10 Things I learned from running a marathon:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. It was all so worth it.

Happy running! ~ Am

Where we were. What we ate. What we made. Watch Us Roam. 

Have something to say?