A couple weekend’s ago I traveled with friends to Denver, Colorado for the Rock N’ Roll Marathon. As much as I’d love to say I ran the full marathon or even the half marathon I have not trained enough for that, instead I ran the mini marathon.
Last year I ran my first half marathon and afterwards I swore I’d never run another race… that didn’t last long because my friends inspired me to keep running. I also ran the Color Me Rad race in San Antonio with my children, friend and her children this year. Plus I’m signing up for a local Turkey Trot.
Before this race I set one goal to run/jog 90% of the race and only walk 10%. My friends gave me some advice to only walk the water stations. I also talked to them about how marathons are mostly mental so if I set my mind to it, I can do it!
As I started the race I felt pumped but cold (this Texas heat gets into you veins making you freeze in cooler states). Quickly followed by shortness of breath in the high altitude. Once I stabled my breathing I also warmed up. Now it was time to start the mental game of pushing myself to run as much as possible.
I love the vibe of a marathon. People lining the streets with signs, runners dressed up in costumes, or clever sayings on their shirts. Cheer squads and children high five the runners along the route. Volunteers passing out water, Gatorade, and an encouraging word. Strangers chatting as they run, or encouraging each other as they run by.
Just as I started to slow down, wanting to start walking, I would go by someone yelling to “keep running“, “you’ve got this“, “way to go“, or “you are amazing“. It was as if they were sent there just to yell at me. I walked the water stations just as my friends had suggested and stopped quickly to go to use a porta potty at a water station but I ran/jogged the rest of the time. At the finish volunteers handed me my medal, waters, bagel, and pretzels. I was so proud of myself! My final time was 50.50 for 4.2miles. That is just over 12 minute miles, a personal best!!
I had over an hour to change and rest before watching my friends cross the finish line from their 1/2 marathon. I got to thinking… running a marathon is like life. You have hills to climb, you have pot holes you step in, you might have to walk the ‘water stations’, but along the way you have friends and family cheering you on, and strangers offering help as well. Then you cross the finish line and you feel so relived yet fired up and none of the pot holes or hills seem to matter anymore.
Life is too short to stress about every detail. At times it feels like you are climbing a mountain and you’ll never get to the top but the run down the other side will be much easier. The flat spots are always the easiest yet they don’t always last long before a pot hole. In the end it is worth all the work, pain, struggle, to celebrate the good times. Just like the marathon, life is mostly mental and a little physical. You have to make yourself work through the hard times to make it to the calm and good times.
I plan to keep pushing forward in my life, just as I did in the marathon. I also plan to be more encouraging and helpful to people around me…loved ones and strangers! We’re all in a marathon so we might as well make it the best can every chance we get along the way!
P.S. I’d like to give a big shout out to my friends that keep me running…both physically in races, and mentally in life!! I love you girls!