_   "Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes his mind to do. We are capable of greater than we realize."
- Norman Vincent Peale, author

On June 1, 2010 I became a runner. Prior to that date I would run occasionally, because I wanted to lose the last few pounds I still had since having my daughter. My run on June 1st was different; I was in training now. Running had a concrete purpose because I was signed up to run my first 5k. I had the plan, the running buddy, and the treadmill downstairs, which meant I had to complete the race. Those first few training runs were amazing. Every step I took which made that run the “longest I had ever run” felt surreal. It was hard, but worth every ounce of pain. 

Since that race, I have completed five half-marathons, a few 5ks, one 10k, and even a triathlon (which I thought was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.) However, it was not until this past Saturday, November 12th that I did something that I never even thought I would want to do in my lifetime - I ran my first marathon! 26.2 miles of pure excitement, pain at times, and making memories that will last forever! 

I ran with my best friend. We talked about everything we could think of. We ran all over Richmond. We ran through neighborhoods that made us want to move, over bridges with some sort of construction machines our sons would have loved to see, and over the finish line actually sprinting! We paused at every mile marker to get a picture taken by my friend's wonderful husband and our “coach.” We just took in the entire experience and embraced what were doing. 26.2 miles was hard. At mile 21 my legs started cramping. I was able to run to the finish line by drinking Power Aide at every mile marker. However, I never “hit the wall.” I never felt like I could not finish and actually I finished strong!  We wanted to finish in under five hours, even if that meant 4:59:59 was on the race clock. I haven't even looked at my official time yet, but my Garmin said 4:53.

Will I run another marathon? Yes, I will. However, I am not planning the next one at this time. I often compared training for the marathon to being pregnant, and that the race was when I would have my baby. The four plus months of training, arranging baby sitters so I could do incredibly long training runs, all while trying to be a good mom and wife was difficult. Crossing the finish line made all of those challenges worth it, and the next time I do run another marathon I want to feel the same way. I don't want to rush into picking one for next year just because I am still experiencing the runner's high. In my opinion a marathon is too big to just do it and really enjoy it, but something that a runner at my experience level needs to really think about before signing up. With that said I know some runners out there that have said I will never run a marathon…I was one of them and now I can say I am a marathoner! If you are thinking about running a marathon you can do it! I am living proof! 

Written by: Elizabeth Smithson



Sue
11/16/2011

Thanks for this blog! I'll be running my first marathon on Sunday and I'm really excited (but nervous, too) about miles 20-26. I just said to my husband this morning that it's EXACTLY like having a baby! So far my "pregnancy" has been smooth--let's hope the "delivery" is just as awesome! WAY TO GO achieving a goal you never even thought you'd want to set! 26.2 :)

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Stephanie
11/16/2011

As I also said on facebook...

Elizabeth-I LOVED how you ended it with enjoying the high without planning to revisit right this moment. I'm sooo glad you stuck with it and I got to ride alongside part of this journey with you. As I'm learning this "mommyhood" stuff, you have been a great example for me to show me it can be done. Congrats....REST...ENJOY...You deserve it!

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Chrissie
11/16/2011

Great Blog. It makes me want to set my goals higher. Maybe one day when my boys are grown and I don't need a babysitter, I will be able to complete a marathon!

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5/31/2012

good one article dude

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