Well, I’ve just run the L.A. Marathon and it was for sure an unforgettable moment. Here are the highlights mile-by-mile (for those of you who want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly):
Mile 1: very slow start…sure takes a long time to get 25,000 people to the starting line
Mile 2: slower pace than normal which was what I wanted (especially on the downhills)
Mile 3: opening up a bit
Mile 4: weather still cloudy – not too hot yet
Mile 5: that man with the cow bells on his sneakers is really annoying me
Mile 6: uh oh – right knee is starting to talk to me
Mile 7: focusing on my pacing (yikes! am I really one whole mile behind?!)
Mile 9: need to keep drinking water…no longer cloudy
Mile 10: shut up knee (should I walk? I shouldn't - I’m not even at the half-way mark)
Mile 11: I see my family!!! Not sure I’m really going to even finish (sniff, sniff)
Mile 12: trying to slow down even more…maybe knee will be happier? left a crying voicemail for Air Boss that I don't think I'm going to make it
Mile 13: okay, at least I can say I made it half way
Mile 14: need to drink more (losing more water through tears than sweat)
Mile 15: okay…let’s walk more than every 11 minutes (sniff, sniff)
Mile 16: this isn’t looking good; do I call for help? Should I bail now?
Mile 17: God help me
Mile 18: I think I’m walking as much as I’m pretending to run (but Gumby and I are pacing each other)
Mile 19: sniff, sniff, WAAAAH; stomach doesn’t feel so good; good thing my knee is distracting me
Mile 20: walking 100%; providing clean water for kids is Africa is no longer a motivating thought
Mile 21: stop telling me I’m almost there….do you know how long it takes to walk over 5 miles?!
Mile 22: I see them again! I love my family, hate running, love family, hate running, stupid knee
Mile 23: am I even moving?!?! A man with a crutch just passed me!
Mile 24: “Piggy-back rides $5/mile”…drat – left my money at home; 2 miles may as well be another 26
Mile 25: left knee is failing me now…will I have to CRAWL this last mile?
Mile 26: stop telling me to run to the finish line! Trust me – this is as fast as I can go.
Mile 26.2: Thank you God for letting me finish – it was pathetic but You allowed me to finish and I am truly thankful for that. [Alternate ending: This was so fun! I feel great and can’t wait to do it again!]
In all seriousness, I didn't have the ideal marathon finish or overall experience. I was miserable the last 6 miles and looking back, I'm surprised I stuck it out for so long. But you know what? God was good. No. He was amazing. He answered my prayer to finish the marathon. He gave me an important reason to run and as a result, the lives of 120 children will be changed because I ran and because many people supported me. I finished. And I am healthy. I have a huge blister on my little toe (almost the size of a dime) and 6" of chafing where my skin was rubbed red and raw. I felt neither the blister nor the chafing. He knew my pain limit.
God is good. All the time.