There has never been a question that my first half marathon was not what I would have considered a success. I struggled and suffered my way to the finish. When I was done I doubted that I would ever do another half again. But my attitude quickly renewed and I signed up to run another half, in my hometown, in Galesburg. Sadly, my second half marathon results were about the same. I struggled and suffered and in some ways the run was not a success.
So, when I reached my family, I stopped for a minute, talked about how tough the run was, how hot the sun was, and how much I was struggling. I thanked them for coming out and being there, and I told them how good it felt to have them cheering for me. I also said, "Take your time getting to the finish because I am." And with that I was off again.
Over the next few miles, I walked a lot. I also jogged some, but very slowly. I saw an old classmate and runner, Heather, on the side of the road. I said, "Shouldn't you be out here?" It took her a second to recognize me, but it was nice to see her smile when she did. I joked with a few more of the fans as I got back into town. I told the other runners how well they were doing as they passed me. I saw the funniest sign of the race and told the 2 young kids holding it "Thank you!" The sign read, "No Candy? Worst. Parade. Ever." It still tickles me.