As I look back on my post following the Twin Cities Marathon, I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come and how much has happened in the last year. John has moved back from Boston following the end of his internship. I’ve switched jobs and am better for it. Marathon training with former coworkers has allowed me a buffer between switching jobs and breaking those relationships I’ve had for 4-5 years. I’ve completed a 20k and a half-marathon. I’ve developed an appreciation and ease with running after listening to the audio book “Born to Run”.
The first year sparkled with newness and was full of meaning and contemplation. It changed me in many ways. You can’t run in memory of someone and their battle with cancer and not have it change you.
The second year I ran because I wanted something more. I knew I’d still have a running group, but the meaning wasn’t there. Shorter runs became a mind-game of “you should be faster, you’re slow, pick it up”. My calendar became overwhelmed with trips and the demands of work began to take their toll. I ran the Twin Cities Marathon days after finding out my uncle passed away. I lost weight in the days leading up the race rather than putting it on. The race itself was a pure battle of willpower. Just talking about it months after brought tears to my eyes.
The third time around, I’ve been a little more lax in my training. I’ve learned to forgive myself for missed training runs and off days. I’ve even embraced certain runs where I would have fretted in the past, but I have put in the miles.
I ran 16 on a particularly humid, slightly warm morning and had a really slow pace, but the bike race on the neighboring road, the alternating cast of characters who joined me along the way, and the view along Summit made it a cleansing experience like I’ve never felt in the past.
And now it’s marathon “dead week” with the big 20 mile run looming this weekend and a total of 38 miles to complete (5 done so far). I feel the most calm I’ve felt in a while. I know what’s to come; I’ve already put in the work. I’m ready to enjoy this ride, whatever it might bring, between the start and finish lines in Chicago. I’ve earned it and deserve that right.