Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Marathon Will Change You

After I quit swimming 3 years ago, I became enamored with the idea of running a marathon. I loved how strong and dedicated runners seemed to be (and are!). More than just being a runner, I wanted to be a marathoner because I'd heard so many stories of how the marathon can change you.

I ran my first marathon a little more than a week ago and to be completely honest it was a huge letdown. I was supposed to run the New York City Marathon and when that got cancelled I should have just called it a season. Instead I ran a marathon that I didn't want to and had a pretty miserable first marathon experience. While I think the Harrisburg Marathon is great, it was not what I wanted in a race this important to me.

I remember waking up that morning and not even one part of me wanted to run a marathon. Not a great start. Now that some time has passed I have fonder memories of that day but for awhile afterwards I felt disappointed about the whole experience. I didn't feel proud to call myself a marathoner because in my mind I quit on that day. I gave up when things got tough and I was ashamed. I'd had this grand imagination of how that day would do down but I was ultimately just let down. And it was all my fault.

After having such a rough experience I really didn't want to run a marathon this year. The only reason that I did was because it was New York and even that was a hard decision to make. Going into training all I wanted was to have a better experience than last year. I wanted to prove to myself how much progress I had made and that last year's race didn't define me as an athlete.

When I got injured and all goals when out the window I almost pulled out. I was terrified of having another bad experience and I didn't think the beloved NYC Marathon deserved whatever negative things I would inevitably have to say. Because I had already payed I decided to run the race and make it as far as I could.

As you know I made it the whole 26.2 miles. I had absolutely no expectations for this race and I think because of that I finally had the life changing marathon experience I had so strongly wanted. During those miles in Brooklyn when I was high-fiving every little kid and dancing with every band, I had the most fun I've ever had during a race. And during those last few miles in and around Central Park I felt like the athlete I wanted to prove to myself that I was.

Somewhere over those 26.2 miles I found the strength I had been lacking over a rough past few months. My personal life has been a complete mess and leaving me question everything but for 4 hours and 35 minutes on November 3 none of that mattered. Actually from the minute I woke up until I went to bed my life was absolute perfection. I was reminded that everything I thought I wasn't, I am.

Running the NYC Marathon with 50,000+ other runners and over 2 million spectators reminded me how amazing life really is. New York is the city of dreams and it helped me remember mine. I never expected that a race could change me so much but it did. The New York City Marathon was the race that showed me that no matter how hard things may be I can always find the light and chase my dreams. They are worth it. I am worth it.


  1. Congrats! You did it and it sounds like your mind did a 180. Just finishing a marathon is a huge accomplishment and I try to remind myself of that every time I do one or am training for one and have negative thoughts.

    Sooo the question is - when's the next one?! ;)

  2. I really love this post. Marathons are an amazing thing. Through the good and the bad we learn things about life and ourselves- cheesy but true.

    I'm so glad you have this amazing view of your accomplishment at NYC, it was trained hard and pushed through injury and enjoyed the took it all in stride. That my dear, is worth more than anything.

  3. Excellent post! Always chase your dreams, and dream BIG!

  4. Chicago this year was my first marathon and like your-it was such an incredible celebration of the 4 months of training and all that that meant. The first two months I cried every day of training-then I loved it. Plus it was my birthday and I considered it the biggest party ever. I only I hope I get the chance to try again