I am 6 days away from lining up at Hopkinton for the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. When I think about that moment, it brings a wave of excitement and nerves through my body.
For the past several years, I have made relentless sacrifice and effort to get to this moment. I woke up in the wee hours of dawn and ran in the dark. My house has gone uncleaned and laundry piled up so that I could squeeze in a long tempo run. Meals consisted of whatever was within reach and I went un-showered so that I could get to my track workouts on Tuesday nights. On countless occasions, I’d forgo nights out with girlfriends, leaving me feeling left out, so that I could get enough sleep for my long runs on Saturday morning. I failed in competition many times over and had to pick myself up and try again. Over the course of these past several years, I have strengthened my body only to have it become injured and have to start over.
I have been beaten down mentally so many times, I can’t remember them all, but I know one thing for sure: it was no accident that these things happened. I needed to learn lessons along the way. In fact, I still struggle with these things, but I know they were brought to me because I needed to learn them. I am in love with the marathon, and am so grateful for what running them and training for them has taught me.
Lessons Learned Along The Way
Trust the Journey– No matter what happens, relax and accept where you are right here and now. When something hurts or is confusing, I ask myself “what am I supposed to be learning right now?”
Hard Work– Absolutely nothing in life that is worthwhile comes without hard work, dedication, and being consistent. This means not giving up when things get tough. When I feel like giving up, I might take a break or do some easy trail running to get my head straight again, but I remind myself of what’s important. Getting better at anything takes time! It’s so important to remember delayed gratification when you have big dreams.
Don’t be a Prisoner to Your Thoughts– I’ve spent way too many years of my life identifying with the negative voice my head. It takes hard work, conscious effort and dedication to disconnect from the your inner pessimist. It is not me and it does not have a place in my life. I still have many negative thoughts, and my ego loves to hang on to that kind of drama, but its as simple as shooing them away and tapping into something way more powerful: my inner light, strength, and courage.
Love Yourself Along the Way– You know how we go nuts when we see a newborn baby, kitten or puppy? They’re perfect, wonderful, adorable, innocent little love balls! So why do we judge ourselves when we grow up? When I feel judgement toward myself, I imagine myself as a baby. Or I pull out this picture… I even love the big wad of drool coming out of my mouth.
I will be running the 117th Boston Marathon exactly 6 days from now. I have put so much effort into my training, and would love to do my best that day, but I also know that anything can happen after mile 20. So no matter what happens on April 15, 2013, I am so proud of what I have accomplished and the long difficult and emotional road I have traveled to get here.
I love the marathon as if it were a person. It is in my blood, it is in my sweat, and it is in my tears. The marathon has taught, and continues to teach, me how to live my life. It will humble you, it will trick you, it will give the greatest thrill of your life. With each marathon your life is never the same and now, less than one week away, I am running the Grandfather of them all, the BOSTON MARATHON!
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