Anyway you look at it, 26.2 miles is a long flipping way to run. As I sit here thinking about the last long run before my 4th marathon, I wonder (as I always do), why the heck am I doing this?
I mean really: why would someone voluntarily get out there and run for 4 or so hours?
This year, the race has a whole new meaning for me. Instead of trying to just complete it, I am also attempting to do it in a certain time frame to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Which means a pretty lofty time goal.
So, as I sit here dreading the last 15 miler (10 at my marathon pace) I will complete before my race, I wonder, "what is going to get me through 26.2?". Sure, my playlist will help get me moving (I will post that a little closer to the race). My sheer determination will play a part in getting me to run those 8:20 mile splits. But in the end, I think it will be gratitude that will push me through. Gratitude for all that I have...even the most simple things as having 2 strong legs to get me through.
So as I toe off in 2 short weeks there are some people I will have in my mind that I will run for.
Like my mom's best friend Michelle who passed away too soon from ovarian cancer. Her daughter misses out on a mom to share such accomplishments with. And for all my friends that have lost a parent too soon.
My friend Sara's friend Curt who suffered from ALS and passed away recently. He would have given anything just to walk to the mailbox, let alone run a marathon. I think of him often when I run.
Linda Fitzpatrick, whose husband who passed away WAY too young. I am lucky I get to cross on the finish line with my husband cheering me on.
For any of you that have been sidelined with injury. I know you'd just love to run ONE mile. I will run all 26 for you (with minimal complaining).
For people that lack the confidence in themselves to set a goal and work to accomplish it. I may not run the race as fast as I set out to, but at least I had the courage to try. And keep going.
That's what will get me through. Next time you are struggling with a race, long run, or speed workout, think about those people in your life that can't. I promise you'll move a little quicker.