Three years ago I was watching The Biggest Loser with Casey as the contestants participated in their first marathon. I looked at Casey and said, “I will never be able to run a marathon; there’s no way my body can run that far no matter what kind of shape I’m in.” And just like that a little dare took root in my soul.
Already a member of the local gym, I decided to do more running. I’d complete a two mile run here and there, and then on Saturdays I’d do a 3 mile run, which seemed incredibly long at the time. And then my spur of the moment decision to run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon hit and I ran my longest distance of 13.1 miles, and a year later I completed the Indianapolis Mini Marathon again.
The obvious next step in my progression was a full marathon, and the best way to commit to a full marathon was to sign up and pay to run it. So I registered and paid to run this year’s Indianapolis Marathon — all 26.2 miles of it.
After a 12 week training program that took a lot of mornings, evenings, and weekends away from my family, I was ready to run those 26.2 miles. Well, I was ready right up until I woke up the morning of the marathon and saw that it was only 40 degrees outside and it was raining. On my rainy drive to the marathon, I wondered if I could just skip it and complete another one, another day when the weather wasn’t so miserable. Would anyone blame me for not wanting to run 26.2 miles in the cold and rain? The easy answer to that was, yes. Casey would have been furious with me after I spent so much time training for this thing she didn’t really even want me to do in the first place. Cold and rain or no cold and rain, I was stuck.
With reluctance and frustration, a feeling I think many other participants were struggling with, I began my first full marathon, and 26.2 miles later I was officially a marathoner. I had accomplished something that I swore I could never do. Something I didn’t think was possible.
While I was finishing my last 2 miles, Addie was finishing her 1 mile kids’ fun run on the same marathon course. She crossed the finish line with the other marathoners who happened to be finishing at that time. She ran her mile about 5 minutes after she received her first bee sting. I was incredibly proud of that 8-year-old for sticking to it and running her mile.
On our drive home I asked Addie if she thought she’d ever run 26.2 miles like I did that day. Addie looked at me and said, “No, I can’t do that.”
I laughed a little bit and I responded, “Yeah, I said the same thing.”
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