Joplin Memorial Run 2015

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This weekend I ran half marathon #4, The Joplin Memorial Run.

If we’re friends on Facebook you might have seen a status that read like this:

Today I finished half marathon #4 with a time of 2:13:08! It wasn’t a PR but it was a great run. The JMR has such a special place in my heart. I run to remember the 161, I run to defeat lies and fears, I run for the glory of God. He is SO good and has abundantly blessed us.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along the way. I couldn’t do it without you.

Those words couldn’t possibly be any more true.

Race weekend started like this.

(My favorite part of the day)

And ended like this.

Everything in between was running, crying, mentally struggling, pictures, lots of hills, funny signs and smiles.

Let’s take a closer look.

The race started at 6:30 a.m. we showed up about 5:45, prayed took photos and were ready to start.

My Dad surprised me and showed up to watch me start the race. It was really sweet to see him before I headed to the coralls and he snapped this picture right before we took off. 
Yes I am a total nerd.

The first several miles felt effortless. We were running and our pace was amazing. We can across the first official race photographer (who just happened to be at the top of a hill) and some how we were still smiling.

I assure you Anna doesn’t normally run with her eyes closed ;).

And I am almost always at least this awkward.

Things didn’t get challenging until around mile 5. Anna and Lacey stopped to walk a bit and I kept running with another friend. I managed to stay with her for another mile or two but eventually my head won out and I stopped to walk then I found myself in a spot I never had been in before. On a long run, in a race and alone. It was completely bizarre and something I mentally had never done before. It was tough. I kept on the best I could. around mile 9 I realized a PR just wasn’t going to happen but I knew I could at least stay within my goal if I didn’t give up.

Then about here, I lost it. 

Those girls were a sight for sore eyes jumping up and down holding signs smiling at me. Tears flooded my eyes.

I stopped and talked to them for a couple minutes but knew I had to start running again or I never would. Off I went to battle out the last few miles. 

Around mile 11.5 I saw Michelle (in the left of the picture). She is a friend who was running her first half and she was just the inspiration that I needed. Someone to keep me accountable. I ended up running on a bit ahead of her but I knew with her on my trail I wouldn’t let myself fall behind any more.

 

And eventually I somehow got here. There is nothing more beautiful at the end of a run than a finish line.

This half was so different than the previous three. This was the hardest course I have ever ran. The first time I have ran part of one alone and I knew this was going to be my last half marathon for almost a year. It felt so good to be done and each of those things made this race more challenging and meaningful for their own different reasons.

Exhausted I stood at the end of the finish line and cheered my girls in. 

I never imagined this race going this way, but I am almost glad it did.

I learned so much about myself that day and ways that I can grow.

I came home, hung my medal up, stood back and looked.

I can’t believe all of this has happened in just barely over a year. 


I run to remember, I run to defeat the lies and the fears, I run for the glory of God.

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  • Maren Hall Arnold

    That is amazing. Congrats on another finish! I loved the photos of the girls cheering you on. I also like the colors in your tank top!

  • Megan Bean

    I totally would need to someone to help hold me accountable lol. Congrats!

  • Elizabeth Joiner

    Congratulations!!! A half marathon is tough! My friend is training for one and we tried for 8.5 miles the other day like his app said he should be doing and pooped out at 6.2. I'm hoping to one day run a marathon. But for now just running is good enough.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

  • Holly

    Oh my goodness! I cried seeing those picture of you with the girls! So very sweet! And, congratulations! You did it! Awesome job!

  • Way to go!!!

  • Chelsea Williams

    WOW go you 4!! You go girl 🙂

    Chelsea@thewilliamsjourney1.blogspot.com/

  • OH my gosh, I love that clip board with the race bibs and medals! So cool. I did exactly 1 half marathon and I did it by myself, perhaps that's why I don't want to do another one? Around mile 11 I got really lonely, and then I saw my family and it gave me the push I needed to finish. 🙂 Good work mama! How come you're not doing any more this year?

  • WOW! Awesome! You go girl! =)

  • Thank you so much :)!

  • Awww!!! I was such a mess as soon as I saw them. I didn't really expect to be THAT emotional. Surprise, surprise :).

    Thank you so much!

  • Thank you so much. I love it too. I thought about buying one, but couldn't find one I liked so I just made my own :)!

    Alone is SO hard. Serious props to those who run alone all the time. That is a mental hurdle I am going to have to learn to overcome.

    I am taking a 6 month break from long runs to work on speed in the shorter runs and do a 6 month hard-core weight lifting/ nutrition plan. So no runs over 5-6 miles for me until 2016. I am pretty excited to do something that is going to challenge me. I know I could run another half if I wanted to. This will be a totally new experience.

  • Awww, I got a little teary eyed seeing your little cheerleaders there!! Good work, friend!!

  • MyMoms TotallyNuts

    Amazing post! You inspired me to start exercising! And, if you knew me, that is something, ha ha! I loved reading your blog post!

  • You are some sort of inspiring, lady— well done!! Love when you saw your girls!!!

  • You are on a roll!!! Awesome job Beth!!!

