Since my post marathon depression is in full swing I thought I would do something therapeutic and share my future running dreams and goals. When I conquered the Chicago Marathon I think it changed me a little, in fact I know it did. Since January I have been chasing the dream of becoming a marathoner and have now managed to run two marathons, Chicago and Colfax. Both experiences changed me, but Chicago put everything in perspective for me.
The more I run the deeper I fall in love with the sport and the more running I want to do. When we were in an Uber headed home from our pre race dinner in Chicago one of my sorority sisters said, “I have no desire to run Boston”. She didn’t mean it in a bad way she just meant that she is fine with running her pace and isn’t using that as her benchmark. I immediately said, “Oh not me. I want to do it all”. Before Chicago I would have said yea, I want to run Boston and everywhere where else, but in the back of my head would have been that little voice saying you can dream, but it probably won’t happen.
Chicago gave me perspective. After mile 17/18 when everyone else was walking and I was struggling to dodge them as I continued running it hit me. I was pushing from the back of the pack and it felt good to see all my hard training pay off. Never in my wildest dreams that I would have been capable of passing people that looked like they knew what they were doing, people that were in corrals ahead of me, people that on paper were probably faster than me. It may not make sense to some of you who are always in the front corrals, but for me I always feel like I am the very last of the pack. During the Colfax Marathon, I was literally one of the last to cross the finish line. I know now that the altitude was really to blame, but I’ve spent the last five months thinking I didn’t train hard enough. In fact during that race I called the Mr. at mile 23 in tears.
I never thought I would run the Chicago Marathon and only walk through the aid stations. I also never thought it would be possible for me to have any energy left at the end of a marathon, but I did. I pushed out the last mile and some change and it was hard, but I never felt like I was going to die. My body didn’t fail me and my legs were able to take me all the way to the finish. I worked hard through the race and had some great mile times despite my apprehension going into the race.
No matter how many races and training runs it takes me I will never give up. I will never stop. No matter how difficult or how painful I will run Boston one day. I will run London and Berlin and anywhere else I want to go. I can do anything and run anywhere. No one can tell me I’m at the back of the pack, because I know what it feels like to work hard for months and see the improvement. No one can tell me no. I want to experience it all. Even if it takes me my whole lifetime (and it very well might) I won’t stop chasing what I want in life. If it takes me 20+ years to pull a BQ then so be it. I want to do it all.
Never let someone tell you that something is unattainable or look down on you because your training or performance is different than theirs. Comparison is the thief of joy. Run your own race. Last year at this time I had just started running again after being sick and trying to manage my hypothyroid. My lazy thyroid and tired adrenals were making it challenging to do even mundane tasks and made running nearly impossible. Last year I would never have thought this would be where I am and I couldn’t be more thankful.
The world is my oyster now and I fully intend to get my money’s worth. I have so many exciting new things on the horizon. Some things are races and running and others are cooking adventures and other life changes. I will talk more about the latter another time, but here’s a look at some races I’m getting pumped about.
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (November 7th): This will be the Mr.’s first half marathon and our first night race. I am a Disney maniac and am looking forward to running with the Mr. and then enjoying delicious grub afterwards. This race should pack a punch and has been on a lot of folks must do lists. I can’t wait to see how it all goes. RunDisney is wonderful because it is a relaxed environment, takes place at Disneyworld and is a great excuse for a little getaway.
Hill Country Trail Race 15K at Serenbe (November 21st): When I first moved to Atlanta I used to take my dog Chole with me to run trails all the time. Some days we would go twice a day. I fell in love with running on the dirt bags and I’m excited to get back to that place. This race takes place just out of Atlanta and will be an easy morning drive. Serenbe is supposed to be beautiful and I can’t wait to check it out. I will begin training on trails soon and will be sharing everything shortly. The elevation gain is serious on this 9 mile run, so I will be running hills like it’s my job.
Disneyworld Marathon (January 10th): This is the next marathon on my calendar. I am so pumped to implement some new strategies and make this training cycle rock. I am hoping that the Wine & Dine and Hill Country Race will really help me stay focused without burning out over the holiday season. Since this course will be pancake flat I am using it as an opportunity to run Disney and get another marathon under my belt. I am also planning on dressing as Anna from Disney’s Frozen so that is half the fun, am I right?
Do you have any races on your calendar you are really excited about?
Has there been a race that has shaped you as a runner?
Do you use races as training runs?