During my run yesterday, my brain was going every which way and I had so many thoughts racing. The most profound train of thought that I had really put things into perspective for me. Two years ago, I was in the final week of training for my first half marathon. At that point, I honestly did not know if I would cross the finish line. I knew next to nothing about training, running, hydrating, fueling, etc. Only a few friends were runners, and only one of them had run a half marathon before. I wasn't on twitter, yet, actually, I don't know if I knew anything about it at that point in time. The CapCity Half Marathon was probably going to be my only event of this distance, ever. When I crossed the finish line, I "knew" it was the last time I was going to run that far. I remember being at mile 12, going UPHILL (UGH) and saying to myself "Why would anyone ever want to run double this distance?"
Fast forward to yesterday....I ended my run and realized that since Saturday morning, I have run 45 miles WITHOUT a rest day! And I feel great! Well, I'm hungry, but that's par for the course during marathon training. I've never had 45 miles in a full week and here I have 45 miles in 6 days. WOW!
Besides the physical and mental positives that I have gained from running, I have become a part of this wonderful community of runners. It is an AMAZING community of support, advice, and just a listening ear when you need one. Between Twitter, DailyMile, Facebook groups and RunDMC (my local running group), I can get just about any question answered from clothing/shoe recommendations to suggestions on how to pace a training run. Training for my first marathon last year, I had so many questions and so many doubts. However, the running community helped me get through it. As I was running the marathon, I thought of all the advice and tips and knew that I could get through it!
In two years I have also had friends and family start running and I have so many people that not only understand what I am doing and why, but are also running right by my side! I am having so much fun with my Best Running Friend (BRF), Jamie, running all these crazy miles with me. I don't think I would enjoy training for a marathon nearly as much without her by my side! Thank you, Jamie, for taking up this crazy sport and deciding to run marathons with me! Then we added Kate, Angie and several others to our group and have so much fun! My Saturday morning miles wouldn't be the same without you ladies. Love our conversations and how the miles just fly by.
As I am in the middle of writing this, my friend, Amanda posted this on her facebook status:
"Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too."
I couldn't agree more! Jeff is training for his first 10K and I think I am more excited by his training and upcoming race than I am with my own. Coming up with his training plan was so much fun! (hmm...wonder if there's a future job in there for me?!) Same with my friend, Kate, who is running her first Half Marathon at Cleveland. As excited as I am to see what I can do in the Cleveland Marathon, I am also disappointed that I won't get to see her face as she crosses the finish line!
Without this wonderful community of friends, support, encouragement, I doubt that I would have ever discovered exactly what I am capable of! Thank you all for helping me be a better runner and pushing myself to my expand my limits!