“I dare you to train for a marathon, and not have it change your life.”Susan Sidoriak
I’m attempting a marathon in three weeks.
A… M A R A T H O N.
Oh, and not just any marathon, guys, one of the majors:
The NYC Marathon. (It’s fine. Casual.)
My brain is saying two things at once: “Holy WOW, you are about to have the opportunity to run a major marathon, the gratitude is overwhelming, you are going to finish, 100%!”
“HOLY cow, you are not a runner, a real runner deserves this bib, you have three weeks left and you are SO SLOW and running into random issues every other day and you don’t even have your fueling nailed down and don’t even think about getting your hopes up of taking a medal home…!!”
I found out I was getting a bib in early-mid August, when an opportunity came up to be sponsored by Full Circle with guaranteed entry. If you know anything about running- you know that you’d be crazy to pass that up. All I really knew in that moment is that I’ve always loved running and small races… So, I said yes. (Y’all know I’m a big fan of leaping and letting the net appear.)
I found and enlisted my beloved coach (Betsy) at the end of August. My 5k days are many years behind me and let’s just say they didn’t prepare me for long distance training in any way- so they don’t even matter. 🤣
The last two months have taught me more about my mental capacity, my spirit, and my body than I’ve ever thought possible. I’ve pushed past physical and mental limits I didn’t even know I had. I thought I was in a stable place with my mind/body relationship, until I gave myself the ultimate challenge. I thought I loved my body until I had to completely honor and listen to it every single second.
Every day is healing, but It’s also incredibly mind tangling.
The crazy part about training, is that I feel I’ve made dozens of small changes that will have cumulatively led to my attempt at completing a full marathon. As my coach would say, “Just one foot in front of the other.” Focusing on each small step ahead of me has been the key to forward progression. It’s honestly surreal. Full Circle is kicking off their #StartsWithASponge campaign, which is a reminder to us all that small changes add up. (I touched more on that HERE.)
I can’t wait to see them at the sponge table they are sponsoring at the marathon. (I mean, talk about a FULL CIRCLE moment, am I right?!)
Throughout training, I’ve had to force myself to get comfortable with three things I hate and have done well at avoiding most of my life:
I’ve cried from being so tired. Cried from letting friends down from canceled plans because training is running my life. Cried because my lungs had a good day when my hip didn’t. Cried because I am terrified of this race.
But I’ve also cried because I never imagined I could run 10 miles and couldn’t believe what my body is doing. I’ve cried when I PRd my pace and couldn’t wait to text Betsy to look at my Strava. I’ve cried because I’ve finally realized that fitness doesn’t have to be for making my body shrink.
My blisters will heal. My legs will keep getting stronger. I will slow down my training soon and I continue to go farther and faster in the long run, but nothing will replace the amount of soul altering shifts and life changing mental challenges the last few months have given me.
I have no idea what 11/3 will bring. Maybe I’ll come home with a medal and maybe I won’t, but at this point I’m just seriously thankful to Full Circle for every second of the gift of this journey.