Why I’m running a marathon (and how you can support me)

One of the realities of living with a 2 year old, I’ve learned, is the nearly constant barrage of “Why”…(the break occurring in the the 11 hours during which she’s asleep.) Over the past 4 months, I’ve been going running every Saturday and most weekday mornings. She sees me getting out my sneakers and knows I’m going running. Our morning convos go something like this, as she’s laying in our bed trying to snooze with her daddy and I’m trying to quietly get all my things together in the dark.

M: “Mommy, you going running?”

J: “Yep, go back to sleep, sweetie.”

M: “Why?”

J: “Because I’m training for the marathon.”

M: “Why?”

I mean, everyone has a motivation for doing something as crazy as training for and running 26.2. You have to. But does everyone get grilled at 6am every time they run? I guess I just have an unfair advantage: daily reevaluation of why the hell I’m doing this.

So the answer? I am doing it because I wanted to prove I can. I am doing this because it’s hard and overcoming a challenge – THE challenge – is empowering and even the training makes me feel good (except for sometimes when it sucks.) I’m doing it for the time to myself. I’m doing it because I’ve always wondered if I can, and I don’t like just putting things off. It’s a great time in my life, and I’m ready to spike the ball and be a marathoner.

It’s not all motivation and envisioning the finish line on the daily though. It’s been ridiculously hard, painful (hi, icebaths…), beyond exhausting and frustrating. But, as I’m so close to the actual race, enjoying a week of tapering (and no more running till Sunday! Woo!) and trying to calm my race day jitters and worries… it’s a mixed bag of feelings for me. All last month, in the weeks leading up to the 20 miler (the peak), I was so tired I was looking to the marathon as THE END. I wouldn’t even think about running after that. I was so excited to just stop, and if I had to run 26.2 miles to have the right to stop, fine.

Now, as I’ve backed off my mileage so much, I’m almost bittersweet about how I’m going to miss it. Miss running with my friends regularly and miss wearing my running clothes and and when will I listen to my audio books? It’s going to be a huge change, and it’s weird. Of course I will still run, but there have been so many days, at least once a week and some weeks more, where I have a scheduled run that I just don’t want to do but I make myself because MARATHON TRAINING SAYS I MUST.  And I respect the marathon training, I do the workouts. (I think I’ve only skipped .4 miles the whole time…honest to Jesus! We joke about how much Margo loves rules, pretty sure that’s all me.)

Ultimately, I believe in the transformative power of running. I believe that this training has changed me, it’s changed what I believe I’m capable of and I know without a doubt that finishing the race will change me. Running in general gives you freedom, power, self-confidence, health and camaraderie. As much as it has sucked some days, I’m so happy I’m doing this. I’ve only thought about not doing it… like maybe twice. 🙂

For all those reasons, and more, I’ve chosen to raise money for Girls on the Run of the Triangle, a local charity that teaches young girls about the positive, transformative power of running. If you want to support me & give me a boost, please make a donation. And a huge thanks to so many of my friends & family who already have, I’m really blown away(and excited) about the money I’ve raised so far! I’ll be matching donations received from now till the race!

So yeah… I’m getting all sappy about it now that it’s almost over. I feel pretty certain I’ll cry when I finish.

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One thought on “Why I’m running a marathon (and how you can support me)

  1. Love this entire post. Maybe my favorite of yours ever!

    I think every person who’s completed a marathon has “that moment” when you know you are going to finish. For me, it was a 20 mile rainy run in the hills of Berkeley when I slipped on a trail and fell 20 feet down an incline in mud. I popped up and kept running because I had to get that run in. After that, I knew I would do whatever it took to cross the finish line. I knew I was forever more mentally strong than before all that training.

    I feel like this a lot with my photography business. It takes a lot of hard work and extra hours to do it on top of my full time job (and everything else that comes with being a parent). But I feel like I am teaching my kids what it takes to achieve a dream, and that you are never too old to make big plans.

    I know you are going to rock it this weekend!

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