They say you run a marathon with your heart, and your legs will surely follow.
Last year I ran my first full marathon with my legs, and my heart and mind were all jacked up. The voices that said “I couldn’t,” nearly won around the 17 mile mark. But thankfully my heart kicked in, as well as my awesome sister sticking with me for every step and we ended up FINISHING my first FULL marathon.
I didn’t doubt I would finish, heck I just did a 20 miler at 3:48? Just a couple weeks before…My sub 5 marathon was mine! Yet my knee gave out and I was left on the side of the road doubled over in pain and tears. I shuffled my way to the finish line. And I was pissed. Pissed because I over trained, I didn’t listen to my knee, and frankly I was just plain dumb. But that didn’t take away the pride I felt when we crossed the line, and tears poured down my face. I still can’t think about that day without crying. I am NOT a true marathoner who does multiple races…I swore I was a “One and DONE” girl.
But that’s not me.
I DON’T quit. I don’t do things half assed. And if I make a mistake, I FIX it.
I have listened to those Jack Ass voices for far too long. Yet as of late, more so within the last few weeks, I have taken those voices out back and kicked THEIR asses.
This is MY race. The Fox Valley Marathon, the training runs, ALL of it-last year-made me “re-fall” in love with running. They welcomed awesome new friends into my life, and they proved to ME that I could do IT. I remember my first training run as if it was yesterday. I joined up with the 10:30 group, and didn’t know a soul. I held pace for a couple miles, yet fell back quickly. I was running alone, and I was scared and petrified of getting lost. But I finished that training run, and returned for more…
I grew during those training runs. I met new friends. I got to know ME again. And I realized the only thing stopping me besides a crazy knee, was ME.
I learned I enjoyed running with people, which is something I NEVER enjoyed. I learned I LOVED racing alone, because it was MY time to just blow EVERYTHING OFF. I learned that it was ok if your close friends and family didn’t understand WHY you ran, and that they only needed to know you LOVED it. And they simply needed to let you RUN.
I struggled with dedicating myself to another season of full marathon training. I don’t have the family cheering squad that some have, and it’s hard when those that know you best just ‘don’t get it.’ Then I realized…they don’t have to…I sacrifice a lot as a working Mom of two while my husband is away, A LOT. So guess what…this is MY time. I deserve it. I deserve every mile underneath weary feet that I earn. So here I go…
I deserve a ‘redo.’ I want redemption from Chicago last year. I want to finish STRONG. Not just finish. I want to do better, run harder, feel stronger…and I WILL. Lord Willing.