I thought I could. Week 8.

Stats

  • 5 miles
  • 55 minutes 04 seconds
  • Tune of choice: “Back on the Chain Gang” by the Pretenders
  • # of random town folk cheering: 3 (Newton residents in cheer training)
  • # of times I cried: 1
  • # of times regret running Boston Marathon: 1…and then I took it back.

The Run

The Plan

  • Alarm 7:17AM
  • 5 minute snooze until 7:22AM
  • 3 minutes of rapid dressing
  • 60 second sprint to car
  • on the road by 7:26AM
  • 33 minute drive to Newton
  • arrive by 7:59
  • 45 second parking job
  • 15 second dash to church hall and…
  • BOOM! I am on time.

What actually happened…

  • Alarm 7:17AM
  • SNOOZE
  • Alarm: 7:22AM…
  • …SNOOZE…
  • 7:29AM…
  • 7:31AM…
  • 7:35AM…CRAP.

Yeah, I was 14 minutes late for training. Clearly, I hadn’t read my trainer’s blog post about how to get out of bed. Nevertheless, I was feeling very lucky to have made it in the nick of time for an inspiring talk by sports psychologist, Dr. Grayson Kimball. He iterated the importance of being mentally prepared for the big day. “Your muscles get you to the act of running, but it’s your mind that gets you to the finish line.”

Well let me tell you, this discussion couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. It was an “easy” 5 miles that day (easy being a relative term), but the final half was entirely uphill (Heartbreak, no less). I will never forget the feeling. I’d run 2.5 miles, made it to the water stop only to loop back around to this image (below) of a literal uphill climb.

And (26.2) miles to go before I sleep...

I cried. It was mostly in self-doubt. How was I going to do this?  And I wasn’t talking about today. Overwhelming thoughts about the 26.2 mile distance surged through my mind and I was completely overcome by it. Then a fellow teammate who’d not been far behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You are doing great!” She hadn’t seen the tears; I knew she actually meant it.

So I continued, knowing that each week my progress would bring me closer to 26.2. I charged the hill (charged also being a relative term) and thought of nothing else but finishing. I imagined myself to be pulling imaginary ropes to get me to the top, and I made it. 5 miles (perhaps give or take a tenth or two) in 55 minutes and 04 seconds. I finished it. In a million years, I never thought that I could possibly inspire MYSELF in a moment of weakness. Every week I get out there and I give it my all. Isn’t that all that you can ask of yourself? No time goals, no expectations other than COMPLETION. And that’s what I did.

This little engine made it up the track…and I did it saying, “I know I can.”

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