I made it to race week!
I remember my sister telling me, back in February, that she was going to run a 1/ 2 Marathon in May and I told her she was nuts and that if I was going to do one it was going to be later in the year...I'm glad I didn't stick with my initial response.
The entire process has been really rewarding. I'd say, overall, the majority of my runs have been good and mostly I just love knowing that I committed to preparing for something and that we're almost there.
I had a great 10 mile run on Saturday. It was slightly overcast, not too warm, not too windy- just a nice running morning.
There were a ton of people out on the bike path running as well-- some just on their own, some a part of training groups who are also training for the Buffalo marathon and 1/2 marathon. What I love about this, and about running races in general, is the sense of unity present when you get a bunch of runners together. Running is a sport that can be hard, sure, but when you are out there, with all of these people of varying ages and stages and differing fitness levels you sense the shared determination to commit your body to this act of discipline and to finish what you began.
For all of us, discipline is a hard thing-- we often feel life unraveling and see goals go unmet, we start projects we are unable to finish, we wish we could do things better, stronger, faster-- you sense that in people when they are training and in a race--they are determined to finish this one thing because it will then become a moment of proof to finish other things in their lives as well. The training, and the working up to longer mileage provides this sense of building confidence that you can do more than you thought you could.
For some people, like the group on the bike path from Team in Training (who are running for the cancer and lymphoma society) they may be running in someone's memory or because they have beat an awful disease in their own lives. Their determination is one to overcome odds, or to successfully push through something hard because life, frankly, is often hard.
But, whatever the reasons, I love that sense of determination to finish...to push yourself past being tired, or hungry or thirsty or frustrated and make it to the end!
When I was out running on Saturday I had this crazy cool moment too where I just felt totally connected to God as my creator; the creator of the beautiful display of nature that surrounded me, and the creator that had created this miracle of a body that is strong and healthy and able to do this race. I felt so grateful for my health and for the strength to be able to run.
I started thinking, at one point when I was a bit tired, the same God who created me created marathon runners and triathletes and olympians-- I told myself, at that moment, there is strength within me greater than I know because God has created some pretty amazing bodies capable of pretty amazing things-- that simple fact gave me energy and determination to finish my run.
Training for this week includes some short runs-- a 4 mile, 3 mile and 2 mile-- then a bunch of us are getting together at my sister's on Saturday night to eat lots of pasta and then the race is 7 a.m. Sunday morning!!
Looking forward to letting you know how it goes. My ideal would be to finish in under 2 hours, but more realistically I'm thinking I'll be right around 2 hrs and 10 minutes.