It all comes down to this…

It’s here. It is finally marathon weekend!! And the marathon is in two days. TWO DAYS!! After 110 days and almost exactly 16 weeks of training, the moment of truth is here. First of all, I apologize (not really) for all of the marathon talk. It is honestly all I have on my mind. I know it’s been coming up and I knew my days were numbered on when I would get to stand on that line, but it didn’t hit me hard until last night. There may have been a few extra tears in dinner, and they weren’t from cutting an onion. It’s crazy to think that I’m running the “ultimate” event, at least that’s how I see it. What is more unbelievable is that last May I ran my first half marathon. In the past 17 months I’ve run 8 half marathons and will now get to reach the next level.

I’ve set out some goals. Nothing too crazy, but something to think about when I reach a low point or two during the race.

  • Finish in 4:30. This may be a lofty goal, but it’s a best case scenario for sure. This puts me at a 10:15ish pace, a 2:15 half. A majority of my miles in my long runs have been sub 10, so I f eel like this is a possibility. But there is no guarantee on race day and I know I have to keep my pace slow.
  • Finish in 4:45. This is the finish time for my corral. I think this is a safe goal, it gives me extra time and I’d have a pace of 11:00. I never ran this pace during training, but I have a feeling that I may dip down to it in my final miles.
  • Finish. In all honesty, I just want to finish. I want to cross that line and become a marathoner. This is one of the most important days of my life, crossing that line is all I can think about. It means more than anything to me.

Now you know my goals, but what if you want to see how I’m doing during the race instead of waiting for my race recap? No worries, I’ve got you covered.

  • I’ve linked up my Twitter account to check in on my splits throughout the race with Real-Time Race Tracking.
  • You can also go online and sign up for tracking as well, I’m bib number 3978
  • I’ve linked my Facebook account to give real time tracking
  • Darren may also be tweeting live (he did a good job in Colorado)
  • You can also come to Columbus and be one of the awesome fans. I’ll be wearing something from the assortment below….

So many options

Goals. Check. Tracking. Check. Thank you’s….

I wish I could take each and every person out to dinner to thank them for all they’ve done, instead I’ll let you know on here. Plus I can save money for the expo. Seriously, I wouldn’t have been able to come this far with out the support, encouragement, hope and love from everyone. Friends, family, blog readers, twitter followers, you guys are all amazing. All the comments, well wishes, advice, I’ve taken it all to heart and will think about each and every one of you on Sunday. I can’t wait to come back next week and share the experience with you, the ups and downs, the tears and smiles. Every single moment. So thank you.

It’s time, time to leave it all on the streets of Columbus and give this marathon everything I’ve got.


A pair of shoes and desire

Ten months ago I made the decision I was going to run a half marathon. Looking back I never thought I would accomplish so much. I set the goal to run those 13.1 miles and had no idea if I could even make it that far. Running was a passion that slowly faded, and I was hoping it would come back.

I remember doing base miles on the treadmill, struggling with the fact that I was no longer as fast as I was in college, or that I lacked the endurance to go out for five miles and feel like it was nothing. But the more I ran, the more I felt that running a half marathon would be a possibility at one point.

May 15th was a whirlwind. Less than four months ago I wasn’t running at all, I fell out of love with running, and there I was at the starting line, ready for whatever would come my way. Moments of excitement, nervousness, doubt and pride were constantly fighting to be the center of attention. I did it, I ran my first half marathon. And as soon as I crossed the finish line I knew I wanted more. I was in love with running again, and I found my new favorite race.

Over the summer I signed up for a few 5k’s, but it wasn’t enough, I was aching to run longer, so I set myself up for the impossible. Not only did I want to run another half marathon in the fall, I wanted to run twenty-five more, in twenty-five states. I came up with the 25 Challenge and knew if I trained harder I could get this goal accomplished. But I couldn’t wait until the following year, I wanted more now.

I signed up for the River Run Half Marathon and the Nationwide Columbus Half Marathon, hoping I’d be in better shape by fall. And by persuasion I added the Akron Marathon Relay to the schedule. I thought I bit off more than I could chew. I had so much doubt that I wouldn’t be able to run all these races, but somehow I was going to do it all.

I ran the River Run Half Marathon, and while I worked on improvements, I wasn’t satisfied with waiting until October to get another shot. I signed up for the Sandy Ridge Half Marathon the following weekend. Nothing else felt so comfortable. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to crush those 13 miles again.

The Sandy Ridge half marathon went through my streets, the streets I trained on during high school and college. The pavement I pounded in rain, snow, heat, stress and relaxation. The same streets that I learned to love running. I never felt so confident during a race, I knew with every stride I was getting better. This was my race.

The time in between my weekends of races and the Columbus half I struggled with keeping an injured knee manageable and trying to recover so my body wouldn’t be drained. I had second thoughts about running the race, but with finishing those miles I would be a half fanactic. And while it may be something that is overlooked and insignificant, it was something I wanted to work towards.

In Columbus I ran the hardest race to date, but it made me so much stronger. I became a half fanatic, and supported friends who were running their firsts, just something I did months ago. I knew it was time to give my body a break, but I went out giving it all I had.

Ten months ago I thought about running a half marathon. A week and a half ago I finished my fourth half marathon. I went from being scared to death of the distance, to not being able to get enough of it. Running one half to four. I found the passion again, the feeling of accomplishment that so many miss out on, the runner’s high.

Even with training and putting in the miles, I would be no where today if it wasn’t for all of the support I received. Friends, family, strangers. Every single person that wished me luck or congratulated me after a race, I owe it all to you. The support and love from having fans or a cheering section goes so much further than miles some days. Without support, it wouldn’t have meant as much. Thank you.

Ten months ago I made the decision to run a half marathon, thinking it would be the farthest I’d ever run. Twelve months from now I’ll run my first marathon and fall in love with the sport all over.