The big day has finally arrived, today is officially Marathon Day!
Don’t forget once the race starts at 6:30am Pacific Time go to http://www.rnrmarathon.com and enter bib #13188 in to the ‘Track My Runner’ link that should be on the front page. That way you can follow me along the course!
I have scheduled this entry to post at exactly 6:30am California time so by the time most of you read this I will either be running the marathon, finished, or puking on the sidelines. Either way it has been a whirlwind experience!
When I first started running back in January 2008 it was really the only way I could think of to loose the pesky weight that had been building up since starting my desk job. I would run to the end of my street every evening with my then boyfriend and we would take occasional walking breaks and the nearly 2 mile trek would take us roughly 30 minutes.
As I got stronger at running, I also got more adventurous. While sticking with the same 2 mile route I decided to run a few 5ks. I ran 4 5ks within a 2 month period just for fun. Each race I finished around the 32 minute range and felt more and more like an accomplished runner each time.
When the summer hit I began to run just for me. I started waking up before work and would see how far I could go in the time allotted. I worked on endurance, taking fewer walking breaks and striving to go farther and longer. That summer I began to take running more seriously as I would rise on the weekends before anyone else to get that perfect Saturday run. I was still not fast, but what did I care about speed?
When I moved to Orlando, I was fortunate enough to find a friend in Caitlin. Besides my former boyfriend and sister, she was my first true running buddy. Running with her I began to dream and push myself to limits I did not expect. Honestly if it was not for Caitlin I would not be the runner I am today. We ran my first 15k together in September and I was determined to keep up with her the majority of the way. She also cheered me on as I started achieving new personal distance records of 8 miles, 10 miles, 11 miles and so on and so on.
So many people comment or e-mail me with how I was able to improve my speed and in all honesty it just came in time. Sure I did a few speed workouts on the treadmill and on the track, but as I began running more, my legs seemed to just want to go faster. If you would have told me during those first 5ks that I would be running a 10k at an 8:46 pace I would have thought you were nuts. But that was my body becoming stronger. I did it and I finished with a smile. I was officially in the best shape of my life.
I felt so blessed to have all of you there with me as I ran my first Half Marathon in December. I had actually started to plan to run that half over the summer and when the day came I was on cloud nine. My legs carried me through that run and the knowledge I was accomplishing something so big pushed any pain out of my mind.
The following weekend I finally returned to my 5k roots and smoked any previous record I had by 8 minutes when I crossed the finish line at 24:43 as the Third Overall Female!
So far in 2009 I feel like I have taken running to a whole other level when I decided to start training for my first marathon. You guys have seen me through by accepting my challenge to raise so much money for a great cause in Team and Training and your constant support with Bake sales and fund raising have left me speechless. You have been there as I have struggled with those early morning runs and as I ran 18 miles and 20 miles for the first time.
I also realized how truly crazy of a runner I am at the end of February when Caitlin and I accepted the Bud Light challenge. 3 races, 2 PRs, 1 Weekend…. You could not have asked for a better runner’s high. Its challenges like that, that keep me coming back for more.
In March my Sister showed me that miracles exist and we all need to live life to the fullest because you never know what tomorrow might bring. Kelly may not have been able to compete in our first triathlon together as originally intended, but she was there cheering me on, skid marks and all. The triathlon was something I would never have considered a year ago, but I finished it. I became a triathlete!
My Sister made up for missing the triathlon when she decided she was not going to let her accident hold her back. A month later Kelly joined Caitlin, Abbie and myself as we all ran the Crooms 15 mile trail run as a pack. It was one of my favorite races by far, thanks to the friendship I share with each of these strong, lovely ladies.
Running and the power of this blog has brought me many new lifelong friends. From meeting the amazing Melissa, Abbie, Caitlin, Jenna, Gina, Lindsey etc.. or reading the running tales of so many others of you out there. This community has been so kind to me in every endeavor!
So here I am in tears remembering the wonderful last year and half running as been in my life. I have come so far, yet I feel I have so far still to go. This is my Thank You to everyone out there for supporting me along the way.
Thank you for all my wonderful readers and the countless comments that keep me doing what I do.
Thank you those of you who donated to my cause, making this marathon possible and making a difference to so many other lives out there.
Thank you to my family for never questioning my desire to run or to eat the way I do.
Thank you to all my friends who never stopped believing.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!
Now, it is a wait and see game. Will I complete this goal? Will I finish the 26.2 miles? Will I ever want to run a marathon again?
I will be back this evening with a full marathon recap. I am running with my Flip Camera and I hope to record come of my journey along the way. I can not wait to share this experience with all of you!
Lots of Love to Everyone!!