Yesterday while I was out running my 10K, I was about a half a mile from the finish and mentally started to struggle. Yes, with just a half mile to go, after running for five and a half miles I struggled, I always do right here. I know it is because I can just about see the finish. I see the school ahead of me a few blocks away and on the back side of it is the Finish Line. It is a long curve around the school and then a turn to the Finish and I want to be there. It doesn’t seem to get any closer. My feet become heavier and my breathing is labored more than any time during the race. My head was down for most of the race, but yet I felt it drop a bit further to my chest.

 About Mile 4 out on the course someone yelled my time to me and I knew for certain my friend Stacia was at the Finish line and I still had 2.2 miles to get there. I knew she was surrounded by many, and I was pretty sure she was smiling, while I could only see one woman in front of me and she soon was out of my sight, she had come from the back passing me and she never looked back. I believe she finished 9 minutes ahead of me. There was only a few behind me, but I wasn’t certain they were there until I got home and looked at the posted results.

This was the 4th time I’ve ran this 10K and the 3rd time it was at this school and that last half mile always gets me and I struggle all the way. I thought of my friend Karen and Katelyn who came back for me one year and ran that last half mile with me, and that thought helped me for a few steps. They could walk to my run, which hurts the ego a bit, but looking back on it yesterday I remembered it with a smile and my feet pushed me forward, not complaining anymore.


And as I struggled yesterday I looked down and there was my feather. My hope, always spotted when I need to see it the most. I smiled, I thought about picking it up, but I left it for whoever else might need it and that last half mile was not a struggle, before I could have ever imagined I was at the Finish.

Many of the runners had left, the parking area was quite empty, but I spotted my friend Stacia’s car with her running magnets and smiled. This was her first 10K and I knew she would add that 10K magnet to her car today.

I stepped across the Finish line and a young woman handed me my 2015 Finisher’s Ribbon and I knew, I knew I had earned it. It didn’t matter how many were in front of me and it didn’t matter if anyone was behind me. I finished it.

 A few minutes later my friend Stacia and her daughter came trotting up to me. Stacia was all smiles. She held in her hand the coveted Turkey Trophy. She finished 3rd in her age group. I am happy she has her trophy. I am happy I have my ribbon. We both had the courage to stand at the Start line and run to the Finish. We ran with our hearts. Yay us!


About jlturtlerunner

12 plus Years Surviving Stage IV Oral Cancer. I have become a "Turtle" runner since that diagnosis, as a way of saying, "Take That Sucker!" After 12 years of being a Turtle Runner, I'm adding a new title, Turtle Rucker!

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