I don’ think it’s really hit me that Rachel and I have signed up for our first full marathon. After running three half marathons we should definitely feel ready, but then I wonder if you ever actually feel “ready.” I don’t think you ever really know how prepared you are until you cross the finish line, but by then it’s over. In some ways I am excited about the journey and the months of training ahead. I am most excited about the challenge and overcoming my fears. I know it’s easy for me to say I can’t do it, but I removed “can’t” from my vocabulary the moment I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon. In that moment I realized that anything is possible if you just try. A full marathon is a different beast altogether – I know. However, it’s a beast I am eager to conquer.
There are times when I am running and I imagine what running a full marathon would feel like. In that moment I usually get a little short of breath and I immediately grow tired. Just the thought is scary sometimes. But, I don’t expect it to be easy. If it were easy then what would be the point? I wouldn’t look at the “13.1” emblem on the back of my car with such pride if it had been easy. I wouldn’t smile when I think about running three half marathons in four months or taking first place in my age group in two 5K’s. When I think about all of that I think about the work I put into it. I think about every single training run and every single injury I encountered and overcame. I think about when I tore my ligaments in my right ankle three years ago and couldn’t run for nearly four months, and I wasn’t even a runner then. I think about where I am now and how much I appreciate the journey, both good and bad. It’s because it was so difficult that I am most proud.
There will be days when I am running and I will want to stop. There will be days when I will question why I signed up to run a full marathon. There will even be days when I will consider not running at all. In the end, though, I hope there will be the day I am crossing the full marathon finish line with Rachel by my side. That thought is what keeps me going. Right now the marathon is sitll months away, but even now me and Rachel keep asking, “Did we really sign up for a full marathon?” Indeed we did!