It’s a pretty amazing day for the Marathon world. The NYC Marathon is being televised on ESPN. It’s impressive watching the elite runners, effortlessly cover 26.2 miles and look like they’re barely breaking a sweat. But my favorite part is watching the wave starts. Watching the weekend warriors, out there fulfilling a dream, cross that start line with the excitement and anticipation of the day washing over them to the sound of Frank Sinatra. It brought a flood of memories back to the start of the Portland Marathon, my first, just a month ago. It was then that I realized, I had never taken the time to write down my thoughts from that amazing day… Or even, why I wanted to do this in the first place. So I’m breaking this up into two posts. I feel like each thought deserves its own story.
Cyndie Wants to Run a Marathon?! WHAT?!
Running a marathon wasn’t something I EVER wanted to do. EVER. It wasn’t about believing I could do it, I just never had the desire to go 26.2. My sister ran the Chicago Marathon in 2005, and while I was super impressed, I was never overcome with the desire to run one myself. Fast-forward a few years, another baby, and regular attendance at Stroller Strides… I was suddenly surrounded with friends who made their health and fitness a priority. The races started with a few 5 and 10Ks, and very quickly jumped to that elusive Half Marathon that I had failed to complete. So fitting that my first Half would be the Girlfriend’s Half, a race that I never miss each year now. My running buddies and I enjoyed participating in these races, as time spent with Girlfriends is never a dull moment (the post-race beer that follows just about every Portland race makes for a fun morning as well).
|Shamrock Run 15K... CHEERS! (see the theme?)|
|Girlfriend's Half... with LOTS of Girlfriends!|
“Participating” eventually turned into “racing” and Personal Records (PRs) would never stand for long without feeling that desire to beat it. In 2012, I trained with one of my Best Running Friends (BRF), Marianne, as she worked her way towards the Portland Marathon. I would join her for much of her long runs (never more than 14 miles…that one was tough for me), and I was in awe of what she was pushing her body to continue to do after I would drop off. I was spent after our long runs together, and she still had 4, 5, even 6 more miles to go! Marathon day, I was fortunate enough to jump in and run a few miles of the race with her. She was so strong, relaxed and confident. Proper training had brought her to the start line confident, ready to run and able to finish strong. I was so excited for her, and I was honored to jump in and run part with her.
|Celebrating Marianne's STRONG finish of 26.2!!!|
|Marianne and I after our first Sub2 Half!|
After one particular training run with Marianne a few weeks before race day, I came home and registered for my first 26.2. Portland Marathon 2013. That “runner’s high” is strong stuff. It makes you do crazy things (like register for a Marathon over a year away!). I decided that after a few years of running, training for, and eventually racing plenty of Half Marathons, it was time to tackle the full deal. And I was going to do it before my 40th birthday.
So at the end of 2012, 2013 was already shaping up to be a challenging and rewarding year for my running. I was registered for the Eugene Half (April 2013), which I planned to train hard to break my own PR on, I was registered for several other half marathons to run with friends for fun, and I was looking forward to Hood to Coast with my Girlfriends! The Portland Marathon was going to be a culmination of an amazing year of running and training and time with my Girlfriends. I had no expectations for the Marathon (yet), I was just excited to see what I could do…