Sunday, October 03, 2010

Chicago Marathon - ONE WEEK! Reflection...

1 week away - 17 weeks of training - 2 years of fantasizing - 30 years of disbelief.  Let's go through each of those phases starting with the largest.

30 years of disbelief.  Since I was a kid, I declared I would never run for leisure.  Basketball was my thing when I was a kid and always will be, and I always thought that if I was going to do anything from a cardiovascular standpoint, it would have to be basketball.  No questions asked.  And a marathon? No chance! Not only does that require running, but running for a very long distance.  I question driving that far much less using my feet as the mode of transportation.  People who trained and completed marathons were not real.  They were people that would only be seen on a 2 dimensional screen or newspaper.  I would never know someone who would even attempt this...

 

2 years of fantasizing.  My goals in life shifted.  After years of playing basketball casually, the reality kicked in.  I get hurt all the time playing it.  Ankle sprain, back injury, concussion, pulled hamstring, etc.  Another reality kicked in.  I am dangerously out of shape.  I had issues with blood pressure as well as panic attacks, even sometimes chest pains.  Time for a change, time for someone new...time to run?! Couch to 5K program is introduced into my life.  Got addicted QUICK! Signed up for multiple races, soon enough bumped up to 10Ks.  Loved running, loved the feeling of finishing a race, PRing, a new distance.  How far could I go? 26.2? Man, that would be great.  I don't have that kind of patience.  I am not fit enough for something like that.  I've seen some of the fast runners at the races I've done, they definitely have the drive to run a marathon.  It just amazes me.  Maybe someday...

 

17 weeks of training.  Friends have done it.  Family has done it.  Tens of thousands of people have done it.  Why can't I be one of those?  What makes me incapable of even attempting a marathon.  I couldn't come up with even one good excuse.  Midnight on February 1st comes...SUBMIT! Officially registered for the 2010 Chicago Marathon.  Training starts in July and I meet one of the strongest groups of runners I had ever met.  I'm not just talking about technique...I'm talking about heart and support.  Saturday morning after Saturday morning I find myself listening and talking to complete strangers.  Some of them like me running their first marathon, others running their 20th.  I now KNOW people who have done this.  I find strength in them.  I find support in them.  I'm also finding support in my fund raising.  With my dad not here to see me in person, I had to make sure he heard me.  As of today, I've raised over $2000 in donations for the American Heart Association.  I couldn't believe I could raise that much!  Just more motivation for me.

 

1 week away.  I've never believed in myself more than I do right now.  The past 17 weeks, 2 years, 30 years have led me to today.  I've run as far as 20 miles.  Ask 16 year old Joey if he ever would run that far.  He would say "hell no!" and then proceed to eat his Wendy's frosty with fries (man those are good).  Running has taught me what inner strength really is.  At any given moment, you can look inside yourself and find it, especially when you are running for hours on end!  But with enough patience, faith, and practice, you find that your inner strength is ENDLESS!  I've seen people amaze me everyday.  I've read stories that make me yearn for greatness.  I've heard people say that I am inspiration.  Not yet folks...I got one week.

1 comment:

kilax said...

Thanks for sharing your story! It's amazing to have come this far... I can't wait to hear what you think of the race! I am getting so excited!