I have always exercised and am lucky enough to never really have a struggle with my weight. I was on the rowing team in high school and found a love for yoga in college and after. But I had never really thought about running until I actually signed up for the half. I trained as best I could with a newborn, but never went over 8 miles before race day. Race day was a cold and rainy fall day and it could not have been more perfect. I finished the race and finally felt something that I didn't even know I was looking for. Complete and total personal satisfaction. Satisfaction in something that I did just for me and no one else. It was my effort and my conditioning that got me through the 13.1 miles, not my external roles. And then I couldn't stop. I subsequently signed up for more and more half marathons and knew the marathon was eventual. But, the 26.2 eluded me. I attempted one and got to mile 18 before injury prevented me from finishing. I saw it as a completely unattainable goal that just wasn't for me. Prodding from my husband led me to try again, this time at the Chicago Marathon. I knew I needed a big race with a big crowd to help me through. Training again wasn't as great as I wanted it to be (but when is it) and when race day came the mental battle began. I finished, not fast mind you, but I finished. Take the feeling I got at the first half I ran and multiply it by 100 and that is how I felt finishing the Chicago Marathon. I still count it as one of the best days of my life. Finishing the Chicago Marathon truly has been one of the most definitive events in my life. Again, it comes back to the feeling that it was all me, my feet, my legs, my brain that got me through the 26.2.
Of course I couldn't have done any of it without my fantastically supportive husband who watched the boys for long runs and cheered me on the whole way through the streets of Chicago. I categorically could not have done it without him.
So this brings me to now, 2 sons, 1 marathon and another one on the way (St. George 2012). And even though I still sometimes struggle with my many roles, running has given me space in my head for the new title of runner.