I am sitting here tonight reflecting on what turned out to be a pretty good race this morning. To be honest I have been dreading this one for a few weeks now. Originally I put this on the schedule knowing that my good friend Jeff was running in it too. Initially I forgot that he was running the 10K version so I signed up for the half marathon. What made this one unique is that it is a 1 mile course. Depending on your race, you ran the appropriate amount of laps to complete your goal. In Jeff’s case, that meant 6 laps. In my case…it was 13!

Who knew that it would turn out to be such a blessing. I can’t talk about this race without mentioning the fact that Jeff finished the race and stood in 30 degree temperatures, sweaty, waiting while I pounded out another 7 laps. I didn’t realize until we were standing around afterwards how much of a sacrifice that was. It was cold and the wet clothes did nothing to make it warmer. That’s a friend. Not only did he stand there, he encouraged and energized me each lap. When I saw him standing there with 1/4 mile left to go, I got the energy I needed to finish as strong as I could. Can’t say enough about the friendship and the encouragement. I won’t soon forget that.

I also would be remiss if I did not thank another friend, Darren Carter for the shirt which I wore for the race. Darren and I went to high school together back in Cleveland and connected through facebook and twitter. He was kind enough to send me a shirt a few months ago and I wanted to wear it to support him today. I wasn’t sure the temperatures were going to make it possible, but it actually worked out well. Thanks Darren. I appreciate you my friend.

Now the race. As I said, I have not been looking forward to this one. With the massive amounts of snow that have been pounding Columbus, training has been pretty much limited to the “dreadmill” with an occasional run outside. I had no idea how I would do today. I didn’t set any expectations, but was hoping to post something in the upper 1:40’s. I finished with a 1:51. I was feeling good until around mile 9. At that point it was like someone took the battery out of my energy source. My iPod, Jeff and some great music got me through to the end. I missed not having my running partner (my wife) next to me as well.

It was also great to briefly catch up with an old fried at the start and finish, Chris Bean. His prayer with some other friends to start the race set the tone for the first several miles. Music memories were “Tonight” by TobyMac and “How He Loves” by David Crowder Band. I had some great worship time around mile 13 with the Crowder song. It was a great way to finish the race. Best signs I read were “Trust Your Trianing” and “You Guys Are Like Toyota – UNstoppable”!

Next Up:

Country Music Half Marathon – Nashville, Tennessee (can’t WAIT ) – April 24th, 2010

Capital City Half Marathon – Columbus, Ohio (possibly) – May 1st, 2010

Mini-Marathon – Indianapolis, Indiana – May 8th, 2010