On Sunday I ran my first marathon.
There's something I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY.
Notice the word "first" slid in there too, you can't run just one can you? Now I have a time to beat....
Kind of crazy when you think about it: 26.2 miles. But it's so much more than that. A journey. A physical, mental, and spiritual journey. So many hours of dedication & discipline all coming together. Those miles taught me a lot about myself and what I can accomplish. They brought me closer to God, as I spent nearly all of them listening to, and studying His word.
This whole process really got me thinking about how we set our own limits. I had been telling myself, for all kinds of reasons, what I can't do. But when I push through that negativity, I realize I can do whatever I put my mind to.
Even if I fail, that's okay, it is all part of the process that eventually leads to success.
I really didn't think I would become a distance runner. But as it turns out, I actually enjoy it.
As we pushed through each training run: 18, three 20's and a 23, all the while, my confidence began building, and I started to realize that I can do this, I really can run a FULL marathon.
Even if it's totally nuts. Which it is.
Here I am with Mariah and Melanie, right before the start.
I ended up staying with Mariah for the first 13 miles, then she just flew away, that chick is FAST.
That is our friend Michael, who is one of the nicest guys ever. He came to pace Mariah for this race, he was not even running in it. He jumped in at about mile 3 and took her all the way to the end. After they left me, I didn't think I'd see him again. At mile 25.2, with one mile to go, he came back for me, he fell back into step with me and encouraged me the rest of the way. It was such an incredibly nice thing to do! And it helped so much. That last mile feels sooooo long!
I had the best surprise as I came around to the track where you do your last lap to the finish, Katherine, Lauren and Thea were there holding a sign and cheering for me!! I had no idea they were coming! It was such a wonderful welcome sight! Julia, Dad, Angi, Jessica, John and the kids were there too! What a great cheering squad! I was really feeling the love!
I love Ava snuggling Norah up on top of the bleachers.
Ava ran the final lap with me. She was adorable!
Quick, someone tell me to go under the marathon sign, not the half marathon!!
So happy to be so close!
Having my family and friends there to cheer me on, it was just so awesome!!
Love this one!
I'm so very thankful to have had Mariah to do all those long runs with in training, it was really great being able to end them with a race together.
What an accomplishment.
Love my sister Jessica and Lauren, my two best cheer leaders!
I'm so grateful to all who showed up to support me! What a gift!
Super Amazing Radical Athletic Hero
What an awesome sign!! Thank you Katherine for making it, and having everyone sign it. That was so sweet!!
This is my very favorite shot, Mariah's husband took this and he even photo shopped out the "half" part of the sign, since I accidentally ran under the wrong one. Haha
All in all, it went great. I ran it in 3:54. I may have started out a little too fast as I didn't have nearly the energy left over that I was hoping for. But I am happy.
Since I ran this on Sunday, and it is now Thursday as I'm writing this, I will add that as I had expected to be really sore, I had greatly underestimated HOW sore I would be. It was intense. Wednesday was the first day that I actually had remarkable improvement and started to believe that I may heal and quite possibly might be able to run again sometime in the future.
Even though I was hurting, all the while I couldn't stop thinking about and planning the next one, because when you CAN run a marathon, why not keep running them??