Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#4 Revised - Run a Marathon: MCM October 28, 2012

A year and a half ago, I signed up for my first marathon.  I'll admit, the reason (or person I was coerced by)  was similar to why I signed up for my first ten miler.  But after running my first half marathon in Richmond and not feeling like complete death, I decided to further test my limits in distance running.  Last summer was a rough one and when travel further complicated my ability to stick to my training schedule I deferred to 2012 which also gave me the chance to do it for the right reasons...to know I was doing it for me and no one else.  So...how did it go?

It was so much fun!  I had great support from my friends both seen (Vivian, Lindsey, Chu, Jamie, Kathie, Kayla, Vince + his mom and Chris + his mom) and unseen (Shannon and Bridget).  I've been a spectator and know it's not easy.  Also got so much Facebook love, how could a girl not be pumped?!  Ok, I wasn't pumped.  I was terrified.  I'd been nervous all week.  It's true, you never get sleep the night before.  But I so enjoyed it.  I took a deep breath at the start and during some tougher blocks, trying to think of it as just another training run around the neighborhood, just with some more company. :) Here are my favorite and most memorable moments:
Oh I must've been kicking major ass then!
Mile 18 - a much needed break!
1) The camaraderie among the runners.  You could feel it at the start, you could feel it on the course.  People still had enough breath to make each other laugh.  Misery really does love company.
2)  The supporters and spectators.  Thank you to all those strangers who made signs specifically for "random stranger" as well as those who read my bib and yelled out "go Kathy!"  Oh the signs...
3)  My favorite signs, aside from the one made by my lovely friend Vivian, were definitely "if a marathon was easy, it would be called your mom" and "I trained 6 months to hold this sign".  Brilliant.
4)  The marines.  So motivating, so encouraging and so graciously volunteering to make sure the race went smoothly.
5)  Those running in honor of a loved one.  You are the reason I did this marathon as my first.  You were the extra motivation I needed on the course when there were no spectators in sight.
6)  The photos of those marines who gave their lives while serving our country.  Pictures of faces, dates, and ages on a long stretch at Hains Point.  And then the line of volunteers holding up the American flag, one after another, reminding you why they call this the people's marathon.
7)  My friends.  Being a spectator on the brink of an incoming hurricane the day after all the crazy Halloween parties...you've all touched my heart in support of my goal.  Every hug and power high five gave me a burst of energy.  And those that couldn't be there but sent messages the day before, the morning of, and the hours after, thank you!  All the expressions of pride in me...pshaw.  I'll likely respond with, "oh i was slower than i wanted" or " thanks, i could've done better".  But just as bad as how I take compliments, I need to stop myself and respond with a similar reply, "thank you. I appreciate it."  Because I really do.
8)  The finish.  Nothing prepares you for the people you least expect waiting for you at the finish.  If you told me a year ago that my ex and his family would be there waiting 3 hrs after watching their own family member cross the finish line, I would've called you crazy.  But that's just how sweet and amazing they are.  I'm so grateful to still have them in my life.
A candid moment capturing true friendship
 For those gracious friends who have congratulated me on this accomplishment and downplayed your own abilities with how limited you'd be in your own running, I must remind you of this.  I never used to be a runner.  Three years ago I started with 1 loop around City Center DC - a 0.5 mile run.  And today I call myself a marathoner for the first time.  We all have to start somewhere.  You can do anything you put your mind to.  Trust me :)


  1. Dear Kathy,
    You are an amazing, intelligent, beautiful woman. I am so proud of you. I am privileged that our paths have crossed. I wish you all the happiness you so richly deserve.

    1. Thank you, Janina! That means so much to me and I'm glad to have known you as I've been amazed by all the obstacles you've overcome to achieve happiness as well!