GASPARILLA MARATHON, TAMPA
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV
This verse became a source of strength while my cousin, Alyssa, and I ran 26.2 miles on Sunday. It was tough, to say the least, but we reached our goal—the finish line.
I like to think of this second marathon as research for my novel, Sprinter. Granted, I am nothing like the main character, Riley, who actually pursues winning marathons.
During the race, though I pass the walkers, I am not much faster. Alyssa and I finished in about 6 hours. She was gracious enough to slow her pace way down again to stay with me. We took off 13 minutes from my first marathon at Disney World last year.
It was somewhere between mile 22 and 23 that I hit
THE WALL. If you are a runner, you may know what I mean. The fatigue set in heavy, and I wanted to just stop. My soles felt like they hit razor blades with each step and I ended up with tons of blisters on each toe, which isn’t normal. Time to try a new brand of shoes. Thankfully, Alyssa prayed me through those last few miles and we made it.
Yet even with all the pain, what an accomplishment! A few lines for my novel even came to mind, and I’m sure I can glean many more from my experience.
“Riley enters the bowels of the race around mile sixteen; thigh muscles clench at the hips, reminding her that each step gets heavier and heavier from now on. Yet she presses on, and digs down deep where her mother’s heart rests beside her own. She will win this, if just for her.”