I know, very slow, but it's a journey of the great awakening. If you want some endurance training, read on:-
I was running with my running club in a coastal city called Xiamen in China. I was seriously undertrained, and shin pain was on/off, but I had no excuse for myself not to at least give it a try.
Couldn't sleep the nite before the race, and was a walking zombie at the start line. Took a pain-killer at breakfast and here we went.
The runners were very rude, elbowing and pushing and squeezing through.
1 km into the race, every part of my legs were on fire. Regrets, BIG regrets, why did I do this to myself? What should I do with the remaining 41.195km?
A runner from our Club who we nicknamed "the Judge" who was also running for his first marathon, turend around , saw me, and started leading my way for me! This noble man cheered me up, talked to me, encouraged me! He reminded me of what I was running for!
The water stations were very crowded, and the Judge, spread his arms like an eagle , took me under his wings at every water station, and helped me clear my way out back on the track.
The Judge said,
" After all these years, at my age, speed is not important at all. As long as u don't give up, let's finish this marathon in 7 hours (the time limit for this race)."
I cried. Ridden with guilt and gratitude.
14 km into the run, my legs were locked. The Judge was still there by my side.
20 km, I was filled with guilt, I couldn't let this great man suffer with me. I told him I would give up..... he looked at me suspiciously and left......
I stopped at the aid station, and looked at the list I pinned on my running top - I had brought with me 42 names of the people I love and respect to the run, I could not let them down.
I took another pain killer and hobbled on.
The next 7 km is an adapted version of Galloway.
At 28 km, I bumped into another runner we nicknamed "Penguin" from our Running Club. She said she could not go on and plan to get on the coach.
Should I pass Penguin and run on my own? Should I stay?
I thought of the Judge and said,
"Penguin, let's try and see how far we could walk....?"
The two of us walked the rest of the journey together. We talked, I told her about the stories of the people on my 42-km list. We cheered other "walkers" up too.
Towards the last 5 km, it started to rain horribly, and it was freezing cold.
No way I was to give up at this point but my legs hurt even when walking.
I looked at the names on my list, more tears and wondered whether my husband, my friends and my coach would be there at the finish line for me.....? It was cold, it was raining, they had all been waiting for a long time......
Penguin and I reached the final 500 meters and we held hands while we ran towards the finish line.
Someone called my name from the crowd and my friends were there!!!! Those beautiful smiles!!! I would never forget them!
My coach, was there, holding a camcorder at the finish line, we were the last from the Club to be there, but he waited!
Husband was also there.......
I would never forgive myself if I gave up!
The Judge and the penguin, the people on my 42-km list brought me to the finish line.
This might be a very unprofessional marathon but it has the most beautiful ending!
Thank You for reading......
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