26 days til 26.2

Today is a magical day. There are only 26 days left until I lace up my running shoes early in the morning downtown and head for the start line. In 26 days, at 7AM the clock will start. Thousands of runners will take off to accomplish what they have been training for over the past weeks and months. I will be one of those runners, and I can’t hide my excitement.

I’ve been wanting to accomplish this for quite some time now. My goal: run, enjoy the route, and finish. Sounds like it should be simple enough, right? Well, I sure hope so. If you ask me, there is nothing “simple” about running 26.2 miles. The physical, mental, and emotional strengths that I have surprised myself with this year are things that I am not about to brush off with a “no big deal.” The truth is…this is a big deal.

At the beginning of 2010, I told myself this would be the year. I would run and finish a marathon. I knew that to get to that point though, I would need to commit — no excuses allowed. The commitment goes beyond committing to run the miles — I have taken the time needed to run the miles the right way, have worked hard to finish each of my runs as strong as possible, I have changed my eating and drinking habits (water is God and pre-run, mid-run, and post-run food should be chosen wisely), and I have even changed my social habitsΒ  (saying “no” to much more than usual, coming home earlier than usual so I can sleep and wake up early the next day for a long run, and reassuring my friends that I won’t be “lame” after Oct. 17). Holy commitment!

So far, I have done it. I have kept running, kept writing about my running, and have somehow managed to “stay committed even when I’m not motivated” (for those of you who have been following my journey for awhile now, you might remember that notion from awhile back…sound advice one of my best friends, Kelly, shared with me).

I remember when Summer came around the corner and I had already been running, but I needed to start following a bit more strict training plan. I started. I kept up with it, but allowed enough flexibility to be sure I maintained motivation. As long as I fit workouts in, stayed in shape, and was able to finish my long runs, I knew I was on the right track. Sure, there have been a handful of times when I was ready to stop (I hate even daring to use that awful word, “quit”), be done with it — who really needs to run a marathon anyway? What was I proving? Who was I doing this for? But, I carried on. I need to run a marathon. I am proving to myself that I can finish this, that I can really do something major that I have wanted to do for years — I can take something huge from start to finish. I am doing this for me.

As horrible as a few of my long runs have been, I am thankful for them. They are reminders for me during a long run that if I was able to finish a long run “like that one [insert a number from 7-14 here]-miler in [insert summer month here] in the middle of the afternoon in ninety-some-percent humidity” or “like that one at 6AM in 92% humidity” (yes, 92% humidity at 6AM!), then I can finish that same distance, and longer, during the beautiful Fall months. Oh, and don’t forget the great runs…where I have finished and felt like I could just continue on and finish a marathon right then and there. Those runs keep me going, too…maybe even more so!

It’s not just the runs…but my friends and family, too (yes, that means you…thanks for continuing to read my ramblings). They, and you, have kept encouraging me — some have even joined me on their bike or rollerblades — and have continued to remind me how insane I am.

I guess I am a little insane. But, aren’t we all? I’ll just have a medal to prove it πŸ™‚

Until then, there are still more training miles to be ran. They won’t run themselves, and I haven’t crossed that finish line yet…so this isn’t over yet. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (or the clock at the finish line, if you will) but there’s no stopping until I cross that line.

This weekend…I have my longest run of training ahead of me. A 20-mile run. 20 miles! I’m looking forward to it because I know I will be that much closer to the start line, and to the finish line, and I’ll be that much closer to accomplishing my biggest goal of 2010.

And, when I cross that finish line in 26 days…how sweet it will be. When I can finish my blog post with “26.2 miles…success,” how sweet it will be.

254 days of training down, 26 to go…success.

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11 Comments

Filed under Marathon Training

11 responses to “26 days til 26.2

  1. Rob

    Keep up the great work.
    I surpassed 10 miles this weekend on my way to the 1/2 marathon.
    We Can Do This!

    Did you see a picture of the medals? They are really cool.

  2. sarajane

    Nice job! You’re rockin’ it πŸ™‚ We’re so close.

    I just popped onto Facebook and saw the metals…VERY cool…makes me that much more excited!

  3. Jeremy

    I see you changed till to til from my facebook status, I suppose that will void the copyright πŸ˜‰

    Have a good run!

    • sarajane

      LOL! i was so sad when i saw your facebook post because i was like…noooo, he got to it before i could. i have been thinking about this since yesterday. ho hum. good luck on those miles to and from work πŸ™‚ you’re amazing.

  4. Sounds like your training has been going really well, and you’re in a great state-of-mind leading up to the race! I’ll be running a full mary in 26 days as well – Nike Women’s in San Francisco (eek, the hills!) Best of luck to you, I’ll be watching for the recap!

    • sarajane

      Ohhh…San Fran…that will be quite the course. Thanks for luck…there will definitely be a recap following race day. Good luck in San Fran…own those hills πŸ™‚

  5. Aaah, this post is so great, because it’s about so much more than running. It’s really all about commitment, isn’t it? What you just wrote would motivate anyone who wanted to commit to doing anything.

    • sarajane

      Thanks, Christina! And, thanks for continuing to follow my running…I’m so proud of you and your continuing accomplishments in running too πŸ™‚ Keep it up!

  6. Angela

    Sara,
    I have told you before, but I’ll tell you again! I’m so proud of you for embarking on this “crazy” journey and having the mentality to know that those hard miles in the summer will only make it that much better come race day!

    I can’t wait to cross the finish line with you–That’s right! You’ll be right there with..I’m not going to let you slack! ; P

    And I can’t wait to see that medal around your neck! YAY!

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