So I thought I would write the most introspective blog of my training the night before the marathon. I have had a great deal of thoughts, and now seems the best time to share them. This will only be marginally focused on running itself, and will instead just be a little glimpse of what brought me to this point. If you are waiting for a mile-by-mile account, that will be tomorrow. If you want to check my progress online during the race: My wave leaves at 10:20 Eastern tomorrow morning. My bib number is 62209. If you go to the New York Marthon website you can track me. The website is: nycmarathon.org. Feel free to follow, but I am sure most of you have better things to do on a Sunday. Tonight, this is something else....
So those of you that know me well, know that things haven't really been great in my life since around 2005. I won't bore all of you with the details, but I went through a series of really significant life changes. It seemed like at that time, I might never fully pull myself off the ground. I muttered around and just got by each and every day. Not really enjoying life, just trying to survive.
I made the decision to go to back to school to try and find a path that would bring some semblance of meaning back into my world. Before I moved to Laramie, I decided to donate blood at work. Well when they took my vitals, they were too high for them to allow me to donate. I was 32 and they were worried about my overall health enough to disquaify me from donating. That would be the wake-up call. The catalyst that pushed me off the couch and outside.
The first time I thought about running outside, I really wasn't sure that running would ever be for me. A few years back, I had hit the treadmill pretty hard for some months and dropped some weight. It was not something that I could stick with over the long haul, and eventually all the weight came back. I was always intimidated by what I thought would destroy my knees. So I thought I would keep things short and only use it for the weight-loss.
I put on some shoes I thought would be considered running shoes, and walked outside. I decided to go up to the corner and see how far I could run. I will be honest....I couldn't even do half a mile before I just wanted to cry. I could not believe how hard it seemed. So I walked a bunch and jogged some here and there until I made it home. This happened a couple more times and then my summer classes started up and I didn't get out again for a couple of weeks.
I don't really remember what pushed me out the door the try and get going again. I tried the same type deal, where I ran for as far as I thought I could...then I walked for awhile....then ran as far as I could. It seemed to take a long time for me to get anywhere. But I was struck by how good I felt when I got back The next day, I did the same thing....then the day after that....then the day after that. Pretty soon I could go a whole mile and that felt amazing.
Over the course of the summer, I finally made my way up to three miles by really just pushing hard then walking when I couldn't run. I bought an Ipod and that really seemed to move me. Within three months I had dropped 30 pounds. Granted, I also was trying to eat a little better, but 85% easily was due to the effort.
But the one thing what means more than the lost weight, is how it makes me feel. Running is my escape. There are no failed relationships, regrets for past decisions, poor test grades, crappy work days, and anything else that brings me down. Running is just.....me....the person I think I am....the person I strive to be....the person that drives me. Running is all that in one. No matter how much I may want to go out on a run, it always makes me glad I did. Running takes nothing from me, but gives me everything. All it takes is putting on those shoes and making my way out the door. If you run, I think you know what I am talking about. If you don't....you should at least give it a try. I know it isn't for every one. I just know all that is does for me, and it would make me happy, if it could do some of the same for you.
I guess the point of all this, is just to share with all of you amazing people, that for some reason, continue to support and encourage me how much all of it has meant. I would not be near the place I am at, if you all were not a part of my life. You have helped me get the most out of myself. And from the bottom of my heart I thank you. When the going gets tough tomorrow...I know you will be there in spirit to help me continue on....