Read More

Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Year Ago...

One year ago today I was about to embark on one of my life's greatest challenges. I had trained for 7 months, working on my own during the week and with my group every Saturday morning at 6 am. Yes, I got up at 6 am every Saturday for 7 MONTHS! I am not a person you would consider "athletic" or even outdoorsy, I never played sports in high school (although I tried to convince many people that Cheerleading and Dance Team were sports, I did afterall, LETTER in both of them!). But here I was, at the starting line of the Portland Marathon. I was seriously considering just stepping off to the side to be a spectator, but I didn't. I had so many things going through my head, but most of all, the finish line. I had worked hard for this day and I was going to do this.

The reason I wanted to do this? My dear Aunt Margo was a runner and she had always tried to encourage all of us to be a part of her healthy habits, but most of us just couldn't ever discipline ourselves to do it. She ran Hood to Coast, Portland Marathon and many other local races. We lost Aunt Margo to cancer and at some point after that I decided I wanted to do this for her, because I knew she would be so proud of me. So, that's what got me to where I was on this chilly fall morning in 2006. I set my mind to doing this, and I was gonna do it.

I had experienced all kinds of crazy things while training (blisters, avoiding certain foods, almost fainting from not eating enough after a run, nausea from dehydration, learning pepto bismol was a cure all on the running trail), but best of all I made some great new friends! Elizabeth and I had decided to run together (even if she did ditch me at mile 19 only to beat me by 8 minutes over all!!) and we encouraged each other, popped pepto bismol together, stopped at the porta potties together...etc. I was also lucky enough to have a cheer team who stopped at 5 spots along the run to cheer me on, I was so lucky to have them there, they have no idea how much their cheering and support helped me! My Mom, My Sister Erica, Eddie, Rachel, My nephew Hank and his Girlfriend Tess all got up early that day, too and made the trip to Portland and followed a map (almost getting killed along the way, thanks to Erica's crazy driving from what I heard!) and stopped to snap pictures and cheer me on.....they are the BEST! They even walked with me through a water stop! My Dad and Valerie met me at the finish line, too!

So, off Elizabeth and I went on this great adventure through Portland. We laughed and cried, but we made it! The biggest challanges? The St John's Bridge...1.5 miles UP HILL at mile 18...was a killer but once we reached the top of the hill and ran over the bridge, it was gorgeous! After about mile 20, I honestly felt like I had been drinking. I felt really silly and just started screaming with the spectators and really talking myself into finishing this thing! Elizabeth was long gone, so I was acting sillyl by myself. :) I rounded the final corner with BAD cramps in my quads, but I ran as fast as I could across that finish line! 5 hours and 5 minutes after I started I crossed the finish line of the Portland Marathon, I did it, I was done, and I had never been so relieved! I made my way to the "finishers area" and had some gatorade and ate some snacks...oh, and best of all, got my medal.

The funniest thing about finishing the marathon? I stopped running! I can't believe its been a year, time sure flies when you're having fun!


LizzyG said...

This is so inspiring! Running a marathon is definitely a major life achievement. You should be very proud of yourself! I am so glad you shared this story, and I love the new color of your blog page.

Tiff said...

Wow, I think you just became my hero! This is something I don't think I'd ever have the willpower to do! Congrats!

Joshua & Valerie said...

Pepto bismo?? No kidding?!

This was a fun entry to read. I've never heard anyone's experience training for and running a marathon.

Althought I've never met you, I could just picture you at mile 20...what were those spectators thinking ;) Hee-hee! Funny stuff!

Rachel & Family said...

It was such a great day, watching you achieve your dream. I so badly wanted to run the rest of the way with you, towards the end...but you did it, all on your own! You accomplished a very difficult goal and I still can't believe it's been a whole year.
And don't sweat the lack of running since need a break after all those long hours of training!!! On to bigger and better things!!!

Rachel & Family said...

Real Simple just emailed me the perfect quote for this post:
"There is no tellng how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream."
...and 2 more days!!!...

Team Johnston said...

Congrats on finishing the marathon! I am a distance runner myself. In high school my cross country team ran the San Diego Marathon. It is a great accomplishment to have completed one.
~Danielle :)