After 18 weeks of training and countless hours away from my kids, I am ecstatic to report that this past Saturday, in the cold, wet, rain, I finished my first marathon in just over 4 and 1/2 hours. I was hoping to finish between 4 and 1/2 and 5 hours so I was extremely happy with my time. I was not thrilled with the weather but I will admit that conquering such a huge goal in less than ideal conditions only makes me feel stronger. It was in the 40s and 50s and so raw that my hands were numb and tingly.
Today, more than 2 days later, my legs are sore but the whole thing still feels surreal. How did I become a marathoner? Should we have known all those years ago when I was awarded the “Most Improved Runner” pumpkin as a token prize in grade school that I was destined to run 26.2 in my adult life? Maybe. But I never would have guessed it. My parents wouldn’t have guessed it. My husband would have never believed you. But here I am.
If you are like most people, you might be wondering if I will run another marathon. Similarly to when a woman gives birth and people are eager to know if the new mom wants to have another baby, I’ve learned that people can’t help but ask a newbie marathon finisher if he or she plans to run another. I’ve been asked the question at least a half a dozen times already and my response is…yes, but not right away. Maybe next year or the year after, or in 6 months from now. I don’t know when but I do know that nothing compares to what I just did and so I’ll just have to do it again! If you are contemplating running a marathon, I strongly recommend that you go for it!
The day itself was filled with emotion and pride. Seeing my family and friends cheering for me on the streets as I made my final strides toward the finish line was amazing. Seeing all the other runners and knowing that each of them has a story of hard work and dedication was inspiring. I can now say that I truly understand the magnitude of the commitment that marathon runners make and it is as much mental as it is physical.
Congratulations to everyone who finished the NU Hartford Marathon this past weekend and a huge thank you to the many volunteers and police officers who endured the elements to keep us safe and hydrated. It was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. I’ve done my best to describe what it’s been like to train and run a marathon but the only way you can really know what I am talking about is to experience it for yourself. Everyone’s marathon story has to start somewhere. Maybe your beginning is here.
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