|That smile is hiding a lot|
It all came down to this. A summer packed with early mornings, abbreviated social engagements and long miles ticked off to the silence of my own thoughts. I wasn't just heading out for another unimaginably hot training run that day.
I was running my first marathon.
The was determined to finish the Fox Valley Marathon, but I didn't know if I could. I failed to train mentally for the mind games your body starts to play on you. Although I'd run two separate 20-mile runs, I ended up run-walking after only nine miles.
It was tough. So tough. I was hot, my foot hurt (I later learned that pain was not, in fact, normal. I had plantar facitiis) and my stomach was angry at best.
|Heading to the finish|
Somewhere after the 20-mile mark, it hurt more to walk than to keep running. My family was there to cheer me on, along with MacKenna, Kim, Jenny and several other awesome buddies. And it was their support that kept me going as the miles seemed to keep stretching in front of me.
When I finally finished, I cried. It was all I could do to get my medal, choke down some food and retrieve my gear bag. I was weak and unsteady, but I was a marathon finisher.
Today, I'm thinking about all the runners out there chasing down their dreams along the Fox River. I hope their races go well and they feel nothing but pride and accomplishment.
I've been thinking a lot about that first marathon and what I could have done differently. A year later, the accomplishment is still as astounding and fresh in my mind. I'm proud of my time and finishing at all, but I'm never satisfied. I'm ready for more.