Once in a while in life you have those moments where you are sure you made the right decision. This weekend was one of those moments for me. Several month’s ago my girlfriend’s and I decided to run the Seaside Half Marathon. This would be our second time traveling together to enjoy a girls weekend/run at the beach. We had two new participants this year who do not run and have never done a half marathon before. This run is so much fun. The course is fairly flat, it has amazing views and is flush with happy participants. Most of the runners are there to have fun, oh and of course collect the Vera Bradley bag that are handed out at the finish! Two years ago when we went down to do the race I went with a purpose to see just how fast I could do a half marathon that did not follow a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike. I trained hard and I was on a mission. I also left my girlfriend’s behind after 3 miles, selfishly pursuing a PR. I was extremely happy with my finish time but I was also left feeling a little empty and extremely guilty after I found out that my sweet friend Ya Ya (not her real name) struggled through the final miles with a stress fracture. So this time I decided that my race experience was going to be different. This race was going to be about encouraging and supporting someone else, regardless of how long it took to finish. So Ya Ya and I decided to insist that our friends “who don’t run” let us run with them, no matter what the day brought. The end result was that I experienced uncommon joy and much more satisfaction from getting my friend across the finish line than I ever would have had achieving a PR. Experiencing my friend’s joy and amazement from realizing an achievement six months ago she never thought she was capable of (with a respectable time to boot!) was priceless.
God blessed me with this group of women, who encourage and pursue grace. He also blessed me with a lesson about life. Achieving a Personal Best is far more rewarding than achieving a Personal Record.