One of the things I’m most proud of is running a full marathon. Yes, I ran 26.2 miles. I still can’t believe I did it, but when I crossed the finish line, it was one of the happiest days of my life. I was overwhelmed with all of the feelings I experienced. I was filled with joy, pride, disbelief, shock and pain.
Leading up to the race was a bit difficult. Training for the marathon was way harder than actually running it. I had joined a running group that had a focus on training for upcoming half marathons and marathons. On the first day I met a really nice lady that I hoped to be my running buddy for training. We started running together because we were at the same pace, or so I thought. I hadn’t really been running that much leading up to training so I was no where near my ideal pace. We ran for awhile together, but then I had to slow down, and we never ran together again.
I never did find a running buddy during the training program. Everyone seemed to already have their group together and I just didn’t fit in anywhere. I still enjoyed the training program though. It forced me to wake up early and it was great finding new locations to run. It was also nice seeing other people running and know that they were running about the same distance as me which was reassuring. However, once I got up to the 18 – 20 mile runs, it became less reassuring when I was always one of the last people to finish my run. I didn’t think I was that slow! How was everyone else so fast?? The long runs were pretty tough, especially running alone so I became less and less excited about the marathon.
The day of the race was a little crazy, I was so nervous, what had I gotten myself into? My dad was running the half marathon and I debated about just running that with him instead. My mom and brother were there to cheer us on and I knew my roommate, Abby, was there to cheer on her marathon running mom.
Once the the race started I actually felt pretty good, until about mile 15 when I got to a bridge. This bridge had a sign that read “Make this bridge your bitch!” I had a super bad feeling about this. Usually people say that about hills, but a bridge? What was going to happen on this bridge?! Turns out this bridge was extremely long and super boring, I felt like I ran on it forever and I was ready to quit this marathon, but then I saw my brother. Seeing my brother at this point was a pivotal moment in the race. I was happy to see a familiar face, I was able to lose the gloves I didn’t need and he helped me open up Gu which I can never seem to open during a race. Seeing my brother reassured me that I can run this race and finish it.
The longest run that I had done during training was 20 miles, so I figured that if I at least made it to 20 miles then my training was successful. I ended up running until I hit my wall at about 22 miles. I was getting tired and I saw so many people starting to walk around me. I wanted to keep running, but since others were walking it made it seem that I could walk too. I started running/walking a little bit and every time I tried running it seemed harder than ever.
I saw my brother again at about mile 24 so I tried running so he would be proud, but once I passed him I started walking again. To my surprise he started walking beside me and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was tired and hurting and couldn’t run. He encouraged me to run and told me that mom was up ahead around mile 25 and she wouldn’t want to see me walking my marathon, especially since she hadn’t been able to see me yet. This gave me an extra boost of energy and I ended up running the last few miles with energy. I got to see my mom and then my dad was near the end cheering me on.
I was so happy that I crossed the finish line. When I was training, I thought I would never run another marathon again, but running that marathon made me feel so alive and I can’t wait to run another one. I’m currently training for another one this December and my goal is to run the whole thing and improve my time.
I ran the marathon for my 26th birthday (#26milesfor26). I think it’s cool because a couple of my friends have decided that they also want to run a marathon for their 26th birthdays. I believe that everyone should push themselves to run a marathon or at least a half marathon. It upsets me when people say that they could never do that because it’s not that they can’t, it’s that they are unwilling to do so. You can do anything that you set your mind to and running the marathon definitely confirmed that for me.