About 6 years ago, my husband and I decided to go for a little bike ride. We had Grandma come over to watch our son and we went out for a nice, quiet bike ride day date. We went to a local trail and enjoyed the day and time together.
Looking back, I did not realize that that was probably the peak of my sickness.
About 30 minutes or so into our bike ride, I was so incredibly dizzy that I told Mike I had to stop. We pull to the side of the trail and I was not getting better. So much so that I had passed out.
He called 9-1-1.
Paramedics arrived checking my vitals. Heart rate was normal, blood sugar was normal, blood pressure was a little low, but it always is. They didn’t see anything concerning (story of my life) so we got back on our bikes and went home slowly.
I tell you this story because if you have been following me, you will know that I was counting down the days, hours and minutes until Sunday, February 2nd at 7:00am for many reasons. One of those reasons was because this particular race changed their racecourse this year. The new racecourse included a spot that meant more to me than you will know.
Days before the race my nerves were running amuck and butterflies were multiplying. When I get nervous, I have no appetite. I practically didn’t eat anything Saturday (the day before the race). But as bedtime came, I laid my head on my pillow and I prayed, thanking God for all my blessings. Thanking God for the gift I have of my health and the ability to run and exercise like I do. And hoped that I would always remember what tomorrow means to me.
I set my alarm for 4:45am, closed my eyes and had ridiculous dreams about my alarm not going off, missing the race, and a meteor falling from the sky right where we live. I have some crazy dreams.
When that alarm went off, I popped out of bed so quickly you would have thought I was waking up to go to Disney World for the day.
When we got to the race, we waited patiently for the gun to go off to announce us to start running! My husband gave me a kiss, we wished each other good luck and went near our pacers. I nervously stood next to the 2:00 pacer. But my humbled confidence was met with a smile on my face and legs and feet that were ready for the task we had been preparing all year for!
As I began running, at times I was wondering why do I continue to sign up for these dang races? Then my playlist would continue with songs I meticulously picked out to help get my mind in a better place. My pacer was a such a good motivator which helped tremendously. I stayed on my plan, which was to stay as close to my pacer as possible and to have my runner’s “goo” every 30 minutes to keep my blood sugar level.
The first few miles, adrenaline and excitement helped me carry on. About Mile 4 – 7 the runners high kicked in. At Mile 8 I was wondering again why I sign up for these dang races.
But THEN, I knew I was coming up on the spot that I mentioned that I knew was a part of the new racecourse.
It was during Mile 9, and as I approached, I began to cry as I ran passed that SAME EXACT SPOT I passed out on during the bike ride with my husband 6 years ago. I was met with so much emotions realizing where I had come from. I was so sick that I couldn’t even go on a light bike ride. So, to be RUNNING at a 9-minute mile pace, feeling comfortable and healthy was absolutely incredible. A moment that I will hold dear to my heart.
Okay quick side story…when I ran my first half in February 2018 with my best friend, I was struggling at mile 9. She said, (yes when her and I run together we talk the entire time lol!!) okay how about for Mile 10 we run it for our husbands, for Mile 11 we run it for our 1st babies, for Mile 12 we run it for our 2nd babies and for the home stretch of the .1 miles at mile 13 we finish it by running for ourselves! That helped me so much getting through those last 3 miles that every single half marathon I have run since, I do the same.
For this race when Mile 10 came, I ran it for my husband. Thanking God for my best friend and the love we have and life we have. Wouldn’t you know that because he was running about 15 minutes behind me, at the end of me running Mile 10 we passed each other as he was turning the corner to Mile 9.
When I hit Mile 12 and the lady announcer on my Race Joy app, tells me through my headphones that I just hit Mile 12, my average pace was 9:01 and my estimated finish time was 1 hour 58 minutes 59 seconds. I started crying.
I knew right then that I was going to make it. I was going to reach my goal. Nothing was stopping me. I was doing this for me. Emotions flooded over me, thinking about the years of feeling so sick. Years of doctor visits and not knowing what the heck was going on with my body. And now I have my health back. I have this forum with my blog to hopefully bring awareness.
I turned the corner to see the finish line ahead of me and I started sprinting. I crossed that finish line with a time of 1 hour 58 minutes 29 seconds. A minute and a half under my goal.
I was met with a touching moment as I hear my dad yelling on the sidelines, “Go Tracy!” and faces of proudest from my mom and dad as they hugged and congratulated me.
I did it! I persevered! I didn’t give up! I beat my goal and it still feels surreal! This race meant SO much to me, as you can hopefully tell by this article ha! I will hold this race close to my heart to remind myself to always keep going. Always stay true to me. Always believe in myself. Always persevere.
Now…what should my next goal be?? Stay tuned to find out!
“Never allow anyone to take away your sparkle. Be kind and laugh and love often.”