No What-Ifs

Four more days! Those are the amount of days that stand between the Marine Corps Marathon and twenty weeks of training. While there are a few runs here and there that still remain, my marathon training for the most part is done.

My last twenty mile run was completed two weeks ago, and like most of my long runs this cycle training, it was arduous. My husband, who is also running Marine Corps Marathon, accompanied me during the run and we both faced headwind going uphill and battled 84 degree temperatures. With the exception of my last long run this past Saturday (14 miles), every single one of my long runs was filled with some form of adversity. If it wasn’t the scorching summer temperatures, it was the smoke-filled skies from burning forests. Thus, while I am completely elated with the upcoming race, I am exhausted and ready to go on a run for the sake of running and not for the sake of training.

It would be disingenuous of me to pretend like I am not stressing about what my performance will be like. There are so many different scenarios playing in my head right now of how the race is going to play out and go to great lengths to reign in scenarios that involve a negative and or self-defeatist attitude. Aside from really having a strong race, I would like more than anything to enjoy the race. Because I have never been to Washington D.C., and because of my service in the Marine Corps, the significance of the this Marathon is more than just completing 26.2 miles. As I sit here and exhale the heaviness of uncertainty, I really would like to look back on this journey years from now and remember it with a sense of fondness that will uplift my spirit.

During the 26.2 miles, I would like to reflect back on just a few of the various moments along my running journey that have lead to the starting line. Hopefully, these moments will help me cross that finish line feeling proud and knowing I gave it my all without ever looking back and saying, “What-if?”

This picture was captured in the Fall of 2013. My second daughter had turned 1, and I was just done nursing. Despite running years prior to this point, I felt like my running journey was starting from scratch. There had been so many life changes up until this point, and I made a personal commitment to start running and put forth my best foot forward.

You just gotta love Race pictures. This picture was taken in March of 2014. It was my first 1/2 marathon in over two years. It was such a wonderful experience despite the look of pain painted on my face.

Mother’s Day May 2014. This was supposed to be the race to test whether I could pull off a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours. I came 26 seconds shy with a time of 2:00:36.

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August 2014 and I finally attained my goal of running a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours with a time of 1:57. This was also my first time racing as part of the Oiselle team.

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February 2015. A surprising half-marathon PR! Without even making an effort to PR, I clocked in 13.1 in 1:50 and shaved off 7 minutes from personal best.

If only I understood the importance of strength training at a much younger age, I would have started decades ago. Now that I know how much of a big difference strength training makes in my life, I make sure to do at least two days of heavy lifting throughout the week. Pictured is one of my favorite lifts – front squats.

Rupturing my plantar fascia was less painful than the disappointment of not being able to race Eugene Marathon four weeks out. I remember how hard I cried and the giant tears rolling down my eyes after so much training. It took almost a month for me to shake off the heartache. This feeling of defeat and impotence will be my biggest source of motivation to fight the demons of negativity throughout the race.

Twenty mile run and a culmination of twenty weeks of training. Inhale….exhale….

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One thought on “No What-Ifs

  1. You have come so far and still have a great journey ahead! I’m glad this training cycle has come full circle and you are now only days away from your marathon. Enjoy it! You have worked so hard for this and have been very patient in overcoming injures and training through multiple obstacles. I love that you will be running in Washington D.C. (it is BEAUTIFUL there this time of year) and for a reason that is greater than 26.2. Have fun out there!!! I’ll be cheering for you.

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