First. Having other people to encourage me was invaluable. I would have given up in July if my niece hadn't been there with other training strategies and her belief that I could do this. I have read many times that artists can thrive with support from other like minded artists. I have to admit, I have avoided this type of contact because of my memories of "critique sessions" in college. I provide enough critique in my OWN head, thank you. Perhaps it would be possible to connect with others that are not out to destroy me as an artist. One of my brothers actually ran with me, even though he could have run faster. I usually run alone, and I wondered if it would be weird to have to talk to someone while running. We had the best time, it was fun to talk, and I know the physically difficult part of the race, when my legs were aching, went by a whole lot faster with his help.
Second. It was good for me to do something that was hard. I didn't expect the elation and sense of accomplishment that lasted for weeks after the event. I felt ready to set new goals. Write a whole albums' worth of music. Hike the Himalayas. Tackle painting that portrait of my friend! I have more confidence that I can succeed. I wasn't the fastest runner there, but I did beat my own goal of three hours by ten minutes, and that was good enough for me.
Jeff's Corner: I am going to comment about him. Jeff is wonderful! He was so proud of me for finishing my goal.