Finishing My RunDisney Disneyland Half Marathon

Jeff GallowayTwo months before the race I got a left knee injury about. I was only able to walk so the last two months consisted of no running workouts. My goal at the start of the race was simply to finish.

The first 5 miles through the Disneyland Resort weren’t too bad. It was slow due to the crowding and lots of distractions. But then came the open road which started with a long uphill. As the race progressed I was in more and more pain. Then both legs and my lower back started hurting. I had no endurance and was sucking air. My form was terrible no matter how. Such I concentrated on it which led to more pain. Then my shoulders started cramping no matter how much I tried to relax.

I began trying every trick I have learned over my 48 years of running. Relaxing, distractions, concentrating on form, setting short term goals (just that next intersection…), music, pacing off another runner, using another runner as a rabbit, etc. Eventually I just had to go to walking. I tried to walk as briskly as I could, but even that was not too fast.

Finally I got to within .2 miles of the finish line. I could see the top of it over the fence and could hear the crowd roaring. I could also hear my High School Cross Country coach saying “Finish Strong”. I had no more race to save anything for. I could put all I had left into Finishing. This isn’t just about finishing the best you can, but setting a positive mind set for your next race.

I began running as best I could. I know my form was horrible and I hurt a lot. I rounded the corner to start up the driveway into the parking lot where the finish line was. I could see the final turn to the finish line. I was about half way to the final turn when I looked into the crowd on the inside turn side.

There was Jeff Galloway himself cheering on the finishers. I looked at him and he turned his head towards me and looked right at my eyes. I don’t really know if he saw I needed that little extra encouragement of it was just the next thing he was going to saw. He got a big grin on his face and yelled “YOU GOT THIS!”. He was clapping the whole time. He pointed his hands towards me and tracked me as I went by. I was just one of thousands of runners that day and know he has no recollection of this.

But that meant the world to me. I got a big grin from that as I passed him and turned the final corner. For some reason I felt a little lighter and my stride steadied up. I finished

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