Courage & Strength

This past weekend I participated in my second half-marathon along side a great friend of mine. While I was training for my first one, my friend, Jenn, had been inspired by my running. After running her first run, I asked her if she was interested in running a half-marathon with me. She said absolutely.

We planned and registered to do our half-marathon this coming fall. The ever popular and beautiful Melissa’s Road Race in Banff, AB. Another friend of ours had gotten back into running and was planning on doing the 10km portion of the Calgary Marathon. We thought to register for that one as it would be a nice warm up to our race in the fall.

Wrong! Jenn is also a breast cancer survivor who is having her reconstructive surgery later this summer. She decided she needed to run her half-marathon before her surgery in case she dies. I still stood by her as I promised to be her pace car.

We both did awesome. Jenn was as much my pace car as I was hers. I gave her the strength and encouragement to get through the first half. She kept me motivated to run almost the whole way with minimal walk breaks. We shared some laughs, we shared some tears. She encouraged me not to quite at the 18 km marker when everything started to ache below my waist. She told me cancer didn’t kill her, so the last 3 km of the race are not going to kill us. At each kilometer marker we would cheer and she would shout out, “17 km, come in Jen, you’re beautiful , you can do this!”

It wasn’t until the last 5 km where I started to hit my wall. Having Jenn there helped me to endure the rest of the race. She wanted to finish under 3 hours, she did it, 2:59! I’m so proud of her. I was aiming for the 3 hour mark, and finished slightly behind Jenn at 3:03.

Jenn, I love you dearly; I’m super proud of you, and it was an honor to run with you. I look forward to our next race together. You are such an inspiration. You are so tough and strong. You’re as much of an inspiration to me as I am to you.

To everyone: you to can do it. It takes a whole lot of will power to know you can. Simply take one step at a time.

Namaste.

Jen

www.calgarymarathon.com

www.melissasroadrace.ca

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