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In the Whirled: Four steps to the finish line

Published: Wednesday, July 2 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Around mile 21, we entered downtown Duluth, right along the edge of Lake Superior. About that time, I hit the wall. I felt like a car running on fumes, sputtering toward the end. We were on cobblestone streets and there was a painted yellow line right down the center of the road. I put myself on that line for the last five miles. I didn’t hear the crowd lining the streets. I just followed that yellow line until I could see the blessed finish.

My family stood in the bleachers, cheering and waving signs. My oldest son brandished a poster that read “Who’s that awesome runner? It’s MOM!”

I crossed that finish line having learned four important lessons about running and life:

1. Training matters. Put in the time and reap the reward.

2. You can do anything if you just look to the next mile marker. Sometimes that’s more reachable than the finish line.

3. Thirty seconds of walking can make all the difference.

4. Near the finish, put yourself on a line and don’t stray from that path.

At the end of my 26.2 miles, I hobbled across the finish line, collected my finishers medal and went to find my family. And just to show that I am thoroughly intoxicated with running and just the tiniest bit insane, that I have much more to learn, and that my absolutely fantastic running friends have rubbed off on me, the first words out of my mouth were:

“I can’t wait to do that again.”

Tiffany Gee Lewis lives in St. Paul, Minn., and is the mother of four boys. She blogs at thetiffanywindow.wordpress.com. Her email is tiffanyelewis@gmail.com.

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