Quote of the Week

Training for a marathon started out as a life-list thing, and it turned into a lifestyle.”

-Mike Post, Runners World Challenger of the Week

This is how it all started for me folks!  I signed up for the Chicago Marathon on 10-10-10 at the urging from a friend, who had run a few marathons before and was wanting to train for another one.  After I had broken my foot training for the Las Vegas Half Marathon in 2009, I decided, why not?    I was frustrated by the injury and ready to push myself more.  I know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense… I guess I had the runner’s mentality in me already ;).

That first year of training was rough.  It took discipline.  I stayed in more, rather than meeting my friends out at bars and cut back on indulging in adult beverages.  My friends started to get frustrated with me.  I started getting frustrated with my schedule, that seemed to keep me from having any fun at all.  I trained alone.  I hit every milestone each week, pushing the miles past what I had run before.  I disciplined myself.  And I got there.  By the time the marathon came, I felt bored.  I didn’t want to run anymore.  I didn’t have the companionship to keep me going.  The last two weeks of taper, I started reaching out to anyone who would run some miles with me, just so I could make myself get them in.  I swore over and over and over again that I would never run another marathon.  I would never make this type of sacrifice again.

Then, the marathon came.  It was incredible.  Indescribable.  I had so much fun!  My friend and I flew through the first half of the course and were amazed to find ourselves at the half marathon mile marker.  We felt great.  The crowds in Chicago were motivating.  I was taking in each and every neighborhood we ran through.  This is what I had worked so hard for.  I took my time.  I enjoyed the race for what it was.  It was for me.  Thinking about the experience now, makes me laugh.  I stopped 3 times during the race to use the porta potties!  Three times!  And I stopped on the side of the course to stretch at least twice in addition to the potty stops :).  I was in it to finish it, nothing more, nothing less.  And I did.  I never hit a wall.  I just kept on going.  At mile 15, my friend stayed behind, injured.  I ran the last part of the race alone.  I was choking back tears as I neared mile 26.  The feeling of accomplishment overcame me.  I knew I had just conquered something big.  Something that for me, was going to be life changing. 🙂  Writing this now, I find myself fighting back tears as I remember that feeling.

I came home and in one night, signed myself up for not just one more, but two more marathons to run in 2011.  Chicago and Tucson :).  And… well, it’s been a lifestyle I’ve adapted to, no longer a sacrifice, but a joy.

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(Picture shamelessly borrowed from Run5kaday’s Blog)

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