My dear friend and I just completed the Austin Half-Marathon on Sunday. We had lofty goals of 1:47 equaling 8:10 pace over 13.1 miles. This was a PR I had set on a pancake flat course in September and we knew that Austin would be major hilly, but we took a bite and chewed the course up.
We had each dedicated the race to a loved one. My friend to her Mom, who is fighting lymphoma and I to my Aunt, who recently passed from aggresive cancer. Keeping our minds focused on the fact that their battles were much harder than any little running race, we trudged up and down the hills.
We cruised through miles 1-8 and knew what was upon us, the dreaded 8-11 of straight up and down. Or rather UPPPPP and down. We had managed to maintain a sub-8 minute pace for most of the race, so there wasn’t the usual social time that we normally share. Miles 8-11 were focused on those fighting disease and those who have left this world as courageous fighters.
It was as we approached what would be the final hill, as we hit the start of the 12th mile that we were in need of some serious angel wings. I am certain that my Aunt was flapping like a falcon from up above in her nest. She had brought us up and down but pulled us up that last hill and set us free on mile 12 as we remarked on the amazing courage that my friend’s mom has shown in her battle. We charged through, minds focused on others, not us and had a final mile of 7:05 pace.
Hopefully those angel wings are taking a well deserved rest today. From me, the humble earth trodder, I offer my thanks.