Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis

This past Sunday I ran my 6th half marathon in Ottawa. As I was running I was writing this post in my head. The weather was great, much cooler and less humid than what I had trained in this summer. I felt strong and my first 5K was faster than I expected. The story was going really well and I couldn’t wait to write it… and then I hit kilometre 16! In all of the runs I have done I have never “hit the wall” like I did at kilometre 16, and it was literally in front of the kilometre marker sign. My head was telling me I only had 5K left but my legs were telling a much different story. My hip flexors stopped working, the forward motion of my legs was barely happening. I had no idea how I was going to finish those 5 kilometres. I did finish but it was S L O W. 

So, as much as I couldn’t wait to write this post at the beginning of the race, by the time I finished I had zero interest in writing it. Why? It wasn’t because I had a tough race or because I hit the wall. The reason I didn’t want to write about this – EGO. I was very unhappy with my time and I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want you to know. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a personal best but this run was significantly slower than any other half that I have done. My ego didn’t want me to write this post because people would know how slow I really was. I thought, if I just don’t write about it I can just forget about it. 

The other night I was putting my nephew Alexander to bed. He did really well in his recent cross country meet. As I was leaving his room I said “Good Night Mr. Third Place” and his response… “Good Night Miss Half Marathon”. 

As the week has gone on, I have been a little kinder to myself about the run, thanks in part to Alexander.

I RAN 21.1 kms.

I pushed my body when it resisted.

I had a difficult run and got through it.

I know most people have tough runs at some point. I’ve witnessed others go through it and thought more of them for facing the adversity than I might have if they had an “easy” run. And so I’ve decided to be proud of myself and stop beating myself up. 

So what was my time? 2 hours and 23 minutes.

When you run the marathon you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time. ~ Haile Gebrselasie

Thank you to everyone who is reading this. Having this avenue to express myself helps push me out of my comfort zone. I would have much preferred to ignore how I felt about this run, it would have been easier. But the result of being uncomfortable and writing this is that I gain better perspective, I am less angry and I realize I can run another one anytime and the next one WILL be better.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Mahatma Gandhi

30 thoughts on “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis

  1. Wow. I am so impressed and so proud of what you accomplished! I would ‘hit the wall’ at the 1 km marker. Just finishing the race was a huge accomplishment and don’t ever forget that😘

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  2. Geesh…I thought reading this would be a good way to pass the time waiting for Andrew’s hair cut to be done and now I’m sitting in this busy salon crying!! Way to go Miss Half Marathon. We’re all so proud of you. Maybe we should let children give us the labels as they see us instead of listening to our own self doubt. Thanks for the post. Hugely inspiring!

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  3. So awesome Lisa. If life was easy, we’d never have a reason to learn anything. Sharing your story only helps the lessons go deeper. You’re already stronger. Way to go!

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  4. Thanks Lisa!! your post has encouraged me today! I am glad you decided to share this awesome race with all of us. Your story reminds me the tough days help to make me stronger. The only way I am beaten is if i choose to stay down. “Fall down seven times, Get up eight.” You rock, Miss Half marathon!!!



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  5. How appropriate!
    On September 28 this year I hit an emotional wall. It wasn’t like one of those down days where a bad moment drags and slows you down. It was a complete rock bottom depression feeling of disappointment and sadness and anger. With swelling and tear welling eyes plus thoughtless get through the day actions, my self awareness shut down. I consciously checked out and became unaware of it. It was at the moment when I became aware again that I was grateful for the life lessons I have learned. I have learned so much and practiced living in good mental and emotional health that my inner strength was able to take over when I hit the wall. My subconscious took over and lead me through the same actions that I would have given anyone else to help them snap out of it. Life is a marathon of races and there are going to be all sorts of conditions that are going to be challenging along the way. Training and planning for them is a good strategy, unfortunately some challenges are surprising and that is when the meeting between preparation and opportunity becomes invaluable. Although it feels like the finish line is so far away I know it is there and I’ll cross it. I am slowing things down and getting through this race I am in. Lisa, I needed to read your blog today. Thank You for writing it.

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  6. You are my hero Lisa for just entering, training and completing the 1/2. All the rest is the game that gets played in our heads!
    Thanks for having the courage to share.

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  7. Congratulations, Ms. Half Marathon on the huge success of running a wise race!
    It’s not about a goal time; it’s about listening to your body and making the necessary adjustments.
    There are no bad runs….just great stories for down the pub!

    Tia, you continue to be an inspiration to so many of us.
    You are a great teacher, mentor and more importantly, a friend that encourages all of us to live our best life.
    Thank you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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