Next week I’ll be running my fourth marathon 🙂
Each marathon and training cycle has it’s own place in my heart, but this one has been incredibly special as I feel I’ve come such a long way in my personal life, and I owe a whole lot of it to running. I’ve mentioned in past posts how the beginning of the year was pretty difficult for me, but running got me out of bed each morning, and each mile made me realize just how strong I am. There’s something incredibly empowering about being in a running motion while thinking through life stuff – you have no choice but to move forward. Pounding those miles at 5:30am made me feel like I could handle anything the rest of the day.
But enough about the hard times. Recently, I’ve switched my outlook from “I have to run” to “I get to run”. I do! I GET to run. Not everyone has the opportunity, whether it’s a demanding job, injuries, or life throwing curveballs that need to take priority. I’m so blessed to have the capacity to do something I LOVE almost every day. ❤ I’ve recently taken a step back and been enjoying each and every run, going on more naked runs too, (naked = no music or gps); I am LOVING how present it makes me feel.
They say running a marathon is like experiencing life in a day. You feel all of life’s emotions in a few short hours: joy, anger, grief, numbness, pain…we all pray for the perfect race (aka perfect weather and a pain-free PR), but race day will be filled with surprises and things we can’t control, just like life, and going through these ups and downs gives so much more meaning to what we do. Each race I learn something new about myself, and I know I won’t be the same person crossing the finish line as when I start.
So here we are! I can’t believe this thing is ONE WEEK AWAY!!! Training is truly the best part, and the race is the celebration! I know I reached my goal if I’m completely present, cross the finish line with a huge smile, and give the glory back to God.
Before each race, I like to look back at my training log to remind myself of all the work I put, because there are always doubts on race day. So here are some highlights of the past 14 weeks. I couldn’t be more grateful for each and every mile!
- Week 1: First long run in the blizzard – It was literally a torrential BLIZZARD. I could hardly break 10-minute miles, but nevertheless it felt so bad ass for tackling this one.
- Week 4: worst run ever. I was in my hometown in upstate NY, and it was just of those days when your legs feel like lead, you can’t quite catch your breath, and everything cramps up. I was in so much pain and the 6-miler turned to 4. I felt so defeated and remember crying to my sister afterwards, who gave me the best pep talk – (sidenote: it’s amazing how running can really widen your range of emotions…nothing else gives me so much heartache and happiness). But even though it was one of the worst runs of the cycle, I celebrate it whole-heatedly, because it’s the hard runs that make us stronger (especially mentally)! Mile 22 of the marathon will NOT be pretty. It’s definitely the tough runs where all you want to do is quit that will carry us to the finish line!
- Week 5: when my music stopped on the treadmill and I did 4 miles with no music starring at a wall…I for sure thought I was going to quit but I kept going and couldn’t believe it when I finished! Talk about building mental strength!!
- Week 8: Half marathon PR!!!
- Week 10: short and easy run on the beach in Costa Rica – the only run I did on the entire trip…#fail. It was amazing and beautiful and made my heart happy. No shame in taking a break now and then 😉
- Week 12: 21 miles to Coney Island – hands down one of the most special days of this entire cycle. Running to Coney Island for the longest run is my favorite running traditions. Also I tackled this one hungover which was a HUGE win.
- Week 13: easy breezy taper miles – Just me, my running shoes, and some fun, stress-free runs to rejuvenate before race day 🙂
Thank you loved ones who have been cheering me on. I’m so glad to have created I Run Like a Girl almost a year ago. The support and advice I’ve gotten from the blogging/running community have truly touched my heart. Thank you all! ❤