I read this amazing blog post this morning from RunOnPurpose and it made me think about how my running journey was what made running and finishing the 2010 NYC Marathon so amazing. Sure crossing the finish line was great and is something I will remember forever, but it was the journey to that finish line that made it special.
So here are my top 5 favorite moments during my marathon training, even if they weren’t always my most glamorous moments. (Can you have glamorous moments while running 17 miles?)
#5- Tripping over thin air and falling flat on my face at about mile 16 of a 20 mile run
At the time this was not a favorite as I watched my bright pink, Cinderella water bottle go flying across the road and hoped that I wasn’t hurt, but in retrospect it was hilarious and somewhat inspiring. First, I wasn’t hurt at all so it just served to damage my ego, but then make me stronger. Plus, some kind stranger saw me fall, stopped his car and backed up to make sure I was ok. I was grateful that a random stranger would stop to make sure I wasn’t hurt. In retrospect this is one of my funniest stories of training.
#4- Learning where to find every port-a-potty or public restroom along my routes
It still cracks me up how quickly I started to learn where to find a bathroom at mile 7 or 10. At the start of training this was just not a topic that had even crossed my mind, but I did indeed learn fast. The look on the construction workers’ faces as I squeezed in past a fence to get to their port-a-potty mid-run still makes me laugh. You could tell that none of them wanted to confront me on my blatant lack of regard for “the rules”. Would you?
#3- Every single person who sponsored me through TeamFox or helped to cheer me on
This one is pretty self-explanatory. All I can say is that the generosity and all around good wishes I received from so many people often brought me close to tears. I just couldn’t believe how many people supported me and often went out of their way to help me along on my journey. Remembering everyone that supported me often got me through the really long runs. I know I will never forget them.
#2- My husband riding his bike next to me for last 8 miles of my 26 mile training run
During my 26 mile training run I stopped at mile 18 for a quick water break outside my house and actually started crying. It was HOT and I was tired and sore. I really felt like quitting on that run, but my amazing husband hopped on his bike and told me he was going to ride the last 8 miles with me. He stuck with me through that last 80-90 minutes and never stopped being supportive. He kept picking points 100 feet in front of me and told me to just focus on reaching that next point. I don’t know if I would have kept going without him. Knowing that he believed in me enough to sacrifice his time and ride so slowly next to me for so long was just amazing. (I love you honey!)
#1- Running with my daughter in her first 5K race
The absolute best part of training for the marathon was seeing the effect it had on my daughter. She kept insisting that she could run too and I finally relented and entered us both into our local 5K race. I was so privileged to share the experience of her first 5K with her. I will never forget the look on her face as she finished and turned around to tell me, “I beat you!” It was just awesome to see the pride on her face.
So what were your favorite moments in training for a big race? Were they funny, touching, uplifting?