Last year, I ran the A1A half marathon as my goal race after recovering from compartment syndrome. As I've mentioned on this blog numerous times, I've run one of the A1A races every year for the last five years; it's always on my birthday weekend and is such a special race and experience each time.
Last year, I knew I probably wouldn't run it again. They had moved the 2020 race to a random weekend in January rather than its usual February weekend, and I just knew I wouldn't be able to make it work. I made my peace with it.
Then, I saw the medal.
|I mean, this is about more than the medal, but really, it's kind of a lot about the medal.
I was just coming back from having the flu and was feeling envious of the race on a couple levels. Kristina, being the most amazing and supportive friend I could ask for, made me an incredibly kind offer.
|Usually I'd be horrified that someone just tosses their race medals, but in this case I am grateful!
I met Matt at his studio and we ran together through an unexciting, nondescript neighborhood nearby. Every step felt tough; I was really struggling. At exactly 1.55 miles, I saw a sign.
|No, not "no outlet"...the other one!
The last half of the 5k was just as tough as the first. I didn't magically feel light on my feet, but as I finished the distance - wheezing and worn - I felt committed. The medal was a carrot I needed to get back on my feet after being sick; the "race" was rough but it rekindled the desire to train that my fever had snuffed out.
A week after my "race", a package arrived in the mail. I hadn't really forgotten it was coming, but I wasn't expecting Kristina to rush out and send the medal quickly; after all, she was doing me a big favor. When it arrived, I was ecstatic.