Gratifying, grueling, unexpectedly humorous, inspirational and life altering – this was everything I experienced when I ran my first Marathon yesterday. I have to apologize as my blog posts have been pretty inconsistent, but most of you follow my Facebook page where I document my general experience with my training, nutrition etc. To sum things up a bit, I have been running for almost 4 years now. 4 years ago, I fell in love with running! I have run many 5 & 10K races, one 15-miler, 12 half marathons and one 30k race – this was my first Marathon experience. When I signed up for the race, I was not nervous. I’ve felt pretty confident with my running abilities and also have a ton of amazing running friends with so many years of experience – I knew that would help me along my journey.
After completing Around the Bay 30K road race, I felt super pumped and excited for my Marathon just 4 weeks later. My last training run was set for 2 weeks after ATB and boy did it suck! I did many things wrong during that run and spend most of the 34K wanting to throw up – actually that did happen more than once. One thing I know for sure is that you learn something from every run – and I knew what I wouldn’t be doing on Marathon Day.
My goal for yesterday was to finish. Sure I would have loved to qualify for Boston and trust me the thought crossed my mind after watching such inspiring stories the previous Monday at the Boston Race, but that’s not what this race was about for me. I love the freedom of running and I wanted to love running when I was done my Marathon. I wanted to look back at the day and be proud. I needed the confidence to know that I could do this all over again, so my focus was on the love of running.
The best part for me about running any first distance is not having expectations of completing in a certain amount of time. Wikipedia defines expectations as a belief that someone will or should achieve something. Guess what? I ran 42.2K and crossed the finish line with two of the strongest women I know and my 2 daughters.
There were moments during yesterday’s race that I ran by myself – by moments I mean just minutes. Even in those short minutes I was able to reflect on all the hard work that went into mentally and physically preparing for this day. (Oh and we can’t forget the most brutal Winter for runners to train in). The other parts of the run were spent with two of the most amazing, strongest women I know. There were tears, heartache, pain and moments when I thought I may have to stop because my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. At some points we were a little delusional and then there were moments when we all had to dig a little deeper to take on the conquered road before us. We were there for each other. We supported each other. We encouraged each other. It wasn’t about time or pace – there are many more races for that. Yesterday was my first Marathon and I wanted to do what I love and be surrounded by the people I love and respect. My family, friends and running community were all there. How could I ask for anything more? When we approached the 41k marker, I wanted to cry. I knew I needed to hold it together or I may fall through the finish line. I wanted to show my kids that I was strong, I was happy and I was proud – because I was and I am and yesterday’s race is one I will never forget. I have always respected the Marathon and the people who run it. Running makes my soul happy. It’s a euphoric feeling I look forward to everyday and constantly keeps me connected to life.
Fours years ago, I never would have imagined to have run, let alone run a race & four weeks ago, I never expected to enjoy my Marathon as much as I did.
So, to all runners out there, new and old – sometimes you can exceed your own expectations and yet other times, things you never expected turn into something wonderful that you will never forget
A few lessons learned about yesterdays race
- I can honestly say I never want to see another gummy worm or chew for a long time.
- Potato chips or pretzels are a must in my belt for next race.
- The Science of blowing snot rockets must be mastered for next marathon.
- Chickens or Peacocks – the difference between these animals must be clarified.
- Random strangers driving in cars beside you blaring tunes is pretty awesome.
- Kleenex must be carried – its multi-purpose.
- Never ever say you wont run another race – cause you will!