“That’s All I Had”

For those who know her, you know.  More on that momentarily.

Today I wrapped up a quest to run four half marathons in eight days.  These were staged in four New England states: Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  And I must say, the folks at Star Racing know what they’re doing.  Smooth.  Celebratory.  Friendly.  Leave no one behind.  Couldn’t have selected a better series of races to check off these four states.  Thank you, JC!

Getting to the race this morning, I wasn’t sure what to expect. One thing was certain: conditions were ideal. 45F, sunny. As for the course, JC had hinted yesterday that it might be challenging. My aches being manageable, I figured I’d use the first few miles to get familiar with the course and see how my legs were responding.

Around mile four, I was happy to realize two things. 1) JC was most likely just trying to not get my hopes up. The course was looking like the easiest of the four. 2) My legs were holding up enough for me to push.

That’s when I decided three mindsets for the last nine miles. 1) Take advantage of the cooler weather…and get done as soon as possible. 2) Take advantage of the easier course…attack within reason. 3) Don’t walk.  Unless you’re about to pass out, keep running.

Mile 10. Lord, have mercy! At the aid station, my first thought was, “Three more miles…No thank you! Seriously, 49 miles in 8 days ain’t shabby. I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK OUT!”

Fortunately, another runner who had also ran the last two days was there. We just looked at each other with a “C’mon man…we can do this!”

He walked/ran those last miles. I looped self-talk, “You are not walking! Just because he is, don’t!”

When I crossed the finish mat, I said, “That’s all I had.” True words.

More true words: I don’t get all the credit. I  could give credit to many things and people. But on this Mother’s Day, I must acknowledge that without the model of Lola Gregory as my mother it’s hard to believe I’d have the stuff to go after and accomplish something like this. If you know her, you know.

If you know her from the Illinois farm life, you know.

If you know her from the Chattanooga starting-a-family-of-four-with-seminary-student-husband life, you know.

If you know her from the Gadsden let’s-start-a-school-while-growing-a-church life, you know.

If you know her from the Thomasville I’m-going-to-finish-raising-these-kids-alone-in-a-new-town-working-a-new-job life, you know.

If you know her from the Murfreesboro one-daughter-still-home-in-another-new-town-working-another-new-job life, you know.

If you know her from the Tallahassee let’s-finish-this-work-thing life, you know.

Before I knew anything about determining mindsets mid-race, she’d become an expert in it. Although she thinks this week’s feat was a tad crazy, she gets the most credit for instilling in me the determination to cross a finish line saying, “That’s All I Had.”

To the best model I’ve had on finishing the race set before her, Happy Mother’s Day!


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