When I came in this morning and checked off Week 20, it made me smile to see that Week 21 consists of the 20 mile run and then it is the beloved taper time for three weeks. It hasn't been a secret that over the last few weeks I have been plagued with some pretty nasty aches and pains. Some of it is normal for marathon training, but some of it has definitely taken me by surprise. On my run this morning things felt "alright", "iffy", "not great but I'll take it"....but I couldn't help but still be so happy and SO thankful to be running! Training has definitely not gone as planned but it never does. I haven't been able to get nearly enough hill sessions in because of injury/doctor's orders not to (worst marathon ever for that to happen - oh well), and I've had to split the mileage on my long runs to salvage my legs and keep things from getting worse. But you know what? I'm still running. I'm 21 weeks into this and still getting up every day and making the effort (as hobbled as it might be). You get so caught up in time goals for big races that sometimes you forget the bigger picture. The bigger picture that you're doing what so many are afraid to event attempt. You're part of the 1% of the population who willingly signs up for this craziness. With that being said, I've set some new goals for this race:
- Have FUN!
- You're running through one of the most beautiful and historic places, enjoy the damn scenery!
- Sing the Full House theme song while running across the Golden Gate Bridge...everywhere you look....
- Finish strong. No matter what time I cross the finish line, I better run through it.
- Find the course photographers (instead of avoiding them) and get some fun pictures taken!
- Don't poop your pants.
- Say a prayer of thanks for each mile marker you cross.
- Inspire others.
#8 Inspire Others - In the last three days I've had some really humbling conversations with a few people. People who want to better their health via just changing their diet and others who want to start running/exercising more. They say that I have inspired them in so many ways, but what they don't realize is how much they inspire me. I'm not the best, I'm not the fastest, but conversations like that are what keep me moving. As I run this race representing the Arthritis National Research Foundation , many of those prayers of thanks are just for the ability to be out there. Some people don't run marathons because of personal choice in thinking we're a bunch of lunatics, but many people can't simply because of something far out of their control. Don't take your health for granted...join the lunatic party. You'll ask yourself countless times during some of those bad runs "Why the hell did I sign up for this"" and in my case "Why the hell did I sign up for this, AGAIN?!". But I can PROMISE you that once you cross the finish line, your answer is always, "That's why." :)