Fitness, Goals, Health and Wellness, Marathon, Marathon Training, Personal Development, Running

I completed my 11th FULL marathon!

I completed it on Sunday, May 2nd. I was scheduled to run the Northeast Kingdom Marathon on May 1st, but it was postponed until September. When they announced the postponement, I was faced with a decision: pause training and re-start when it’s within the 18-week window, OR keep training, map my own race and get it done. I decided to keep training. Much like all of us, I didn’t know what the restrictions of COVID-19 would look like in September and I wasn’t willing to push my plans again for COVID, so.. I didn’t.
 
What I want to say about this marathon, which really can be applied to any aspect of life is: if you have something on your heart, if you have a dream, goal or an intention, figure out a way to do it and just do it. We can always allow fear, doubt, uncertainty, weather, upset or anything get in our way, but when you can push everything aside and continue to pursue your dream while you simultaneously hold those feelings – man, what an amazing experience. You can hold fear and still maintain your forward momentum. You can hold any emotion and still obtain your dream. 
 
The night before the race, per usual, I was experiencing some pre-race jitters, uncertainty and questions of: “am I really going to achieve this?” “Why am I doing this to myself again?” This is nothing new. These thoughts, feelings and questions enter my mind every evening before a race. In this moment, I have two choices, I can allow the thoughts and questions to keep me up all night and ruminate, or I can allow them space to be there and continue moving forward with my plan. 
 
I mapped my route prior to the race. The route took me from Ferrisburg, through Charlotte and into Shelburne. Rolling hills with views of Camel’s Hump, the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. It was breathtaking scenery that left me feeling grateful, humbled, at peace and calm. 
 
My husband, unbeknownst to me, set up a cheer squad to help me out along the way. Every time I approached loved ones, I got full body chills. Seeing them all jumping up and down, waving their hands and rooting me on from the sidelines was the exact boost I needed in that moment. 
 
In addition to training for 18 weeks, I prepared for this race by making a playlist and purchasing a book on audible. I also knew that if push came to shove, and I slipped into a negative mindset, I could dedicate each mile to someone in my life that I love and admire. As I write this, I find myself thinking and feeling like the time flew by… because honestly, it did. 
 
I spent the first hour adjusting my pace and getting comfortable in a stride that I could maintain. I spent the time embracing the beats of the music, soaking up the morning sun and holding gratitude for the scenery. 
 
During the second hour, I started to feel my left hip a bit but was also met by my loved ones. That love, excitement, and full-body chills allowed me to shift my focus back onto the road and my journey. 
 
It was during the third hour that the challenge set in as the wind was now against me. It was during this hour that I had a moment of breakdown. A moment of awareness on how different my life would be/could be if I made different choices. In this moment, I was overcome with compassion, love and pride for where I am in my life, for the people that I choose to have in my life and for how far I have come. There were tears, pride, happiness and then full-body chills again. 
 
The fourth hour was by far the hardest. I had just hit 20.5 miles and I still had 5.7 miles to go. It was an hour of on-going self-coaching, self-compassion, self-love, grit, determination and power. My legs felt like led, my left hip had come back to greet me, and I felt ready to accomplish my mission. But I wasn’t giving up. I wasn’t going to stop. I wasn’t going to walk. I was going to keep running, no matter how slow my pace became, and I did just that. 
 
I didn’t stop once. I ran the entire time and although my pace went from an 8:35 to a 9:53 minute per mile, there was no option for walking.  
 
I won first place! I say this with a smile knowing that I was the only runner out there, so I also came in last. Haha. 
 
Either way, I sit here at my desk with sore legs, a big smile and another massive accomplishment under my belt. 
 
We can do anything we set our minds to. I hope this story and marathon recap helps you feel empowered and allows you to hold the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. 
 
Get after it, you’re worth it.