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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Marathon thoughts

Januray 4, 2013-I set and spoke my running goal for 2013. 

November 3, 2013-I accomplished that goal. 

I've written very little about the marathon in between those two dates, so here are my rambling thoughts.

I hang out with a lot of runners types, people who say things like "only 15 miles today" or "just a quick 8", or even "you only feel it after 20 miles". Some of these people eat marathons for breakfast.

The rest of the people I mix it up with every once in a while are non runners. They say things like "a marathon huh? so how far is that" or "you'll only catch me running if someone/thing is chasing me" and "you're an inspiration, you run so much". These people don't understand the dilemma of sporting the 26.2 magnet or not.

Neither my conversations with my runner friends nor chats with my non runner friends prepared me for the journey I began in January! 

Post marathon I realize:

The marathon began to occupy my life long before I realized it. Thoughts of training plans, when to begin, where to run and oh puke-it's really going to take me that long to run 26.2 miles began dancing, rambling, popping, running through my head in oh...January. 

As time grew closer and the marathon moved from occupying to consuming, I began to notice an incredible amount of support around me. Acquaintances became friends, friends became constant support and fear became strength and I began to believe I would complete the marathon and accomplish my goal.

Two weeks prior to the marathon I participated in my first distance relay: 12 women, 2 cars, 30 hours, 200 miles. More to come on that 'craziest race I've signed up for' soon!

4:45am is a RIDICULOUS time to get up for a race. My alarm is still set to go off on Sundays at that time (I'm not sure why, however I'm not quite ready to turn it off) and each time it does it reminds me of that morning. 

The last piece of advice I received before the race from a runner friend who could not run due to injury was- 
"Have fun and have double fun for me."  BEST.ADVICE.EVER.

It was 26.2 hard, long, painful miles of FUN! 

To the friends and family who came out and cheered me on-what the hell, you people are stinking incredible. That's a LONG time to be waiting on someone.

To the friends who ran with me during the race and carried me to the finish-you people are some kind of awesome and I am glad I was able to share some miles with you.

To the friends and family who supported me virtually or long distance-could not have done it without you-no joke-support is crucial!

To everyone I met or ran with along the way-I humbly thank you for the boost when I needed it.

To the spectators and volunteers who cheered us on-I love you people, I promise I really, really do.

To my family who endured months of unavailabilty, endless talk of races and running schedules and fueling, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

To my long time rock star of a running partner-you're simply amazing and I am so glad to have experienced this journey together. 

To my kids...words fail to express the emotion of completing this goal with you all at my side. It was an epic moment for me as I neared the finish line and friends began running me toward the finish and eventually made way as you all joined me at my side. You are one of a kind kids!
Running to finish with kids and friends!

I learned so much about myself over the last couple months. But the biggest surprise of all to this self proclaimed "One and Done" girl is...I would do it again!

Taking time off from running to heal an injury and enjoying some long lost activities, who knows what 2014 holds.

Have you set your goals for 2014?


Jenn said...

Congrats Tara - such an awesome accomplishment. You inspire me!

Erika Parquet said...

I love you Tara!!! This old girl actually teared up a bit upon reading this heartfelt entry... While a full marathon is not currently on my radar, you have inspired me to maybe one day achieve that milestone. Kudos to YOU, Lady, you did it!!! :-)

Tara181 said...

Erika -right back at you! Thank you so much for the kind words and support!

Tara181 said...

Thank you Jenn! I am inspired by all my running/swimming/biking/active friends each day!