With each step I take my eyes are constantly on the lookout for feathers. Ever since deciding to run the NYC Marathon in memory of my mom I have been searching for a sign. A tiny whisper from the universe confirming I am not crazy for taking on this challenge.
This will be my second marathon. I ran the first one in 2014 with my mom cheering wildly for me on the side of the road. I have never seen so much pride in her eyes than I did that day. I was naive. I had no idea what to expect. The most I had ever run was probably five miles. All I knew was that I had said yes and that I needed to hold up my part of the bargain and train, otherwise I would never make it over the finish line.
This time I know what I am up against.
- An excessive amount of time spent running
- Having to say no to so many things when I really want to say yes; all because I need to wake up the next morning and run
- Tired legs
- Aches and pains
- The mind game of feeling like I cannot run a single step more
- The struggle to get out the door
As I write this list of what I am up against I realize that I will also be gaining so much.
- Discovering strength I didn't realize I had
- A stronger body, and stronger mind
- The opportunity to work it all out on the road
- The feeling of accomplishment for pushing myself out the door
- A routine and focus on keeping my body moving
- Pride in showing up, especially when I don't want to
Marathon training is a long and winding road. There are days when it feels amazing and other days when you are wondering why you decided to do this in first place. In the end, the good days far out weigh the bad and what you gain matters way more than what you lose.
As I was out running the other day, struggling up a very long hill, I tuned into my body and decided to walk. You don't always have to keep running, but you do have to keep moving. As I slowed to a walk and looked down there it was ... the sign I had been searching for this whole time. A beautiful blue feather reminding me that I am strong enough, that I can make it through, even if I have to walk. It felt like in that moment my mom was standing beside me cheering me on. I saw the immense pride she carried in her eyes on that November day in 2014 and I tucked it deep into my heart. It will stay with me each step I take on this training journey.
The road is long, the struggle is real, but all I ever have to do is show up and put one foot in front of the other. When I do that I show my mind and body that I am not here to give up. No way, no how. Even if I can't run I will walk. I will make it up that hill and I will my way home and across that finish line one way another.