17 years ago, I started training for my first marathon. I was 21 then. To make a very long story short, despite being just 3 training weeks away from the race, I was unable to participate in it. Ever since then, finishing a marathon has always been in the back of my mind, but far behind the more important callings of life, those that require my time and attention, leaving little time to train and even less energy/ability to do so.
However, thanks to a very supportive husband, and 5 incredibly helpful children, the marathon dream has been resurrected! I will have the opportunity to run in my first marathon on Sunday! This week's 7 quick takes are all related to preparing for the race.....
/ 1. /No more lonely roads....Training out in the middle of nowhere hasn't been easy. The long, dusty roads (especially during the cold, winter months) offer little visual distraction and even less inspiration, as there are very few trees, no water, and the monochromatic grey-brown landscape can quickly become monotonous. I'm really looking forward to seeing *people!!* instead of cattle and *architecture* instead of tumbleweeds!
/ 2. /I get to make the trip with this guy:
Whenever we have an opportunity to get away (which isn't often), we have a blast together. What a treasure it is to be married to your best friend! Running isn't exactly Steve's cup of tea, but after all of the tractor shows and farm expos I've been to, I think he can handle this one!
/ 3. /My niece Elisabeth sent me this fantastic piece of artwork:
Her dad, who is an artist, sketched the running shoe and she colored it for me. Isn't it great?? I'm taking it with me...
/ 4. /Last night I added a few "extras" to my running gear, symbolic of those that I will be holding close over the miles of the race.
Runners love to show their spirit and support for the causes they they are running for through their apparel. I decided to add a little symbolism to my own gear: pink compression sleeves show support for my mother-in-law and my friend, Anna, who are fighting the war against breast cancer. The American flags on my shirt sleeves are for our men and women in uniform who have served, and continue to serve, our country so bravely (including my dad who is a Vietnam vet and a recipient of the Purple Heart). Blue and yellow ribbons in honor of the Boston tragedy will be pinned to my bib, and the flowers on my hydration pack are for my best girl, Green Jeans, who, for many, many reasons, I will carry with me along the course.
/ 5. /Putting together a 4 hour playlist for the race has been way too much fun. We've been jammin' out every day to everything from 80's punk to old school country. Typically, I like to run without music, because in a house filled with boys, silence is golden. But, I'm gonna need a few beats to help keep me going on Sunday! The boys have made their suggestions, one insisting on classic rock and another even offered classical suggestions (nothin' like a little Bach to pound the pavement!). This is one of our new family favorites:
Philip Phillips, "Gone, Gone, Gone"
/ 6. /A friend of mind from my younger years is an 8-time marathon runner and has been so kind as to offer me a tremendous amount of help and coaching over the past few weeks. Next to to taking ice-baths after long runs (yep, those are fun!), the best tip she has given me yet is one to help my mental focus on long runs. She suggested that I pray for my children at the mile of their age, and for my husband at the mile of our anniversary year. I can't tell you how quickly this made the 20 mile training run pass. And, it gave me a sense that they were all right there with me, which was truly encouraging!
/ 7. /Food. Food. Food. I hope this doesn't sound gluttonous, but I can't wait to eat (and drink beer)
after the race. My husband had better guard his plate - and his brew!!
See you on Monday!!