Thursday, September 5, 2013

Running with a Purpose

September 5, 2013

So if you haven't learned this yet from knowing me or reading my blog, let me make sure this is clear... no blurred lines... no lack of clarity...

I Hate Running. (Even if by running, I am actually speed walking) I in no way disrespect those that DO LOVE running, but I am not one of you and often can't understand you.

No I do not get runners high.
No I do not find it relaxing.
No I do not enjoy breathing in the fresh air of nature. Well I do... just not while running.

Maybe one day I will, but as of now... I stand by the fact that I am doing it. And Yes, I am running a marathon (or speed walking... lets not mince words here).

So why do it? Well I guess, the answer is probably deeper that the old "Why not?" First of all I have always held such a huge respect for distance runners and especially those that can complete marathons. The amount of dedication it takes to train, the self motivation, the endurance... it's amazing. I want to fall into that group of people whom I hold such great respect for. I mean really, there are so many things that I would LOVE to do but really just don't have the opportunity to. I remember an old episode of Friends where Monica had her identity stolen by a woman who took chances. She got her to audition for Cats on Broadway and walk into a drop in dance class... those are things that are not available to me here... at least not that I know of, but marathons are available to everyone. Why would I deny myself the chance to fulfill my own idea of greatness. And the fact that I am doing it, being something I hate, makes me that much more proud of myself.

Another reason is because... well, I can. I have two legs. They move freely. Currently they may not be that strong but through training they are getting stronger. God has given me two functioning legs and completing a marathon means I am going to take these gifts from God and move them one in front of the other for 26.2 miles. I'm sure there are many people out there who would give anything for the chance, but their chance was taken from them. For those people, I will complete this for you. Especially those who chance was taken while trying to complete the Boston Marathon earlier this year.

Thirdly I run for my son, Erik. As I previously explained in a blog, Erik is struggling in school. It's hard. He doesn't want to go. He would rather just not do it because thats the easy way out. He would rather run. I am showing him that some things are easier for some people than others. Running is easy for him, but not for me. Just like he needs to keep practicing to get good at his homework, I need to keep practicing to get good at my running. His report card will be his prize and my medal will be mine.

Lastly, I want to make this marathon really mean something. I mean, it means something to me and hopefully it will mean something to Erik. Maybe it might mean a little something to people who know about my story. But when December 1 comes around and that 11th, 12th, 16th, 18th, 22nd, 24th miles come along and I hurt and I want to stop and give up, what is going to motivate me? What will push me? What will remind me that this is bigger than me and my goals and lessons for my son through actions? I have decided to dedicate each mile to someone or a group. During that Mile I will pray for that person/group to motivate me and get me out of my own head, thinking about myself, and instead thinking of someone in need of prayer. Several slots have been filled by people in my circle of friends.  I've dedicated a mile to my husband's cousin battling breast cancer at a young age and newly married. I've dedicated a mile to the orphanage Erik came from and all the orphans around the world that need families. Since I hope to complete a 15 minute pace, I am dedicating the 15th mile to the Boston Marathon Victims as this will be at about the 4 hour mark when the bombs went off on that fateful day.

So I ask you, if you would like to be considered for one of my miles or know someone else that should be, share the story with me. As we get closer to race day I will post the actual mile dedication chart so that everyone will know what I am praying about during each stage of the race.

This isn't easy for me. Don't get this twisted. I am finding myself in more pain on a regular basis these days. This will require more out of me physically than anything I have ever done before.  I will be pushing my body for a straight 7 hours. In fact I will probably be at mile 7 when the 1st place competitor crosses the finish line. I will only be at about the halfway mark when the awards are given, and by the time I cross the finish line there will likely be very few spectators. With there being a time limit and only 2,000 people eligible to complete the full marathon, which filled up back in July, most runners have done this before and more than once... so I might even be the last person to cross the finish line. I am determined to not get picked up by the bus. I will finish. Even if I am last. And whatever my time is, I will be proud of that time because I will at that time have become a Marathon Completer and no one at any time can ever take that away. I've already bought a T shirt that says "I just completed my first marathon" and another that says "the pain is temporary, the pride is forever". No matter the pain, or the hatred for training for the sport, come that day, across that line, I will be filled with a joy that can only come from completing something I always wanted to do, but never really thought I could.

I encourage anyone if there is a star out there that is within your ability to reach, Go Reach It! Name It! and then go do it again!

~Future Marathon Finisher,


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