« Who Is Team AllEars | Main | 3...2...1....Launching Team AllEars 2014 »

Defining Success

By Christine Surh

After signing up for the WDW Half Marathon early last year, the only goal I could think about was finishing. I had done two half marathons previously with finish times of 4:05 and 4:01. I knew it would be a challenge to train to finish under 3:30. I signed up for local half in September to use as a gauge to see how I was doing. I trained all summer and finished the half in September in 3:39. It would have been even better except that at mile 8 I was hit with knee pain and had to slow to a walk for the rest of the race.

Because of my knee problems, I had to revise my training and worked out mainly on the elliptical during the week with a long distance walk on the weekends. There was still only one thing on my mind. Finish the half marathon.

Marathon weekend arrived and I was nervous to say the least. On top of not being able to train like I had planned, the weather was hot and humid. Humidity and I are not friends. I knew it was going to be rough but the only goal still in my mind was to finish.

I was lucky enough to be running with my mentor, Julie, who had been a constant source of support throughout all of my training. As we started it out, it didn’t take me long to realize this was going to be rough. By mile 3, I knew I was in trouble but kept going. We ran through the Magic Kingdom which seemed to go by pretty quickly but by the time we got out onto the highway in the blazing sun with the humidity, I was really struggling. By mile 8, I was just felt like I was done. I had no energy left. Julie was willing to stay with me but I couldn’t let her take the chance of not finishing so I sent her on ahead. I was not going to quit but I could not run anymore.

At that point, I made the decision to just keep moving and if they stopped me, so be it. Around mile 10.5, a woman on a bike started riding next to me to make sure I was ok. She asked if I had 2.5 more miles in me. I said I did but it wasn’t going to be fast. As we got to the mile 11 sign, another man on a bike told me that I was too far behind and I was going to be swept at that point.

So there it was. I didn’t finish. The only event that was going to make the weekend a success for me didn’t happen. But did that really make the weekend unsuccessful? Absolutely not!

Here are just a few of the many successes I experienced this weekend:
- I got to meet a great group of people who together raised over $78,000 for breast cancer
- I got to participate in the family fun 5K and have a great time
-I got to be in the Magic Kingdom to cheer on all the marathon runners
-I got to have an opportunity to challenge myself in difficult conditions and do the best I could do.

Would I have liked to have finished? Of course. Does not finishing make that event a failure in my life? I don’t think so. Will I be back next year to go for it again? You bet!!!

The previous post in this blog was Who Is Team AllEars.

The next post in this blog is 3...2...1....Launching Team AllEars 2014.

Comments (2)

Eddie McCoy:

Christine- Very proud of your grit and dedication. In no way should you ever hold your head down, and it appears you are not. This will only make you stronger and more resolved to do it next time! Proud to know you!


I would, without question, say you were a total success! Recognizing an obstacle and choosing to handle it with grace and dignity puts you in first place in my mind. The help you provided in raising money, the friendships you gained and the experience you now have under your belt put you in the winners circle for sure!!

Post a comment

(All comments must be approved before they appear on the entry.)

Return to Blog Central


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 13, 2013 9:11 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Who Is Team AllEars.

The next post in this blog is 3...2...1....Launching Team AllEars 2014.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.