Today is my first marathoniversary! (Do people celebrate this? Probably not, but let’s pretend they do.)
One year ago, I crossed the finish line of the 37th Marine Corps Marathon (read my race recap here). It was a day I will never forget.
As I reflected on that experience during my runs last week, I realized it wasn’t the actual day that was so meaningful to me…not the 26.2 miles among the DC monuments, not the shiny medal that hangs in my room, and not the finish line photo I so proudly smiled for.
Rather, it was the process starting from when I registered for the race all the way to when I lined up at the start line teary eyed on the morning of October 28th, 2012. It was setting that monumental goal, committing to it, training hard, and accomplishing a task I deemed “absolutely impossible” for the first 24.5 years of my life.
Each weekend, the long runs got longer and I entered foreign distance territory. I set personal distance records week after week, first with my 14 miler and then gradually increasing to 16, 18, 20, and 22 miles. With each increase, I learned important lessons not only on how [not] to fuel, but also how to be uncomfortable and how to persevere. I learned that I can overcome obstacles no matter how intimidating they seem. Most importantly, I gained confidence in myself as a runner and as a person.
Completing a marathon showed me that even “impossible” goals are attainable. It showed me that I can accomplish a seemingly overwhelming task if I put my mind to it and work my tail off.
I have my sights sets on running Boston someday. Maybe not in the next 5 years, but some time before I die.
I frequently fall into the there’s-no-way-in-hell-I-can-run-that-fast-for-26.2-miles-to-qualify trap. Right now I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to qualify. But then I think about 20 years ago when playing outside left me wheezing and 10 years ago when running (just to warm up) at gymnastics left me winded and 5 years ago when I was plagued by shin splints and then 1 year ago when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. It’s possible. It’s totally possible.
I’ll get there someday. One [insanely fast] step at a time!
P.S. I got the brilliant idea last week to run a marathon on my 26th birthday (26 miles as I turn 26). I can’t seem to find one though (I’d even be willing to travel). LA, Shamrock, and Rock ‘n’ Roll National are all the week after my birthday. Shucks! How awesome would that be?!