Race Eve

raceTomorrow morning, I will be running in my first half marathon at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. I sit here today a little bit nervous – ok, a lot nervous. But also excited to be challenging myself to bravery this way.

This race is the culmination of 4 months of preparation. I have trained, including running on the course itself. I have tapered my running this week so as not to overwork my legs. My meals are planned today so that I give my body the proper nutrition, and I will focus on drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

There is a 70% chance of rain/thunder tomorrow (yes, they have put thunder back into the forecast), so there is little doubt it will be a wet race but I have run in the rain before and don’t melt!

I usually run alone in the early morning dark, so running with 30,000 other runners will be a change.

Part of me wonders why on earth I signed up for this and if it’s too late to back out!

And yet, this is my opportunity to be brave. I am ignoring those voices that are saying “you are slow, why are you in a race?” and “you aren’t really a runner” and “you aren’t good enough to do this thing.”

I am not just ignoring the voices, I am drowning them out. Each time fear sneaks up behind me and starts whispering those things, I am lashing out to punch, kick and knock fear out.

In his book “It’s Not About the Tights,” author Chris Brogan tells us, “you have to choose to be brave.” He goes on to say that, “Your bravery is yours to claim. You are the superhero you’ve been waiting for.” I love that image. I am standing there with my cape flapping in the wind and my head held high in courage and bravery, defying fear to even think about attacking me!

I originally decided to run this race as part of a team at church raising money for Team World Vision to provide access to clean water for people in Haiti. I actually exceeded my goal by raising $1,700 for World Vision.

But more importantly, I am part of a group called “I Run For” or IR4 – in which people who run are paired with people who cannot run.

I run for Bennett, a little boy with Down syndrome, who I have not actually met, but who has stolen my heart. Every time I run, including this race, I run in his honor. That means more to me than any amount of money raised for a charity.

So tomorrow, fear will be a distant face in the crowd, unable to push through the security to get to me. And my little man Bennett – I will cross that finish line for you.

Oh, and that 13.1 magnet I bought for my car that I hesitated to put on before the race?  I will put it on my car today because I am BRAVE and will finish this race.

What bravery will you demonstrate this weekend?

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