Last Saturday on December 6, 2014, I did something I wasn’t sure I could do: I ran a marathon. I didn’t break any land speed records and I didn’t finish 1st in my age group, but I did wear a gopro to capture some of the 26.2 miles (the gallery is above), and I definitely learned some things along this journey.
Here are my top 10:
- I am stronger than I think I am. I don’t care if you are an Olympic runner, marathons are tough. I had major doubts when I woke up Saturday morning at 5am if I could actually finish what I was about to set out to accomplish. Turns out, I’m a tougher cookie than I give myself credit for sometimes.
- Complete strangers can make all the difference in motivation when you feel like you can’t keep going. At mile 18 I was wilting. I was hungry, cold, beginning stages of fatigue were creeping in, and my old leg injury was flaring up into my knee. It must have been showing on my face. As I jogged by a lone stranger, manning a water stop all on her own, she looked straight at me and told me I could do it. That I had a good pace going, that I was strong, and she was proud of me. I almost lost it. Instead of tears, I smiled and I sped up. I knew she was right, but at that moment I needed to hear it. If I could have bottled up her voice and held it with me the next 8 miles I would have. I have no idea who she is, and probably never will.
- Marathons are lonely creatures. It was a solo mission for me. No running buddies, no pace team to fall in line with. Just me and the road. Sure there are strangers within reach, and I ran with some pacers here and there, but after the half marathoners finish, it is a lonely journey.
- I talked to myself more than I ever thought possible. By mile 22 I was telling myself jokes to pass the time. I was talking to my legs, telling them failure wasn’t an option. Total lunatic.
- I became that person who everyone knows is running a marathon. Because the marathon is all I talked about leading up to it. Those miles can temporarily consume your life.
- It hurts. But it’s a fun hurt. My leg may have had stabbing knee pain, but I had the Bongo Lady’s bongos to pound (a total win!), a tiny astronaught’s hand to slap, the Grizz mascot to high-five, and plenty of cheering sections to distract me.
- People were proud of me. Sometimes I am shy and feel awkward talking about accomplishments. But people in my life were seriously proud of me. And that’s an amazing feeling.
- I ran and fundraised for a cause that I completely believe in and this gave me a lot of inspiration. When I felt tired I thought of all the children I know going through chemotherapy or those who have lost limbs, and I was instantly inspired to keep running for those who can’t. I highly reccomend running for a cause, especially St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
- Runner’s high is a real thing. Seriously. Endorphins are the new thing. I went out to a pub crawl that same night, (partly because I needed to keep moving, afraid if I was still for too long I wouldn’t be able to move) and was out on the dancefloor in front of the DJ having an amazing time, without having one drink.
- It was all so worth it.
Happy running! ~ Am
Where we were. What we ate. What we made. Watch Us Roam.