I am so excited to feature Nicole today in my Running Inspiration series. Nicole ran her first marathon on 2/2//14!!! Achieving 26.2 miles is an amazing accomplishment and leaves me longing to for November when I will run the NYC Marathon! Check out Nicole’s guest post below to be inspired by her accomplishment, I know I am!
It almost seems surreal now. On 2/2/14 I accomplished something I never thought I would be able do. I ran a Full Marathon! I dedicated three months to prepare myself mentally and physically for something that just several months prior would stir up fear in me just to think about. Could I dedicate the hours to train weekly? Will my family be understanding of the hours away for training? Would my IT band and legs hold up? Would I get injured during training? I am 40 years old, have only been running a couple of years and I do not have a typical runners body what am I thinking? Once I put the “What if’s” behind me and decided to go for it I never looked back. It truly was just as much mental as it is physical. Now I can honestly say it’s pretty cool to think to myself “I did that”.
On the morning of 2-2-14 in New Orleans I woke up to less than ideal race weather conditions for the Marathon. It was a wet, muggy, foggy morning with a rain chance of 70%. I bought some BodyGlide and Aquaphor to be used as weather repellant and made some last minute decisions to my race attire since less clothing is the better if it rains. I just had to think to myself I would not be the only one out there. I would be among the apprx 15,000 runners that hoped for the same thing. For many others it would be their first Half or Full as well at this Rock ‘n’ Roll series race. I also reminded myself that perfect race days are few and far between. This would make it that much sweeter when I crossed that Finish Line. I took comfort in that and moved on with my race morning preparation. As soon as I crossed the Start line the anxiety disappeared. I told myself this is it. This is the day I have been training for. I will not be going halfway today. I had the best running buddy by my side. My friend Karen. This would be her 5th Full so she was well prepared with Biofreeze and Tylenol for when we needed it at the back half of the race.
The miles ticked away pretty steadily. I decided to have some fun along the way with Karen and we took some pictures and video along the way of ourselves and spectators which made the experience even more memorable. Around Miles 18-21 I could feel my energy slowly zapping away but told myself it would be over soon. I dug deep and pushed on. My favorite mantra “Finish Strong” that I had printed on my custom shirt for the race was a subtle reminder of what I had come that day to do. That last mile or so is a bit hazy as delirium had set in but the feeling of satisfaction and relief that I felt when I stepped over that last timing belt remains. I had done it. I had went the distance. I was a Marathoner! I crossed the Finish line at 4hr:48min:12sec
Just a few short days after the mental and physical fog of the Marathon lifted I was already being asked when my next Full was. I have to say honestly unless it’s at Disney it’s highly doubtful. I like the Half Marathon distance. It fits better with my schedule and my best time of 2:06 is something I want to improve upon. The Full was a bucket list item for me, something I wanted to prove to myself that I could do. It’s a decision I will never regret and achieving this goal has made me even stronger. I also reflect on it with a great level of emotion because so many knew I could do this before I did and never doubted me. For that I am very appreciative. To complete something you never thought possible is empowering.
You can read more about Nicole’s journey on her personal blog: http://ndeckerrunner.wordpress.com/
If you or anyone you know has an inspiring running story and would like to participate in my Running Inspiration series, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with Running Inspiration in the subject line.