So many events and details to post about but I'll try and stick as close to running as possible. We had a baby!!! Augusta Daye Stanfill was born on Thursday April 7th (not named after the masters!). It was/is amazing. Check out Sal's blog for more details about that (http://www.babybukes.blogspot.com/).
Bottom line, I did NOT qualify for Boston. I was on pace until mile 25 and I ran two 10 minute miles to finish the race in 3:15:50. I needed to run 3:10:59. I have never cramped...in all my years of playing sports and watching others cramp it never happened to me until mile 22 of the Myrtle Beach marathon. It was the weirdest thing...all of the sudden it felt as though worms were crawling around in my calves and every time I tried to push off my toes they would flare up and completely disable me...so frustrating. I somehow managed to alter my strides from 22 through 24 but then 25 hit and I was done! I could hardly walk without wanting to fall to the ground. It was almost comical because I felt as though I had fuel left in the tank if I could get my legs to cooperate. So, I would give myself a pep talk (I think several were out loud with the Lord) and then try and pick up the pace only to cramp up and slow down again.
BUT, what could have been a fairly devastating moment was a moment of true elation. I was constantly praying that the Lord would be with me, guide me, be my strength. And HE was, just not in the way I would have imagined. I ran the last 2.2 miles hardly able to stand but I couldn't help but smile and laugh.
Over the last year or so I've realized that I believe my value is based on what I do or accomplish. At work, at home, and worst of all, in my relationship with the Lord. Through prayer, counseling, and family, the Lord has begun the healing process. He has begun to show me that NOTHING I do or don't do will ever impact HIS love for me. It's unconditional and he's already boldly stated "You are worth it" because He came and laid His life down for me. I was worth His life. Amazing! So, I've been resting in that truth and praying that I would not find my worth in whether or not I qualified for Boston. In the final moments of the race, the Lord answered my prayer and allowed me to experience pure joy that was not dependent upon how I performed. It was absolutely exhilarating!
As promised to my wife, I took approximately 5 weeks off of "running" after the race to let my leg heal. I got into some yoga and abs classes with Jillian Michaels through our TV. Ridiculous, I know, but I had to stay active!
Now, I'm back at it and slowly ramping up the mileage! I learned so much from training and running this past marathon and can't wait to sign up for the next one. Qualifying for Boston will still be the goal.
I've even started mixing in some "barefoot" style runs. I couldn't bring myself to buy the expensive Vibram 5-fingers. So, I bought $7 water shoes from Wal-Mart and they have actually done great. If you're looking to get into barefoot running I highly recommend the water shoes first! I'm planning on a trail run tomorrow in my water shoes so we'll see how that goes.