While I trained for my first half marathon I went through a lot of changes. I also discovered strengths within me that I never knew I had. Yes, there are many runners out there that run 13.1 miles for breakfast, but I am not your average runner. I have to work real hard to reach my goals. Being that Doctors always told me “You can’t run” I have come a long way from that. Doctors that I talk to still can’t believe I run 3 miles let alone having a half marathon under my belt.

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While I was training for my half marathon I ran in January, I dealt with a lot. So many obstacles stood in my way. My chronic back pain would flare up, right on target, at mile 6. I would get so frustrated and actually thought, wow, this is it. I can’t do it. But I never gave up. I would go train with my alpha by my side to overcome that obstacle at mile 6. I would have my moments of this is too hard, I will not survive this. But thanks to finding some inner strength along with my husband constantly reassuring me I am capable of this I made it. I was back running advancing each mile with minimal pain.

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When I reached mile 10, it was back!!! Horrible pain in my back, shin splints, headaches you name it I had it!! Boy this training was just getting better and better. <~~ note the sarcasm. Then we find out that my dear most loving aunt has passed away. She fought her toughest battle and never gave up. Unfortunately God won a beautiful angel who watches over us each day. And thanks to knowing she is there, I found more strength within me. Whenever I felt weak I would start to talk to my aunt and princess Bella. Bella is an amazing little angel who lost her battle at an early age. I never got to hold princess Bella but she has always, and will always hold a special place in my heart.

My aunt and miss Bella fought with all their might, whenever I felt weak I thought of them. I would stop, take a break, look up to the heavens and talk to my aunt and Bella and ask them to guide me, to give me strength. I would suddenly feel a boost of energy, and surprisingly a beautiful butterfly would fly around me. Stay with me circle me, or land on me, and fly off. That was the strength I needed. I knew that I could handle the task ahead of me. Again, most fit and healthy runners could run 13.1 miles like its nothing but to me it is more than a number. It is my warrior badge. It is my badge of honor I proudly wear. There was tons of pain, sweat and lots of tears once I reached my 13.1 goal. When I was training the farthest I ran was 11 miles. I was petrified to run the 13.1 miles. At the starting line I wanted to throw up I was so nervous. Since I trained with my aunt and princess Bella, I knew I needed to have them with me while I ran.

Since I was running for the animals, representing Team ASPCA; I like to dress up for races, I was a cheetah! But I also wore a colorful tutu, my sweet mother  made for me to wear. I hid a butterfly in my tutu to represent my aunt and the princess. I felt like I had them running with me and watching over me the whole race. I was running fine and enjoying every single step until mile 8. I was in trouble, on the side of the course on the floor. Tons of pain with each step I made. I dug deep found the strength I needed and ran the remaining 5 miles of the race with determination. I never gave up, I never quit, I never stopped. I proudly crossed that finish line and broke into tears. I did it! I couldn’t believe it! I was officially a half marathoner!!!

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the butterfly in my tutu
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crossing the finish line

I don’t have it as easy as an average runner, I have to work REALLY hard to reach my goals. With lots of obstacles in the way. But I don’t give up, I don’t know how to. With that said, I dedicate my latest badge of honor to those who supported me, believed in me, and never gave up on me. To my husband, thank you for being my rock, thank you for always pushing me when I need it. Thank you for being my #1 fan I love you. Thank you to my family and friends who supported me even though, you thought I was crazy! lol Thank you Janine and family for always lifting me up when I was down. You and your family always believed in me and thanks for the tough love! lol. I have truly been blessed with a bunch of people who support and stand by me and never let me fall. This is for you Tia and princess Bella!!!!

Most importantly, I did this for myself. I knew I could do it. I just needed to find the strength within me to get me across that finish line. I am a strong fighting warrior who will never give up!

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I will NEVER give up

 

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-cheetah g

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