Not “Just” Another Marathon
July 31, 2019
That was my first marathon, 15 years ago!
Twenty weeks to go until my next marathon. It will be my eighth, but my first in seven years and the most running I will have done in more than four years since dealing with some medical challenges that caused me to stop running for some time. And I’m now living in Texas which turns out to be a whole other thing when it comes to training – the humidity, the lightening, the crazy deluge rain storms (in the summer!), and very dark country roads.
I’d like to blame all my challenges on Texas, but I have this sneaking suspicion that my age is also a factor. I ran my first marathon when I was 34. Marathon number eight comes in just five days shy of my 50th… Yikes! It’s actually the proximity of the race day to my birthday that caused me to think it was a good idea. I know, there might be something faulty with my wiring.
I love a good challenge. I like to see what I can push through and what I can overcome. My first marathon was two weeks before my twins turned one! I started training when my preemie babies were just six months old. Just typing this now, I am questioning my sanity. And then as I approached my 40thbirthday I had by then done several marathons so instead of doing another, I decided to run longer – and I ran my first 50K (31 miles). I have done a Ragnar (a 200-mile race with a team of 10 women rotating legs over 24 hours), a Tough Mudder (obstacle course race) and several Spartan races (more running and obstacles) including the World Championship Spartan Beast course at Lake Tahoe (think elevation!) with my husband in 2016 (it was 17 miles, 40 something obstacles and it took us 7+ hours to complete). It was also the weekend of our 20thwedding anniversary. I mean, who doesn’t think that’s romantic? (Me, I don’t think so. Next time I get to pick what we do!).
To those of you who are runners or know runners, this is just another marathon. I get it. But in my mind it feels like more. I feel like so much has changed in my life over the past few years and my 50thbirthday serves as a milestone in so many ways – notwithstanding the obvious, “How on earth did I get to be 50?”
I will need some inspiration as I look ahead to the next nineteen weeks and as I look at some of the women in my day to day life, and all of you here on social media every day, I know I have found it. Self-described “ordinary” women overcoming extraordinary obstacles, doing incredible feats, serving with your whole hearts, blessing others and just being some really super women, even in the tiniest details and in your own humble ways.
My plan is to share stories of super women each week of my marathon training. My goal is at least 2-fold: 1) to highlight those women and encourage and build them up and give them the confidence to speak their stories boldly, and 2) to give you a chance to see yourselves in them. We are not alone. Our stories do not stand alone. If we open up and share our circumstances and our challenges, I believe we will discover we have more in common then we could ever imagine and we can and will be empowered by hearing how other women have done hard things, overcome real obstacles. We’ll find our voices in others’ journeys. We’ll be bolder to speak out, to speak up and to know that what we have gone through in our own lives has a purpose. It brought us to this day and our circumstances can be used to help others. You’ll meet women who have accomplished incredible physical feats, who have overcome addiction, who have transformed their bodies, and who have sacrificed their lives and bodies for others.
Next week I will share a story of one of my own personal super heroes. My life would look very different without her and her sacrificial gift…. Stay tuned.