Most of us have enough areas in our lives where we have to meet others’ expectations. Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams” -Meb Keflezighi
Hello 2nd marathon registration! Finally! They always say you need to “forget your last marathon before you try another because your mind can’t know what’s coming.” Well, when I say I ran my first marathon with a smile on my face and laughing the entire time, I’m not lying. I did this on purpose. This isn’t a one and done thing for me. I knew I wanted to run more and I wanted my first marathon to be exhilarating so I trained hard enough to be able to live up the journey.
As the thought of serious marathon training begins again I want to go back and list the 20 ways I changed during marathon training! Shout out to one of my best friends and running sister Casey Richardson for joining me on this “Chasing the Unicorn” crazy ride at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon in the spring! No one else I’d rather do this journey with!! Eee- let’s do this!
- I realized that I still love to run. No one told me to do this or made me sign up. I wanted to make a dream a reality.
- I learned to say no. People don’t plan around your training schedule and they don’t understand what miles on a Saturday are.
- Body image. I don’t “look like a runner“. I laugh now looking back that I got so concerned with what others thought I looked like. God gave me this body and I’ll gladly take it and run with it ;).
- Then I learned that comparing yourself to others just robs you of joy. Someone will always be faster than me but I found that being the best I can be is much more commanding.
- You get out what you put in. The race is a celebration of the hard work you have put in. It is only you that knows what you have done to get to that day.
- The “wall” is physical and mental and very real. I found that I became much stronger than that. I self-motivated myself more times than I can count.
- I will always be goal oriented. I learned that not only in running but in life that having goals gets you places. Running a marathon was a goal since I can remember and I wanted it to happen more than anything.
- The alone time you get from marathon training brings you closer to God. I spent numerous runs praying to God about anything and everything.
- Also, with all that time alone stress becomes a thing of the past, and every problem in your life becomes well thought out.
- I started to really see how blessed I was to be able to get out and run everyday. To be healthy and push my body to its full potential.
- Running so many miles forced me to run the city of Knoxville. This place that I just jumped into living in and was scared became familiar and mine. Do you know how beautiful it is to see and learn a city that way?
- I learned who wanted to be apart of my journey not just my success. I had people who biked with me for 20 miles, I had cards sent to me, and I had people who would sit and listen to me complain but remind me of the feat I was going to accomplish. The people in my life are remarkable.
- But, with that being said I learned I need to be my own cheerleader sometimes. Being proud of your own accomplishments and believing in what you’re doing is essential. Confidence is key in running.
- I didn’t drink or eat sweets the two months before the marathon. My diet and sleep habits became important but I wanted to show myself that discipline wasn’t just affecting my runs but my entire lifestyle.
- There are bumps in the road of life and it is no different in training. When I came down with everything in the book and had no voice my training changed from miles to rest. I fought this so hard and didn’t want to lose all my training but health is always number one.
- I became that girl on the side of the road with snow pants, a backpack, and boots walking to the gym. Even when it was impossible to get my car out of my neighborhood and the roads were too bad to run on, bundling up in complete snow gear and walking my butt to the gym to run on the treadmill was the best decision.
- I started realizing life is what you make it. One day you could hate the idea of running or hate your body but changing your attitude changes your run. In life things never will always go your way, change your way of thinking.
- I became my own competition. You start to see that it’s up to you to push yourself. Everyday became a challenge and the feeling after was worth it.
- The runner’s high during a 20 mile run is incomparable to a 5 mile runner’s high. I can’t even explain how tired my legs were but how happy my heart was. I could battle anything. The world was mine!
- Last but not least, the day of the marathon was the best day of my life. I’ve dreamt my whole life for this day and to say I did it is life changing in itself.