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Colfax.

Yesterday, I completed my 5th Half Marathon. It was the Colfax Half and it's been on the calendar for awhile. My plan was to push an assisted athlete solo with a local organization out here in Colorado.

I'd like to say that yesterday was a PR. That I accomplished another big feat, checking some goal off my list. I can't say those things.

What I can say is that it sucked. That it was my worst half marathon to date and that, by the time I finished, I had nothing left. I was dizzy and shaking and completely out of it. 

BUT.

We finished.

I was the only single pusher to a disabled athlete. And it was my first time pushing solo. It was also the first time I had met my athlete, Isaac, not knowing much about him until race morning. We met in the parking lot. His mom got him out of his regular chair and into his race chair and we chatted a bit. She was awesome. Kind and happy and willing to let a perfect stranger take her kid on a jaunt around Denver for a couple of hours. Isaac was tired (it was early for a 15 year old kid!), but talkative which ended up helping me through our morning together.

The next thing I knew, we were taking off and immediately I knew we were in for a long 13.1 miles. I'm not sure if it was the chair, Isaac's weight and weight distribution, my not being used to pushing solo, the fact I had had a long and strenuous week at work or a combination of all of those, but something was off. I couldn't catch my breath (thanks, altitude) and found myself walking while trying to constantly re-position the direction of our chair. There was no groove. It was me trudging through what ended up NOT being a downhill-ish course, contrary to what I had been told. 

"It's a slight downhill the whole way!" - people
"Bullshit" - me 2 miles in

I got some help along the way from a couple of great guys. One of which I get to work with a couple of times a year. They were SO lovely to help me....and walk with me and Isaac.

What we had going for us was that the course was LOVELY. Beautiful! We even got a tour of the Denver Zoo! And the weather was pretty damn perfect for a running race. 50-ish degrees and overcast and just a little drizzle around mile 5.

I tried to pull myself together enough to push through (literally and figuratively) the last couple of miles. To run through the finish line. But my body was piiiiissssseeeed at me and apparently very calorie deficient. Walking would have to do....and that's when the tears came. I was frustrated that this took so long. That I had this poor teenager and his mom out for so long. I wanted to do better for them and I felt like I failed.

We finished. In a record breaking WORST time ever for me (and Isaac, too, I'm sure). 

When we got to Dennis and Isaac's mom, they were smiling and happy to see me. Instantly making this feeling of failure go away. She handed me a life saving apple (I was trembling), said some really kind things like, "thank you" and "don't worry about it" but I can't remember specifics.


And just like that it was over. Another "race" in the books.

Like every single event I do, there is always something different. Always a new take-a-way. Yesterday was a lesson in getting it done. Giving myself some grace because it was so ugly. Celebrating finishing. Understanding that it wasn't all about me. That Isaac had a long day, too, and he helped push me through to the finish.

Colfax was ugly, but it's done...and now I look forward to August 28th.

https://kyle-pease-foundation-inc.networkforgood.com/projects/50559-helen-gardner-s-fundraiser

99 days.


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