As summer approaches, and many of us hit the pavement to train for a longer-distance race, I figured it was a good time to circle this beautiful comic back around.
I have a deep love for the Oatmeal, and I would love to run and be chased by an actual Blerch so badly I almost bought my husband a costume to wear. Maybe if I went through with it, I would get my ass back out on the road and start running again. Seriously though, I’m going to get back out there. I’m at least walking more, so that’s something.
But back to the comic: The Dos and Do Nots of Running Your First Marathon
I am definitely that person who will run through the aid station, spilling half of the water from the cup, and choking down whatever is left so I don’t lose those precious few seconds….those seconds that could be easily made up with a little burst of effort.
I have waterboarded myself more times than I can count at races……it’s a compulsive problem.
I never thought I’d be one of those runners that would be so inspired by a stranger’s words that I would actually cry, but at Mile 18 of the Pittsburgh Marathon I was so done with everything – I could barely keep myself moving.
A water attendant told me I looked strong, and told me I could do it. And I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to make it through had she not been there in that moment and said those things to me.
I will say this, there is absolutely nothing worse than going past a relay swap late in the marathon. I hated each one of those runners with a burning passion and if I had eyes like Superman, I would have burst them into flames.
If you want to feel like shit about yourself – struggle for miles and miles only to have some fresh-legged relay runner blow past you as you struggle to drag your feet along.
It’s not cool.
Not. Cool. At. All.
All in all though, running a Marathon isn’t that bad. I very much enjoyed my time running through Pittsburgh, and crossing the finish line is something I will never forget.
I’m gearing up now to start looking at my next one – New York City 2019. I spent the last weekend there, and being in Central Park reminded me why I wanted to run NYC so much to begin with.
Something about that city calls to me. It could be the massive musical presence, or the architecture, or the busy, bustling streets. I’m not sure. I do know that before I ran Pittsburgh, I said there was one other marathon I would want to run, and that was New York City.
I’m hoping to get there. It’s going to take a massive fundraising effort and some interesting planning, but I’m sure the journey will pay off and it will all be worth it in the end. Plus, I’ve done a spring marathon, it’s only right to do a fall one.
WOW. One year already?? It amazes me just how quickly time passes when you look back at things. SO much has changed in the last year.
There’s been a lot of struggling, and lot of tears, a lot of anxiety and dragons to fight inside my head – but I think I’ve come through the worst of it without too many scars.
And a major reason why is the Marathon finishers jacket hanging in my closet. OK, maybe not the actual jacket, but you get my drift.
I learned so much during those 26.2 miles.
I learned that fear can be conquered, and that sometimes the smile and kind words from a stranger can make all the difference in the world.
I still maintain that without that water station attendant near mile 18 telling me I could finish, I would have dropped out. Because of that, I smile at strangers more. I’m sure 99% of them think I’m mentally deranged, and they might not be wrong, but hopefully at least one of those people gets the smile they need to get through the day.
Reflecting back on those 26 miles, I don’t think I could have told you what those memories would mean to me today, a year later. So far this year running has not gone as planned. I’ve struggled with a lot of aches and pains and it’s been hard to get back to consistent running.
I know this is going to sound like I’m having a quarter-century crisis, but I’m glad I ran that marathon when I did. Right now I can’t get one mile in without some kind of troubling pain or weirdness from muscle tightness.
Turning 25 has been rough.
Lately I’ve been laughing at myself for the thoughts in my head. I sound like a 90 year old on their deathbed talking about the “good old times.” I’m totally that person who misses church camp and long musical rehearsals. I miss college – not so much the classes – but the people.
When I was running, I didn’t miss those things as much. I felt ALIVE. I know I’ll get back out on the road soon enough and the pavement will once again belong to me. It’s been a struggle to live in the present and not stress about the future or long for the past.
But I’m going to get back to where I was a nearly two years ago – when things felt in control and somewhat manageable. Sure, life will never be predictable, but who says you can’t make the race of life your bitch?
First of all, I need to start with some bad news. I’m dropping out of the 10K in Groton. I’ve been dealing with pain in my shins/feet during every run for the past month, and I need to get that straightened out before I try any sort of event. So the next official race will be July 4th – The Merrimack Sparkler 5K!
Now, for that announcement I teased.
On April 17, I launched a new blog – Measured in Love
Don’t worry though, Running One Step At A Time isn’t going anywhere! I simply found myself writing a lot about music and musical theater and figured that instead of boring all of you with non-running related posts, I would move those over to a dedicated site.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about me, and the connection I have forged with music, theater, and the magical combination of the two – head over to Measured In Love and subscribe!
To celebrate my Marathon for Music last year in Pittsburgh, each day in May on Measure in Love, I’ll be featuring a musical that has meant something to my life or has music that inspires me.
I hope you’ll subscribe and check back May 1 to join the journey of #MusicalMay
Maybe you’ll discover a show you’ve never heard of or rediscover your love of a classic.
Wow! Can ya’ll believe that it’s April already? I definitely can’t. It seems like yesterday I woke up to and we were springing ahead for Daylight Savings.
Being that the first quarter of the year is over, I figured it was a good time to check-in on my Happiness Project. Read the original blog post.
As I was looking through my personal commandments, I came across this quote:
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein
Living with anxiety often means that we get caught up in the past or the future, but never spend any time in the present moment. I fight with my inner demons a lot on these topics. My brain has the incredible ability to fixate on one sentence that would mean nothing to anybody else – but to me it means the world.
So, I’m going to try and learn from Einstein…. after all, he was a genius.
Einstein’s quote feeds directly into commandments #3 & #4: Think Good Thoughts and Forgive my Misgivings.
I can say that I’ve made a bit of progress on these two, but not as much as I would have liked. I still end up so far inside my own head that not even the brightest of beacons could guide me out.
But, I have made some progress on #7 (Expand my Mind), #8 (Create Everyday) and #9 (Let Music Live).
I finished my first book of the year, “Darkly Dreaming Dexter,” two weeks ago, and I absolutely LOVED it. The book was just as witty as the TV series of a similar name, and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. But that must wait, because up next shall be “The Stand,” by none other than the legendary author Stephen King. I can only hope this book reads faster than “The Tommyknockers.”
I’ve also been hooking at a furious pace lately (the crocheting kind). I’ve completed two full sets of baby materials for some special arrivals, and I also recently started a cross stitch, which when completed will be the largest I have ever accomplished.
In the music department, I’ve spent a significant amount of time at the piano, learning new songs and perfecting others. My current obsessions are “She’s Always a Woman” (Billy Joel), The “Hairspray” medley we performed during high school, and “Someone Else’s Story” from the ever-unloved musical Chess.
There’s still time to get in on the Happiness Project fun! Get your Happiness Commandments together and join in on the action with the hashtag #Happier2017