Holy shit… I am really just a few days away from running a full marathon. The same guy who struggled through his first 5K in 2013 is just a few days away from running a full marathon, just a short two years later! By no means is this a culmination of my running journey, but it damn sure is a milestone.
Sometimes I forget how far I’ve come. I have made running such a large part of my life that it feels second nature to me. However it hasn’t always been like that. If I think hard enough, I can remember just a few years ago how much I hated running. I had friends who did it and it never made any sense to me. Why go out there and put yourself through all of that? What is the point? Running just never made sense to me. And yet here I am just 2 years later about to run the Chicago freaking Marathon!
This has been one hell of a journey so far. It started with that first 5K in 2013 that I struggled to get through and then telling myself immediately after that I would train for a half marathon in just 8 weeks. Training for that first half marathon was no picnic. Not only was it physically challenging, at the same time my closest “support system” at that time unfortunately was anything but supportive. The closest person to me during that time would constantly tell me I was an idiot for attempting to run a half marathon and that someone built like me wasn’t meant for that kind of race. And yet here I am 2 years later about to run double that distance.
To say that I am nervous is an understatement. By nature I’m very level headed and rarely get rattled. So to people around me it is just another race. However internally it is anything but that. I would never let people know this around me (well I guess they do now) but I have had a softball sized pit in my stomach since the beginning of this week. I have run well beyond the half marathon distance in training so far, including two 20+ mile runs, so I know my body can handle it. However those runs have been hard. I’ve been tested physically way more than I ever have. So I know this marathon is going to be difficult. I know there will be times where I don’t think I can go any further but I have to find a way to. As a result I am extremely nervous about this run. I am doing my best this week to keep those nerves in check, but it has been difficult.
The good news is that my 2 year running journey has prepared me for this. Whether it was my first Half Marathon, first Duathlon, first Triathlon, first Spartan Race or any other firsts; this will not be the first time I have gotten to a starting line with that pit in my stomach. So I at least have a basis on how to keep those emotions in check.
So here I am. Just a few days away from running a race that I thought was damn near impossible just a short time ago. Many other people could get to this distance sooner than I did. And a lot more can finish it faster with less training than me. But this race for me is about so much more than that. It’s about a guy who discarded all of his negative feelings towards running and one day in 2013 just decided to go for it. Regardless of negativity, difficulty or my own self doubt; I just plowed ahead one goal at a time. As a result there are just a few days that stand between me and an accomplishment that I was never meant for. My motto for running has always been “take it one day at a time”. It’s time for me to now take it one step at a time for 26.2 miles.