One of my neighbors (and a fellow bus stop mom) ran the Marine Corps Marathon yesterday. I always wondered what would posses a person to want to run 26.2 miles in a row. I have always been of the mind set that I don't run unless there is someone or something chasing me.
My neighbor started training when her boss turned 40 and decided to train for a marathon. Her husband said she would never be able to do it. Stephanie is 47 and a breast cancer survivor. She ran the Marine Corps Marathon in six hours and 14 minutes.
She is my new hero.
I was very excited to talk to her about it this morning. She has only been training for 25 weeks for this marathon. Steph wasn't a runner before this.
Yesterday she ran 26 miles. That blows my mind. This morning Steph told me that the first fifteen miles were glorious but at the end her body started to give out. Someone asked her if she considered not finishing. I don't think it ever even crossed her mind.
Amy Reinink ran the Marine Corps Marathon too, but things were different for her.
This race, finishing was never, at any point, a certain thing.
The reason: near-constant vomiting and, erm, porta potty stops throughout the race. I have some gastrointestinal issues that I have to be careful about, and I made the mistake of eating a (very plain!) grilled chicken sandwich at a new place for lunch yesterday that immediately didn’t sit right, and felt kinda funny all afternoon and evening. I started the race feeling not-quite-right. After about the 5-mile mark, I spent more time running hunched over than upright. Now, my legs feel pretty great, considering, but my torso feels like I was in the plank position all morning.
Amy finished too, and how amazing is she? Amy ran her first Marine Corps Marathon to cope with the depression when her husband (who is in the Navy) was deployed.
Anarcha woke up sick on Saturday and almost didn't run at all, and she ended up being the 3rd fastest woman to finish the race.
Meredith finished the race too, and she had two fantastic observations:
My favorite moment of the race happened around mile 18, going past the Capitol. There was a high school band playing there, and just as I was passing, they were playing the theme music from Star Trek. I guess none of the runners near me were quite as geeky, since many of them looked at me like I was nuts when I started cheering.
The most inspiring thing I saw was a group of wounded Marine veterans. On crutches, in a wheel chair, or just hobbling along, they were making amazing time (I don't know where they finished, but they were ahead of me until mile 19). Even now, the thought of their dedication, motivation, and perseverance is making me tear up.
As much as I dislike the idea of running (me running, I am fine if other people do it) I have been inspired by these ladies, especially Stephanie Geis. I keep hearing buzz about this "couch to 5K" running plan and I am seriously considering trying it.
Now all I need is you guys to help talk me into it.
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