  • Do you follow Hungry Runner Girl? She's a full time runner and always talks about having an online coach that helps her with her speed work and stuff. She's an awesome blog to follow. She posts twice a day during the week! Crazy right? I went for a 5 mile run on Saturday and I run at exactly the same pace as I did when I was training, talk about needing speed training, LOL. Although I'm not so sure running is made for me. But looking forward to following your running journey, maybe if I had friends to run with I'd feel different, but I pretty much train/run on my own. You get used to it, During my training for the half I took a lot of those runs and wrote my MOH speech, haha. Definitely gives you a lot of time to make long lists in your head. I have issues running with headphones, as in they always fall off and then I start keeping track of time (think: this song is about 4 minutes, so I have 9 more songs to go, and it made the time move so slow!). Wow this response was way longer then intended, too much to say, haha.

  • So fun to see your journey through the race! I love your medal/# display!

  • Wow! What an incredible day!

  • Awesome job! Way to push through! As a fellow runner, I enjoy race recaps. 🙂

    Your race bib and medal display is very cool! Much better than keeping it all at the bottom of some random drawer…like I have done in the past.

    "Celebrate every mile" I love that! So true…

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    As with every race recap, I'm crying. There is just something so… Intense… About running a half, a 5k, a 10k, a marathon, a whatever. The challenge that takes place not only physically, but mentally and spiritually is beyond defining.

    And, there are two glorious things to been seen on a race course 1) friends and family cheering you on, right when you need them the most 2) the finish line.

    Way to go, friend! SO PROUD OF YOU!!!

  • Oh goodness me to. I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it did. I was such a mess, lol.

    Thank you so much!

  • Aaahhhh :). Thank you so much. When I finally decided to start working out, not even two years ago, I had to go buy workout shorts. Baha ha! So funny thinking back on how far I have came.

    Thanks for reading :).

  • Thank you so much friend. I did too. Seeing them there meant THE WORLD to me!

  • Thanks friend!

  • Thanks Becky! I looked and looked for one I love and never could find one so I made it! That makes it even more special.

  • That is so cool. I would like to do something like that someday. Maybe not a half marathon, but we'll see. I love the photos.

  • It really was!

    Thanks for reading!

  • Thank you so much! Those pictures of the girls will always be so precious to me. So glad the husband thought to snap them.

    That may just be my favorite tank out of all of the ones I own…. and that's a lot ;). It's just so bright and cheery.

  • Hehe! It really does help.

    Thank you so much!

  • Half marathons are tough but totally doable all at the same time. That is why I love them so much! As for the marathon I used to say NO WAY. Now I am thinking that I would like to do at least one, just to say that I did.

  • Thank you so much! Start with a 5K and work you way up from there. Who knows how far you will get :)!

  • LOL! I will have to check her blog out!

    I always end up running slower than I want or way to fast and then I almost kill myself lol. I really think running with friends seriously helps. At least if your doing anything over 5 miles it does and even that along feels SO long. Have you ever looked into Yurbuds? Mine headphones used to bug me SO badly I got some Yurbuds and I have 0 problems now. Check them out!

  • Thank you so much!

    I just love my display. I wanted some where special for my first half medal to hang so I made that. I had to put that phrase on it. It is my motto when it comes to running. It is so easy to take those miles for granted.

  • It's because you just get it. Races are HIGHLY emotional things and this one probably reached a new level of emotions for me. Running alone, my girls. THAT course. It was TOUGH.

    Thank you so much friend.

  • Beth this is so powerful! I felt like I was there running with you. I am so glad you shared this and that you finished the race strong, isn't that we all want to do with our lives? Congrats my friend!

  • Oh Beth that brought me to tears! So powerful and intense- loved it! I also love where you hang your medals! What an awesome idea!

  • Thank you so much. That just makes me so happy to hear. That is always how I want these posts to feel I just never really know if that works out or not.

    Yes it sure is. Finish the race and finish strong :).

  • Aaahhh thank you so much friend. That makes my heart so happy to hear.

  • chall1018

    You’re the cutest runner EVER! Seriously! I love to see all
    of your running/marathon pictures and posts. And I love love love that your
    race weekend starts with prayer! What a great surprise to have your dad there!!!
    Love that. And oh my goodness…I teared up on the part where your girls were
    cheering you on! Oh my heart!!!

  • well I got sniffly. That is so sweet to have those people cheering you on and running with all sorts of friends you find along the way and even running with just yourself. That is awesome that you learned something new, and then hung up your newest medal. Total rockstar.

  • You are just such an inspiration!!! I love your attitude. With all those pictures, I was absolutely cheering you on. I loved that pic of you in the crowd, smiling and waving, while everyone else was serious. So awesome!!!

  • MyMoms TotallyNuts

    Now that is one GREAT excuse to go buy workout clothes….. I just may have to use that, baha ha!

  • You totally should 😉. Workout clothes are so cute!

  • Oh my goodness friend you are to nice.

    Starting a race like that with prayer just felt so right. I was a teary eyed mess. It was one of my hardest half so far but one of my favorites too. So many little things added up to make it really special.

  • Thank you so much. On that tough a course I am definitely happy with my time. Maybe next year I can beat it too!

  • Elizabeth

    This is amazing!!! As a non-runner, I just assume that running comes easy to those who do it. I never thought that each and every race, no matter what number you're on, could be that challenging. Thank you for sharing your story with us! And look at that AMAZING wall of medals! You go girl!

  • I think it does for some…. but that is probably a very rare number of runners. It is more mentally challenging than anything I ever have experienced.
    Thank you so much friend!