12 miles seemed like an impossibility, and the hardest part of the whole run was about mile 5 or 6. I may have the numbers wrong, but it was from the picnic benches to Sulphur Rock that was excruciating. I didn’t think I would ever get to that stupid rock. It is a big rock that can’t be missed, but at one point I thought I must have missed it. I even considered turning around – but only for a moment. If I cheated myself I would have wondered if I could do the half marathon and the guilt would have driven me crazy. It was a moment that I will tell my kids about – a fork in the path that determines who you are and what you are made of. There are choices that we all have to make many times in life. I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I quit, even though I really wanted it to be over. It still shocks me how much of this is mental. A friend recently said, “Everything in life is mental”. I never really thought about it like that. Believing in myself, losing weight, running past the point my body wants to, moving across the country and leaving everything I knew – all mental. I am learning a lot of lessons about life and myself. Probably a little later than everybody else, but what a blessing to learn them at all.
Somewhere between mile 8 and 9 I saw the trainer. I asked him how much farther it was, and he said “a long way to go”. I groaned. He led me to believe that I had at least 5 more miles. I filled up my water bottle and took off. There was no way I could give up when I was at least 5 miles from my car. I chuckle thinking about asking him to give me a ride back. That would never happen! A mile or so later he was there to give me pretzels and tell me I was a mile and a half away. What? I thought he said 5 miles. He said he was trying to psych me up for the rest of the run. Now I am psyched, it is almost over. The end is in sight. May have been the best run of my life. 12 miles done. 13.1 miles – a definite possibility!