Monday, November 8, 2010

The Day after the NYC Marathon

I had very interesting emotions yesterday during the NYC marathon. I'm not sure why. I didn't catch any of it on television, I haven't really put serious thought into running a full yet. Maybe it's because I was offered the "opportunity" to have run this thing this year (though, by the time I found out it wouldn't have left me enough time to train & I would have to raise $5,000 for charity for the right to do so.) Or maybe its all the stories of overcoming obstacles I've read related to the race, such as the well known story of the Chilean miner.

I'm not sure- but what I do know, is that yesterday I felt a little sad and as I sit here and watch Al & Meredith brandishing their medals on the TODAY show and as I see the pictures from race day on the internet - I can't help but feel the twinge of "want." I want to challenge myself to take on the challenge of challenges, I want to see what it feels like to cross that gigantic finish line. 26.2 miles... I want to be in that club.

Yet, I am held back.

I remember the ache in my legs the last three miles of the last half and how I barely got there - how would I double the miles? I'm not afraid about stamina, they make gu, gatorade, and iPods for that - but can my legs hold up? Can I find the time to train as hard as I would have to... finding the time to give towards those "long run days" 10 miles, 13 miles, 15 miles, 17 miles, 20 miles... it even quite frankly worries me HOW to even run those long runs - I mean where? I can barely run 4 miles around these parts without running into a highway or crappy neighborhood. And running 17 miles on a treadmill could possibly be a form of torture not worthy of anyone.

But these are all just excuses. I mean, when I first decided to run, I was scared. I was more than 180 pounds and running wasn't in my vocabulary. I was such a newbie that I didn't even know what a 5k was and just jumped right into signing up for a half.

I started by walking fast for one minute and built from there. I didn't know if I could run 13 miles - in fact I didn't think I'd ever be able to run for 1 mile but took the leap of faith, learned what I could and trained. And trained. And trained.

Besides remembering the aches in my legs? I remember the sense of pride, accomplishment and confidence that comes with setting a goal and seeing it through, I remember feeling that by doing this, I could do anything. I remember the sense of community and love I got from friends, family, fellow runners and even strangers - all cheering me on my journey. The lump in my throat from overwhelming gratitude during the last steps of the race and seeing the finish line, calling my name, telling me, "you got this."

I wasn't the fastest (and still on the slow side) but I finished 13.1 twice which technically means that I could do 26.2 - at least spread out throughout a few months :)

I could find the time if I want to - find the neighborhood, even suck it up and run on the tortuous treadmill for the long runs... Hey, if you want something bad enough, no mountain is too big to move...

I want this
I guess I should start looking for a race in early spring. We can talk ourselves into or out of anything. As they say, "if you say you can or say you can't - you are right."

xo

Jen
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