When the gun for our racing group finally went off at a little past 7:45 am, I was very careful not to lose Kay in the shuffle of bodies dashing under the starting line banner. I was determined that I would not lose her this year no matter what. I don't want to make any excuses, but this was a tough race for me overall. I was able to stay with Kay, barely, because it was just one of those days for me. I had not hydrated enough the night before and was already feeling thirsty before the race even began--never a good sign. I rarely eat solids before a race and that morning I downed a whole wheat English muffin, almond butter, and half a banana, which had me making trips to the port-o-potty and left me with stomach issues throughout the race. In addition, I got my first race blister ever, had a nagging side stitch starting at mile 3, felt a minor muscle pull in my right thigh, got a rock in my shoe, took my nutrition too late in the race and I hit a wall just as I came upon the big hill, and my iPhone died at mile 10 leaving me without any tunes for the most difficult stretch of the race. Not to mention it was HOT, and I wilt in temperatures above 70. Many of these things were in my control to avoid, and while I am so thankful for this day with Kay, I think I was also a tiny bit disappointed that I would not have my dream race--finishing with Kay AND a race time of under 2 hours.
I think that what I hope you take away from this experience is that when obstacles come your way, even ones that seem insurmountable, NEVER give up! When Kay was first diagnosed with cancer, it was hard to envision what her road back to health would look like and how long that journey would take her. She pushed through the bad days and celebrated every little victory. Her positive attitude and her determination carried us both across that finish line on Sunday. I am hoping her attitude and determination will inspire you to push yourself beyond what you ever thought you were capable of.