Once upon a time….

There was a young woman who felt incredibly compelled to register for a marathon. She had never ran a marathon… not even a half marathon… not even a  10k, but she had been running since the age of 11. Cross country… track & field… and just unofficially pounding the pavement in her free time. She knew that a marathon was a part of her journey. What better marathon to participate in than The People’s Marathon? This is what the Marine Corps calls their branch marathon because you do not need to have run a previous race to prove your projected finish time. Many people chose to do this race as their first marathon because of that. Additionally, they also support many charities participation. Plan B was definitely going to include running through a charity. Plan C was going to be my husband selflessly transferring his early registration to me. Now that’s love!

So today at noon registration opened. I assume, like many others, I was poised at my laptop ready to pounce on the registration link as soon as it was available. BOOM! Clicked it… entered my email and registration information on the form. fizzle….. my first error screen emerged on the screen and my heart sank. Active.com’s website was crashed because of all the excited would-be runners. Time: 12:02.

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I sat at my computer for the next HOUR refreshing the pages. Sometimes I would get through to the same form where I had provided my information before. Other times, I received a variety of error messages and “please kindly wait as we process the influx of entrants more worthy.” I may be paraphrasing.

Site downErrorInflux

My desire to merely enter was put on hold at one point. That certainly gave me some warm and fuzzies.

On hold

I found myself becoming desperate. My heart was pounding and everything around me was frustrating me. My son asking for more moo (milk)…. I mean what kind of ridiculous request was this when he had just chugged his last cup a mere 10 minutes ago?…. or how my entire home was shaking in rhythm with someone’s too loud music outside. And then I took a deep breath… got my act together… and prayed.

“Please…. please… PLEAAAASSSSSE! I have never felt so much desire for something. All I want to do is run my first marathon with my husband.” My only hope was that God wanted this for me as well.

After the first hour of trying came and went I actually had the slightest bit of hope. Some people were reporting on Marine Corps Marathon’s facebook page that they had made it through and received confirmation. Others, were declaring that they had given up trying because they had to get back to work or pick up a child. This meant that the server was getting a break. I made it to the page where I had to enter my payment information. I clicked submit and held my breath.

“Don’t kick me out. Don’t kick me out. I really want to do this!” My son must think I’m nuts… for many reasons, but today because I was talking to myself.

And then at 1:11 THIS happened….

Congratulations

I imagine this is what it would feel like to purchase a baby unicorn. To obtain the once thought to be unobtainable. To be honest I was overcome with emotion. I had not considered the possibility of not getting registered. And as every minute that ticked by was every minute closer to it being sold out I fought the urge to give in to a heart attack. Last year, it sold out in 2 hours and 41 minutes. I felt helpless as I persistently and sometimes almost violently clicked the refresh button. When my confirmation came through I felt redemption. Like God was saying “I answered your prayer because I believe in you”. So I kissed my son on the forehead and apologized for letting my frustration show through… then we got some moo.

“A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step.” -Lao Tzu