2013 Highlights Part 1 – The Chicago Marathon: More Than My Moment.

31 Dec

“Erin, why no posts lately?” I was surprised to hear this question a couple of times over the past few months. Ah, yes, months. That would be because I haven’t written since then. Terrible. I am a blogger failure… but 2014 will be different. The other night I was looking at another application for a bib for the 2014 Boston Marathon. The application asked “Do you have a blog?” I thought with shame, “Um, yea…” but if I don’t write in it, that probably doesn’t count. That was the push I needed.

So to end 2013 here is my proudest running moment of the year…

the Chicago Marathon.

I ran on behalf of Salute, Inc. I ran wearing red, white and blue with the silhouette of a soldier printed on the front. Crossing that finish line was a proud moment because it wasn’t just about what I had accomplished. It was about those that made the ultimate sacrifice – to serve our country.

During those 26.2 miles in Chicago I was surrounded by endless crowds and brilliant signs all crowding the streets of a beautiful city to cheer on the runners. I was happy, excited and beaming with pride.  For the first 18 miles I was “in the zone.” I had set a goal to cross the finish at just under 4 hours and 30 minutes and until mile 18 I was ahead of the pace group.

994026_716908303286_867394078_nWhen I started to fall back I considered what I was doing and why… I reflected on the men and women around the country who leave their family, friends and routine to fight for our freedom. I had visions of soldiers reuniting with their wives in airports. I thought about children that wake up day after day without a mom or dad to kiss them good morning because they are overseas. I thanked god for the people in my life that served and came home safe. Their ultimate sacrifice kept me going.

I crossed the finish at 4:33, just over my goal time. The pride I felt was replaced with disappointment, “I didn’t do it,” I thought. A phone call to my mom was the reality check I needed. She was proud (and pissed that I was complaining about my time!) I did do it… I finished, I met my fundraising goal and I had another 26.2 under my belt. It was then I knew, this was more than my moment, I did it with our veterans at the forefront of my mind.  I shrugged off the disappointment and thought “the time of 4:29 will just have to be a goal for the next one!”

And with my proudest moment of 2013 I also must make a promise for 2014: to post more! I have a feeling I will have a lot to say!

With Heart & Sole,

Erin

P.S. A special thank you to everyone who supported me to raise money for our veterans… I have a pretty awesome support group!

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