I Will Finish!

Christy Kiefer

christy kiefer tinkerbell half marathon inspiration motivationIt is official, I am only Half crazy! On Sunday, January 19 I ran my first half marathon, the Tinkerbell Half! I was very nervous but I had trained with Fleet Feet for two long distance training groups. My journey started in September. I ran every Tuesday and Saturday with the training groups, with lots of encouragement from Cheryl, Shahin and all the people in the group. I felt better with every run, and my confidence was building. I had to keep telling myself I can do this, but there was that nagging voice that kept the doubt in my head, and no matter how hard I tried to quiet it, I heard it on every run, but I ignored it and kept going. I was going to finish! Race day arrived and I was terrified that I would be picked up, the weather was supposed to be in the 80s and I run my best in cooler temperatures. I was encouraged by my friend and running buddy Sue that I could do this, I agreed and kept repeating my mantra: I will finish, keep moving forward, don't stop, drink water. I was feeling good, and even though had been warned about the monorail tracks in the roads, next thing I knew I was on the ground just past mile two. I have no clue what happened but there I was, face down on the ground, and I felt my right shoulder pop out; I shifted my body and it went back in to place. I stood up and was MAD. I WAS going to finish no matter what. The nerves were gone now and I tried to run, the shoulder was painful but I continued. I did walk more than I really wanted but I was still in the race and kept putting one foot In front of the other. At mile nine I saw some flags waving and I was not sure what they were but when I passed them they were saying, "You are 4 mins behind pace, and they will be doing the cut at mile ten." I was a bit upset and the voice came back and was louder than ever "you aren't going to make it." I kept going, and when I got to mile ten they said "keep pushing you are two minutes ahead of pace!" I was confused how could I have made up 6 minutes, but it didn't matter I was not being picked up by the bus, I was finishing the race! I had a 5k left to do I knew I could do that distance. The people on the side of the roads were very encouraging and kept saying, "Just one more corner!" I am not sure they really knew just how many corners there truly were, but I rounded every one and finally, when I saw my Mom close to the finish, the tears started, and I could see the light blue arch of the finish line and hear the music and cheers of the spectators, I did it, I actually did it! 13.1 miles I finished, I remembered to smile and put my arms up, I am so proud of this accomplishment, I could not have done it with out the encouragement of the Fleet Feet training group, and of course, Cheryl and Shahin.

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