Thursday, May 10, 2012


I have been thinking, for a few days, about how to adequately blog about the experience that I had on Sunday.  Since I still have no idea how to do that, you're going to get this.

First, it should be clear by now that I did survive the Borgess Run for the Health of It half marathon.  YAY!  And, for those of you who are wondering, so did the rest of our group (Jeremy, Lisa, Wendy, Petra, and Mario).  It was one of the scariest and most overwhelming things that I have ever done... and I'm so glad that I did it.  Not quite glad enough to sign up for another one in the next few months, but glad nonetheless.

As I may have mentioned in earlier posts, I'm not a "runner."  I am not fast, nor am I really graceful (and much less so, now that I've run the half marathon).  My goals for this event were 1) to finish (in a vertical position, and preferably in under 3 hours) and 2) raise as much money as possible for Heartline Ministries.  I am happy to report that I completed the 13.19 miles (I know!  What the heck?!) in an official time of 2:53:34.  And Gary (the Garmin) has my actual MOVING time at 2:42:08; you see, I did stop my watch when I was in line for or actually in the port-a-pottys.  So my moving time was walking and/or running, versus standing in line.  And for the other goal?  We raised $3,435 for Heartline Ministries!  Yes, it was so worth it!  Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who donated money toward our efforts.  It will be a great blessing to Heartline Ministries and to those who are served by them.  :)

So... the event.  It's a long way to run, and I was slightly intimidated when I got passed by the marathon participants.  They started 20 minutes before we did, and several of them managed to pass me by, over the course of their 26.2 miles -- showoffs.  My family (dressed in bright green, matching 'TEAM BAKKER' tee shirts) were able to find us at a few different places along the route, which was SO great!  It was such an encouragement for me to see them cheering and high-fiving as we went by.  I loved that part!  Petra, one of my actual runner friends, ran with me the whole time.  She was blessed with an abundance of patience, which came in handy for her that day.  I kept telling her to go and do her thing, but she stayed with me and encouraged me through the whole thing.  Not only did she stay with me, but at each mile marker, she did some sort of cheer and dance, to celebrate every accomplishment along the way.  She was great!

My hip started giving me problems shortly after the 5 mile marker.  Unfortunately, it only got worse as I went along.  This prompted me to walk more than I wanted to, but it was okay.  And somehow, after training for almost 300 miles without any blisters on my feet, I managed to get a big blister on one foot during the run.  I figured that it's probably just a little exclamation point from my slightly annoyed body... we. are. done. here!  As I rounded the last corner, for the last tenth of a mile, I could see the finish line.  It was very surreal, and I noticed that my breathing pattern changed (from panting) to not being able to catch my breath (as in hyperventilating) from the excitement of it all.  There were people lined up along both sides, cheering loudly; the clock was ticking above the finish line; it was thrilling.  I honestly wanted to speed up for that last little bit, but I had nothing extra left; I stayed the same speed and ran through the finish as they announced my name over the speaker "Congratulations Laura Bakker -- half marathoner!"  That's when I really lost it -- and went full on into the ugly cry.  Nice ladies around me were patting me on the arm and the shoulder, telling me good job; it was all so unbelievable to me.  I had completed a half marathon.  Seriously.

I looked around for Jeremy, and finally found him in the crowd.  He and Mario had finished in 1:51:54.  Ummm... can you say ROCK STAR???  I am so proud of him!  He was shooting to finish in 2 hours, and clearly blew that out of the water.  Petra finished at the same time that I did and Lisa came through (at blazing speed, I might add... she freaking looked like a Kenyan for the last 30-40 feet of the thing!) at 3:06:12, and Wendy (who ran with Lisa) was right behind her.  All in all, we did well.  We celebrated, we took pictures, we drank chocolate milk, and we went back to the hotel.  I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm still limping.  My hip and knee are feeling better each day, but not quite back to good yet.  But they'll get there.  It was still worth it.

Thank you all again, for supporting me through all of this.  It's been quite an experience.  And a special thank you to my friends and family for contributing over $3,000 toward our total -- you all seriously amaze me!  To God be the glory; great things He hath done!

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