Two months ago a marathon was not an option for me. But with my sights on 100 miles and my wife by my side (well, more like 15 minutes in front of me….) this was hard but not out of reach. I am not going to say running 26 miles is easy, far from it. And with a time of a little over 5 hours its not like I blew through it. But I felt good. Even when my legs began to fail me at around mile 18 I knew I would make it. I had too. 6 months from now I would be required to go 3 more laps. It was an awesome experience of what it would be like to go further than should be possible for a guy like me.
The training was was important. The support and accountability I’ve had from friends folks I’ve met along this journey made an impact on my success. But, what I’ve learned up to this point is the real power for me has come from the “Why.” Why am I doing this? Why is it worth it?
For me it has mainly come down to the impact I want to make in my kids life. I see them hang on my actions and what I do as a road map for how to live. I can tell them what is important to do and eat but if I am not living by that they disregard all that I say and follow what I do. I have many reasons and motives for doing what I’m doing but when I get to those times when motivation is running thin I have to really dig into why this is important.
As for the marathon, I stood at the start line with my plan in mind. Slow and steady. This is about finishing feeling good like I could continue going. That went really well for the first 100 yards…. Then, “let’s see what you’ve got” went through my head. I know it is every rookies mistake for their first marathon. What the hell I said to my self. Let ‘er rip Joe! And so there I went, slipping past runners like a pro. I settled into a pace that I figured I couldn’t hold the distance but felt good. As I looked around I was definitely not in my crowd. These guys and gals were in shape! I started chatting with a fellow and asked “what pace are you holding?” 9.10″ splits. OK, well I’ll I’m gonna see how long I can hang with you I told him (knowing full well, there was no way I was running a marathon at 9 minute miles.) But to my supersize I hung on for 9 miles. It was awesome! I was cruising. Then reality struck me. With the halfway mark approaching the pack started to make their way past me. No problem, I held on way longer than I thought. I chugged along still feeling pretty good till about mile 18. That’s about where my wife came up on me running like a machine! Not being the novice runner I am she knew the pace to keep from the start. She slid past me at a pace that at this point for me looked like a sprint. I hung with her for about 50 feet before yelling “Go get ‘Em Honey!” It was actually my favorite moment of the whole marathon. She has completed so many half marathons I’ve lost count but this was to be her first full marathon. I teared up a little watching her looking so strong on what was such a big accomplishment.
So, then came mile 23. It actually came twice because I mixed up what mile I was on. I like to call that mile “Groundhogs Day” because it just kept going and going. I gotta say, for me the last 3 miles of a marathon feel just as long as the first 23. But, just like they promised there was the finish line. Ahhhhhh, that felt good. There is just no feeling like that moment when you’ve completed something like that. Me, a marathon, I’m just glad I didn’t ask advise from a doctor prior to going after that. I am sure he would have handed me the “Couch to a 5K in 3 months” book and told me to start there. So, there you have it. I can absolutely tell you, if I can do it, anyone can!
If you are working on a goal or have one in mind that you would like to go after please share it in the comments below! I would love to head in a more interactive direct with this blog. I am here for two reasons. First to hold myself accountable to my goal but also to inspire other people to shift their thinking enough to go after big goals in their lives by following along with my journey. So, share yours too!