Last night I experienced the moment where everything in the past 8 weeks finally clicked. I’m currently one mile away from matching my second highest month of mileage in the past year, and only five miles from matching my highest month of mileage quite possibly ever. I took a moment to take it all in, and rightfully so, the song “Home” came on my iPod.
My first marathon didn’t follow the best training plan. I made it half way through and I was injured, forcing me to take time off. I had 6 weeks to start from scratch and attempt to run 26.2 miles. I really struggled in Columbus, I didn’t know if I would finish, and I hit the wall awfully bad for quite a few miles. But nothing could take away the joy of crossing that line after those long and challenging 26.2 miles.
Looking back at the first 8 weeks, I’m so surprised at what I’ve done. I’ll be running my first of three 20 milers this weekend, last year I never made it past 16. I’m putting in the miles and doing the hard workouts. I’m pushing my limits and giving it everything I’ve got on the track. Truth be told, I didn’t know I had it in me. I was doing 20 miles a month in the beginning of the year, I had no idea how I’d ever get to 20+ miles a week. I even thought that I was a one and done marathon runner. But so much has changed.
The more I ran, the better I got, and the more miles I could handle without breaking down. I thought back many times to this quote from Born to Run, “Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.” I put in the miles this time around, and I wouldn’t stop until I had hit my goals. I felt healthy and happy and finally for once I was uninjured. I felt the weight of what is expected in marathon training, but I also felt the joy of telling people that I was training for my second marathon.
So what do these next 8 weeks have in store for me? I will continue to hit my splits, and trek the hills. I will wake up before the sun rises to enjoy every step of those long runs. I’m putting everything I have into this training and loving every bit of it. This marathon means almost more to me than the first one. I won’t give up until I cross that finish line in Akron, I can guarantee you that. Running is my home, and it never felt so good to be here.