Monday, January 20, 2014

Mandi Monday: My First Marathon

I did it! I ran a marathon. It crept its way onto my bucket list and I actually checked it off. I'll give you some of the details. And by some I mean more than you really care to know.

Beeep Beeep! My alarm went off at 4:30am and I peeled myself out of bed to make a bagel, drink a cup of coffee, and chug a gatorade. I then jumped into the shower, to loosen up and wake up a bit. I got dressed, got all my things together, and went in to wake up Mckenna and Ronnie (who were both sleeping in our bed because Mckenna has been sick and couldn't sleep Saturday night, so we pulled her into bed with us, and I went and slept in the guest bedroom). Mckenna really likes helping me "get ready" for a race. And she likes "getting ready" herself…as if she was running also. Here she is, ready to go in her black "running" pants, gray shirt like mommy's, number on, and bag.

We all jumped into the car and headed on our way to the start. Ronnie and Mckenna dropped me at the start where I met up with my mom, dad, and our family friend, Ian. 

We got all ready, went to the bathroom 34839 times (I have a nervous bladder) and stood around taking pictures of ourselves.

Dad tried to intimidate me and other runners by flexing.

We saw the 3:30 pacer. That was the last time we saw him…except when he blew by us. 

Josh and Chrissy were there and amazing. They saw us at 13, 20 and the finish! Josh ran with us a bit.

Mom and Ian were great spectators. They saw us at miles 5, 13, 20 and the finish. At mile 20 mom ran with us a bit while we sipped on a Redbull they brought us.

Dad is a beast. Blowing by some unsuspecting victim at mile 26!

I'm not sure what's better about this picture. The fact I was able to lift up my arms at mile 26, or the huge grin on my mom's face behind me!
Thrilled I could see the finish. Fist pump for the end!

Almost there! Mile 26.1.

I look really energized and happy. Mile 26.15

Together at the finish! We did it!

Lots of thumbs up happening.

My Favorite photo series of the day. One of my greatest accomplishments running to congratulate us on our accomplishment.

Our amazing spectators. Blessed to have so much love and support.

And lastly the splits…for people into that sort of thing. Only one of you? Ok perfect, you are welcome! I ended up finishing in 3:34:56…qualifying for Boston by all of 4 seconds (whew, good thing I decided to "sprint" to the end). All in all it was an amazing day. The race was fun...and by fun I mean painful but rewarding and a great learning experience. Here were my 4 take aways:

1) Anyone can run a marathon. I heard a few scoffs…hear me out! If you asked me 10 year ago if I'd ever run a marathon, I would have said no way. And yet, I did it. I was never a runner, but I started running. And anyone else can work up to it too. You may not be fast, it may take a long time. But in theory, I've been training for a marathon the whole last 10 years…increasing distance little by little. If you want to run a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon, just start running.
2) My mind is far stronger than my body. I'll be honest, my body wanted to give up around mile 21. It didn't hurt, per say. I mean it ached all over; both muscles and joints, but I wasn't in actual PAIN. For the last 5 miles of the race, it was a matter of my mind being stronger than my body. Every hill. Every step. Every mile. My body wanted to stop. But I kept talking to myself. I kept allowing my mind to control my body. I need to use my mind to push my body even more on a daily basis. I'm sure I could do far more if I forced myself.
4) If you decide to run a race, find someone to train with. I feel really good about the accomplishment, but I feel even better about the countless hours spent with my dad every week. When I think back on my first marathon experience in 50 years, I won't remember my time, but I know I will remember the hours of conversations, the laughs, and the strengthened friendship. Those are the things that matter most!
3) Lastly, but by far the most important. I need to spend more time every day focusing on things that are eternal. I ran a marathon yesterday. But as I sat in the bath yesterday, thinking about the morning, I couldn't help but think, "welp, that was short lived." I did far better than I anticipated. I even qualified for Boston. But in 2 weeks, let alone 2 years, what does it matter? It literally changes nothing. At all. Yet I spent hours upon hours every week training. I spent a lot of energy and time focused on something so fleeting. It is a good reminder that goals are fabulous. Accomplishing things on earth is wonderful. But I should be more focused on what I can accomplish that has a lasting impact for God's kingdom. Hearing "well done, good and faithful servant" at the end of my life is far better than being handed a dinky metal at the end of a race.