When you make a decision to dedicate 30 weeks of your life to something it's a little surreal to have those 30 weeks come to end.
Wednesday was a weird day to get up and only run 2 miles after all this training. Thursday was a weird day to open the schedule on my phone and realize I wouldn't be pulling this page up almost every day anymore. Today is weirding me out even more to know that this is the day I'm on:
I've already made up my mind, no matter what I'm going to finish! Even if I have to limp my way there and I finish after they take down the finish line, I'm going to run 26.2 miles tomorrow on the chartered course!
I just keep telling myself I did all the big runs, and only missed about 4 runs total along the training. I got my phone and a new app in November, and since then, these are my stats:
But no matter what happens tomorrow, I have had an amazing experience these many hours, and there are things I can't help but note as amazing, and even life-changing experiences along the way!
One of the major blessings of this run has been the scenery, I have truly learned to love nature, urban beauty, and other people in a way I never have before.
- Birds all over the canal
- The day there were so many birds and I was all alone I just prayed they didn't attack me
- Running over the freeway- my favorite part of all my runs!
- Watching the sun rise
- Watching the sun set
- Enjoying the rain on my face
- Enjoying many sunny warm days
- Watching other runners- I'm always impressed
- Watching many try to get in shape and just being humbled by their persistence in going out- some who are obese and clearly struggling to run/jog, and they are there every Saturday with a smile and a hello and a great attitude. What an example they have been!
- Watching the elderly hold hands and walk together
- The day I ran by the bush (pictured above) and a swarm of monarch butterflies came out and flew around me. I felt like Pocahontas singing "Colors of the Wind" in this surreal moment.
- The day a toy poodle stopped, did a trick in front of me walking on only its two front legs, and giving the biggest smile a dog can only to hear the owner giggle at their "little show-off" just too funny!
- The day an older man almost ran me off the path and I almost fell down into the canal, and then he flashed me a peace sign when he passed. I laughed so hard the shock and anger couldn't stay long!
- My husband's grand gesture to cheer me on mile 15 of 20 on my longest training run- that sign still chokes me up!
- The elderly couple that saw his gesture and me coming and gave me smirky smiles as I ran by
And then there was the experience and the pain, all of which I am grateful for:
- Drinking a Jamba after almost every Saturday run, bless you BOGO fundraiser card!
- Getting faster, going from almost 12 minute miles to 10:40 on crazy long runs to 9:38 on shorter runs
- Starting to think my favorite 8 mile loop is "a nice little run"
- Battling all the voices that tell you that you can't do it and proving them wrong
- Learning how great ice baths are
- Craving salt on everything, and adding salt to salty crackers
- Watching my toenails crack, bleed, and fall off- but each symbolized great things coming from ugly experiences to me. I've proudly quit painting toenails and worn sandals as gross as it is- I've earned these beat up feet!
- Growing blisters twice the size of my toes
- Finding the greatest marketing package ever
- Having my feet swell so bad none of my shoes fit for days- apparently 18 miles is a lot!
- Needing new shoes but not being able to stomach the hot pink and ordering the blue ones online even though they came several days later than I needed them
- Falling in love with my Camelback that I already loved
- Eating almost an entire case of Black Cherry Shot Bloks
- Enjoying a few races on the way, but sacrificing most for the sake of the marathon and commitment to my training schedule
- Meeting Poweraid slushies at Sonic
- Eating whatever I want whenever I want to, and sometimes that isn't enough!
- Being able to eat carbs, what a weird thing that my body actually needs them!
- Crafting playlists, and even getting to write one of the marathon's blog posts for their site
- Getting to share this with coworkers and talking about runs and encouraging each other daily
- Having a husband run by my side for part of my long Saturday runs, what a great bonding experience!
- Watching everyone I know cheer me on and ask me about my training, I'm so overwhelmed by the support and encouragement!
So no matter what may come, if I surprise myself and rock it, or get heat stroke in the sudden warm up this weekend, have to get a leg amputated at the end, etc. I am so glad that I have had this amazing experience! I'm so glad that I started at the beginning and looked at that 40 mile week wondering if I'd ever be able to do it- then doing it, and realizing that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it!
So friends, I hope this isn't my last blog post for a while due to amputation recovery, but if it is, thanks for still reading, encouraging, and cheering me on! Tomorrow is a big day for me, and one I know I will always remember!