The greatly talked about Anthem Richmond Marathon is 3 days away! The city of Richmond shuts down for “America’s Friendliest Marathon”, and droves of people hang out on the roadsides to cheer on runners from all over the country and world. Last year was a record year, as we come 2 weeks after what was to be the NYC Marathon. Hurricane Sandy left runners with lots of training under their belts, but no running to be done. So registration skyrocketed and all along the course you could spot the runners that had hoped for something a little more Grand than this one in Richmond, Virginia. Marathons are something to behold. The optimism filled anxiety, the energy, the TEAMWORK. You’re running a race alone, until you need that extra push. The Professionals who seem to run like cheetahs, never touching the ground or slowing down. The personal goals. The once disabled people who run because they CAN, because at one point they COULDN’T. The spectators are fantastic as well. The first time I went to watch Josh in his first Sprint Tri, I got teary eyed. Strangers cheer for strangers. Kids cheer for their moms or their dads with big signs and the kind of excitement that can only come from children. The atmosphere of race day is the place I would like to be for all of my days. Goose bumps a plenty. I will not be running a full marathon this year, and it’s highly doubtful I will any year. But one never really knows! Josh and I started training for the American Family Fitness Half Marathon, then life got a little tangled with work and late summertime travel that by the time we were ready to sign up the entry fee had climbed to $100. $100(Josh + Myself) = $200. Excuses, Excuses I know. In our defense, $200 out of our budget right before the Holidays and Home Improvement Season is a generous chunk from the Charlie Brown money tree. Would we be doing something for our health that spans over the course of 4 months of training? Yes. THAT is priceless. But I can’t justify it now. Next year we’ll try to do better and sign up for The Half when entry fees aren’t so expensive. We will be running the less expensive HCA 8k instead, together. I’m really excited to run a race with Josh, instead of being in different waves and running alone. So in celebration of three days from now, I’ll share with you something I quickly wrote last year a few minutes after I had gotten home from a random run. A good run.
“When I run: Things that stress me or annoy me get worked out in the first mile…maybe that’s why it’s notoriously the worst. I’m in the process of letting the bad go. I concentrate on my breathing and on my pace. The beginning usually decides my ending, so I try to make it good. I take in the scenery, houses, landscaping. I think…wow, this sucks a LOT. Mile 2. “It’s ONLY mile TWO?!” My shins are threatening me, my breathing is all over the place, my energy seems to be falling away. But then I straighten up, breathe deep, change my stride a little and think (and sometimes say out loud) “one foot in front of the other…just have FUN. Enjoy this.” A mental note that I’ve made it through this slump SO MANY TIMES before. It’s just a lull. And it always is. Mile 3. Ok, I’m tired, but nothing I can’t handle. Pains are going away and my breathing is good. I’m not thinking about ANYthing in daily life. I’m thinking about ME and my body; taking stock of my world. Am I ok? My heart might stop, but I’m taking the chance to feel accomplished. Anxiety doesn’t exist out here for me. I’m thinking about the green lawns, and how crazy blue the sky is today! Oh look, the Canadian Geese are on the river! That Bald Eagle just stared me down! The deer. The baby geese. I’m in the country in the city. I wave to fellow runners and they always have a wave and a smile for me. I do too, for them. We’re in this together. Looking after one another. Mile 4. In tune with my body. A little tired but it now feels more like I’m walking swiftly, the “high” is starting to kick in. Am I really going to run UP this HUGE hill?!?!? F*$k it…YES i am! Gotta get home somehow. The downhill will help me recover. And it does, always. SUCCESS!! I made it!! OneRepublic “Good Life” comes on my playlist. Yep, it IS a good life. I smile, get goosebumps and a little pep in my step. Mile 5. Beginning to decide if I have a few more in me. Do I head home, or do I go for one more? Breathing. Check! Legs feeling…Not bad! Cramps? None. Sweating? A lot. My face probably looks like a tomato to these people in their cars. I could use some water. Mile 6. Ok, going for the Gold. One more mile. One more hill. Man, I LOVE my Brooks. My legs will look sweet when I’m done! I feel so BAD, but I feel so GOOD! Push, push, push. You. Can. Make. It. This last little hill is a killer. GO GO GO!!! PUSHPUSHPUSH!!! I see my road. Almost there. Can’t stop, WON’T stop! I see my driveway. Done. Shaking. Thirsty. Phew! (Zoey meets me outside) “Wow Zoe, that was awesome. I need water, girl!” Meanwhile I feel like passing out, crying and laughing all at once. My brain is clear and my mood is light. I stretch and it feels great. It was a good run today.”
See you at the finish line!