Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reflecting on the marathon, a couple of days after the fact

If you read my last blog, you may recall that I was really struggling with how I finished the Fox Valley Marathon. I was disappointed because I felt like I let down the race directors Dave and Craig by not maintaining a pace to get me in to the finish at 6 hours as the "back of the pack" party. Now I'm just mad at myself.

Not because of the fact that I didn't finish like I wanted to....or because I hit the proverbial wall around mile 20.

I'm mad because I was so concerned about my time that I couldn't take the time to relish in the fact that I ran (okay, ran and walked) a freakin' marathon.....completed 26.2 miles....all as part of a phenomenal racing event.

Three years ago (and many pounds heavier) I never, ever thought I would be able to accomplish such an incredible feat. Yes, I know there are people out there that run several marathons a year, but for anyone who knew me when I was younger they would remember that I HATED running. I dreaded having to do the mile in gym class, and would just stick to riding my bike or aerobics for exercise. Luckily, back then I had a super-high metabolism, so I never really had to worry about staying fit...it just happened.

The Fox Valley Marathon is something I looked forward to all year long. As a volunteer and committee member I had the honor of seeing all of the magic behind the scenes, and getting to know so many other volunteers in the process. In some small way I've been involved with FVM since 2011, when my kids did the Kids Marathon and I volunteered at packet pick up. Last year I volunteered some more, Matt and Nathan did the kids marathon (Thomas was too old, so he volunteered), and I ran the half.

This year was amazing! I volunteered to put together the display for the Municipal Building window, and did that along with the help of Sue and Craig. I paced the 12:30+ pace group for the training runs, and I know without that pushing me and Pat offering to train with me on the off weeks I never would have even made it to the starting line. Even with the thunder, lightning and pouring rain during our 20 miler I wouldn't trade a single moment. I also served as the Kid's Packet Pick Up Captain, and LOVED seeing how excited the kids were to turn in their log, get their t-shirts and, for many, their first ever bib number.

I was done thinking about all that DIDN'T happen, and focused on all of the positive highlights from Sunday. So last night I stopped by Dick Pond Athletics to pick up a Fox Valley Marathon 26.2 magnet to add to the minivan, alongside Nathan's Kid's Marathon magnet. Yes, it might be seen as bragging or downright annoying to some, but it warms my heart to see that when I walk by it and reflect on the last several months. I never thought I'd say this, but bring on next year's Fox Valley Marathon!


  1. You did awesome! We will see you there again next year!

    1. Yay! I'm already excited about next year!

  2. I like how you put everything into perspective here. You and I have a lot in common. Like you, I have been dwelling on the fact that I finished 57 minutes slower than planned. Three years ago not only was I many pounds heaver but I nearly died from complications due to Crohn's Disease. After major surgery I started running and became this new person...a marathoner! I lover your attitude and your blog is great! Keep up the hard work and remember, "A finish is a finish"!

    1. Wow Melissa - I have no idea! It was so nice seeing your smiling face when you passed me after you had already started heading back. And yes - a finish is a finish!