved it.
I took a few moments to be silent, to thank my body for its strength and for carrying me gracefully and bravely over 10 miles, and then I let the energy, excitement, and happiness of runner's high sweep me away and into the arms of my little knot of fans.
I am so thankful to have shared such an important milestone in my running journey with them.