Sunday, August 23, 2009

The CRIM 2009

"I am not afraid of blue lines anymore!"

~ Beth, August 22nd, 2009

There is a blue line that runs the whole length of the 10 mile course. It's there to let you know that you are going the right way...I guess just in case you are that first person. For the rest of us though, it's there as a constant reminder that you are not done yet and you must keep going. That blue line has haunted me for a year. Don't get me wrong, I followed that blue line to the finish last year, but not without stopping a few times along the way to walk...yes, the dreaded W word.

I started out this running season wanting to be a better runner. Last year was my first year. It wasn't enough for me to just run the same races at the same times. I am not running to beat anyone but myself. The CRIM was definitely the race I was training for because it beat me bad last year. This year, I promised myself would be a different year. I would not cross the finish line feeling defeated, but with my arms in the air like a winner.

I was quite relaxed that morning. It had rained all night and seemed to stop all together at 6AM. It was chilly...perfect racing weather. We got to Flint at 7AM and that gave us enough time to hit the bathrooms and get in line. After putting our hands over our hearts for two National Anthems, it was time to go. Forrest was ready and waiting, but I kept him off for the first mile or so. The crowds are always fun to listen to. I turned him on and kept him on for the rest of the way.

Hollie and I stayed together until around mile four. My sister was long gone from the get go. In my mind, I just kept thinking about what was coming...the dreaded Bradley Hills. At mile five, I crossed over the marker with my hands in the air (yes, I really did and I don't care who saw). I was halfway home. I rounded the corner and read the sign: BRADLEY. I said quietly (or maybe not so quietly), "Here we go. You are not going to kick my butt this year." I picked up the pace and it was just me and Forrest. Bradley had nothing on me this year...thank you Harvard Hills Rd.
After mile six, I took out my magic pink beans, popped six in my mouth, and threw the rest on the ground. Later, I found out that Hollie saw them on the ground and knew I had been there. My best part of the race is the last half. I was trucking along and at about mile 7, I saw my sister up ahead. At first, I thought I was hallucinating. I didn't expect to see her until the finish. Once I got closer, I saw her hair bobbing up and down and her skinny little self and knew it was her. I picked it up and caught up to her. I ran up beside her, yelled, "CALIST!" and gave her the I Love You sign in sign language. I wanted to cry right there but knew I couldn't mess it up now. So, I got back in to the zone and kept it up.

At the mile nine marker, I could not even believe that I was almost there. I felt so much better than the year before. I kept thinking of not only how far I had come in the race, but how far I have come in general. Last year, after The CRIM, I could have thrown in the towel. I felt I had failed at the race and I could have just left it at that. This past year, I could have given up long ago after months and months of Dan still being unemployed. I could have thrown in the towel and figured God has forgotten about us. I could have given up on everything, given up on life...enjoying it. God has given me the strength to keep all aspects. The CRIM felt like a different race this year. This thing called life is too short not to enjoy...and if we just keep going, we'll get there.

(A song on Forrest that I played a few times over...I *love* it!!)

So, with tears in my eyes, I finished my last mile in nine minutes and came in at an official time of 1:47:31...ten minutes faster than last year!!! I didn't throw my hands in the air, I bowed my head and thanked God for the opportunity of running the race. I walked down a ways, grabbed my medal, and waited for my sisters to come in. We were all finishers this year. Not once did any of us quit or even walk for that matter. We ran with our eyes on the race set before us and we FINISHED.

Hollie and Calist ~ Words aren't enough, but I've gotta try. I love you both and I am so proud of you guys. I am thankful that I got to run this race with you guys. More than that though, I am thankful that I get to live life along side of you. You guys mean more to me than you will ever know. I love you both! Can't wait for our next race together!

3 things to add:

Peaceful Chaoz said...

Awesome :0)

Saralyn said...

Way to go! I'd love to hear the story of how you started and worked up to 10 miles--2.5 kicks my behind!

Hollie said...

I'm not afraid of blue lines anymore either, Friend!! I'm so happy we were able to do this again and I'm so thankful that God brought you into my life... you're my source of inspiration... my very best friend... like a sister! I love you!!