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Longer than a School Day

I walked my endurance event in seven hours, 13 minutes, and 24 seconds. However, those afflicted with incurable illnesses are the true examples of endurance. I lift my hat off to them!

This week’s photo challenge is about endurance. Here is my finish line photo of my marathon (June 6, 2010) and an excerpt from my marathon training documentation. Saturday, May 15, 2010.

finish line photo

It felt as if I had just gone to bed when I was startled out of my sleep with the noise of the radio at 3:06 A.M! I quickly sat up, rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and sprung into action. My clothes for today’s training were already laid out since Thursday night. Yes, Thursday night. Hey, it was my first 20 miles of walking (at one shot) ever in my life. Armed with my bag with all my gear, peanut butter sandwich, and my coffee, I left home for Kennedy Park (Coconut Grove, FL).

The 20 miles training was a character building experience for me. It took me 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 54 seconds to complete the distance. This time included: bathroom stops, water stops, stretching, shaking tiny grains out of my shoes, and rubbing my covered cheek with biofreeze. Oh my goodness, I didn’t know that someone’s behind could experience such intense pain.

At about mile 14, my left cheek started to hurt so I began massaging it- yes, in public. We stopped. My coach showed me a stretch which I did on the bench at a bus stop. We walked on some more but the pain just won’t stop. I stretched myself out on the sidewalk and did the “glute stretch” that I know works. It didn’t. I applied the biofreeze on my cheek while someone gave me cover. The biofreeze cooled the cheek, but the pain still radiated down the hamstring. The only thing that stopped/eased that pain was a light jog.

Although the sun was hot and it felt like 125 degrees, I did not give up nor did I think about how much longer I had to walk. I simply put one foot in front of the other. It was when I saw the “Montys” sign I knew that I was almost there. Strange, I didn’t feel tired at that time. I was on a “total high”. My cheeks (the exposed ones) were toasted, the sweat washed off my hair color (just kidding), I smelled like a goat, but I did it. Yes, I did! I now know in my heart, for I have experienced it, that training for a marathon is more mental than physical. I truly have to let my body travel along with my mind.

For those who are afflicted with blood cancers, my 20 miles of training pales significantly when compared to their daily battle.

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20 thoughts on “Longer than a School Day

  1. Congratulations, not just for the great run but for sharing your heart, support and prayers to all those afflicted with sickness. Everyday, their stories of courage, hope and survival inspires us in many ways. It is a beautiful thing when a community gathers to make a difference for others. God bless.

  2. This is an inspiring post! Thank you, Elaine, for the powerful and hopeful message. What a great picture, and Brava! for putting on a touch of lipstick. It reminds me of the memoir, WHY I WORE LIPSTICK TO MY MASTECTOMY, which had a great take-away message.

  3. I love that you applied lipstick towards the end of an endurance test – you’re my hero!!

    I still have never even thought of doing such a thing – despite your earlier post about completing the half marathon that impressed me so much! I am quietly pleased that now I have the puppy I go walking every day. 🙂

  4. God bless you, Elaine. My aunt is living with a blood cancer, each day is a struggle. You’re a true inspiration!
    Your post about the marathon inspired me. Since I’ve had two back surgeries, I’ve always been diligent when it comes to exercising on my treadmill. In the past, I’ve always walked at a fast pace. After your post, I started running on the treadmill every day at 4.0 mph for an hour. After a few months, I increased my speed. I’m at 4.8 mph and I hope to continue increasing. I never miss a day. Thank you! xo
    By the way, I love the photo!

    • Thank you for you kind comment, Jill. My best wishes to your aunt with her blood cancer. My best wishes to you too with your back. Take it easy with the running. I am a firm believe in the run/walk routine. I haven’t gone walking in a long time. About the photo…I had to be camera ready:) I turned my hat so the flowers I picked on my walking journey will feature in the photo. I applied lipstick at mile 25 and spruced up my hair close to the finish line. The smile was a constant throughout the walk:)

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