Hello from chilly Chicago! We returned this weekend and it feels great. Remember that tiny apartment we were in there? Well I feel like I came home to a mansion, all two bedrooms of it! It’s the little things…..
A few weeks ago when we returned to New York City right after the Chicago Marathon, I was still buzzing from coaching over one hundred runners. My husband, on the other hand, was bummed about his race and already seeking revenge by looking for another. If you didn’t see that post he was killing it up until mile 18. We crossed paths around mile 10 and he was on par to break his 3:35 race goal. Sometime after mile 18 he called me to let me know that something happened to his IT band he was going to have to walk the rest of the race.
When we returned to NYC many of our students asked him if he won his race. He would laugh and say no. One older student kept pressing and asking him how he did. He jokingly said that he probably finished around 29.000th. We both started laughing and the girl responded with, “So you lost?” My husband had a funny and sweet response but I started to feel a bit defensive. Of course I knew she was a preteen and didn’t understand but my immediate response was, “Any one who runs and finishes a marathon is a true winner.” It came out of my mouth so fast that even I was a bit surprised by my words. I got chills….I inspired myself with those words.
But it is true. Running isn’t easy. In fact it can be quite miserable. It can definitely suck at times. It can feel painful, it does weird things to your body, you smell bad, strange places start bleeding on you,, there’s blisters….the list is endless. But what it gives back to you makes every moment so worth it. When you make the effort and take the time to train for and make a race, any race happen, you are truly a winner.
I once heard an elite runner talk about how difficult the last few miles of the race are and I was quite taken by what he said. The reason was, that is just how I feel at the end of a race. We both feel the same things near the finish. He just happens to feel them earlier than I do and he is done way before me. Everyone struggles during races and especially marathons. They are meant to take you to the brink. It is part of the challenge that we chose to face. Regardless of when you cross the finish line, you pushed yourself and overcame those struggles. That makes you a winner.
The first time my husband ran a marathon he didn’t know what to expect. It was hard and at mile 20 he had to truly dig deep for those last few miles. But he did it and he ran it faster than he ever imagined. He worked incredibly hard to get there and he was filled with pride. The second time he ran a marathon he again worked very hard, he had big goals and he made a great effort. Unexpected things happened along the way that changed his plans and altered his goal. As he pushed through and made his way to the finish it was a different hurdle to reach the end that time. But he finished and the fact that he didn’t give up made him a true champion. Both of those marathons were great efforts and both times he came out a winner.
For many of us, running doesn’t feel like it comes naturally. It is a daily struggle for us. It presents mental and physical challenges and this is part of the reason I love running. It makes you a stronger person from the inside out. Whether you are running a 5K or an ultramarathon, you are a winner for getting out of that door each day and getting your run on.
Congratulations to all of the runners who laced up and ran this past weekend. Congrats to anyone who raced a 5K, 10K, half marathon or a full. Of course a big congrats goes out to everyone who ran that windy NYC marathon course. Yikes!
A big shout out goes to my girl Amy at FitnessMeetsFrosting. She just ran her first marathon. She is awesome go check her out and leave her a big congrats!