Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blue Bell at the Finish Line

Oh my goodness - a very cold wind was blowing 5,000 miles an hour this morning in downtown Fort Worth. Johnny and I parked the car (which was rather tricky since there were over 18,000 people --not an exaggeration though I am prone to writing them -- running in 5 different races today) and were just about blown over. We walked over to the race tent and huddled over a heater until almost race time. When we walked down the block to turn on the street where the starting line was I was amazed by the sea of people. Someone behind us yelled, "huddle up to stay warm." We chatted with some of the people around us and I grew more and more excited. We faintly heard the singing of the national anthem and could hear the sound of someone making some announcements but could not make out what was being said. Then, we were off. Well, not immediately because of the bazillions of people in front of us. I felt really good and I think the wind just about carried me down the first block. Then, we turned. Uphill. By that time my toes were completely frozen. We did get passed by some people but we passed some people, too. My goal was not to walk at all and to come in under 35 minutes. Almost at the end of the race we turned a corner and had to go uphill. Ugh! I heard a dad encourage his young son and it encouraged me, too! Plus, Johnny was coaching me along the whole way. There was no way he was letting me stop! I started down the home stretch and when I first spotted the race clock it read 33:21. Then I knew it, I could do it -- finish under 35! I sped up a little and crossed the finish line when the clock read 34:08. Johnny let me finish in front of him, too. He is so chivalrous! My actual race time was 33:34. (My race time didn't actually start until I crossed the starting line which is why there is a discrepancy in the times.) I was 2049th out of 6,899 participants!

The sense of accomplishment and personal pride was overwhelming. It felt so good to have a goal, work for it, then achieve it. The great thing about running is that I wasn't measuring myself by anyone else. I knew what I could achieve and that's what I was working for. Success is powerful. Yes, it can be misused and abused. But, success used as a motivator to push harder, dream bigger is powerful.

There are no prizes for 2049th place in the Cowtown 5K. I did get a food bag with some Blue Bell in it. In my book, running 3.1 miles for a little Blue Bell and the satisfaction of doing the best I could is all I need.

Serving the King,


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