My twin sister ran her first marathon a few years ago. In Napa Valley. Talk about go big or go home, am I right? My parents and I went with her because well she couldn't rent a car yet and we all clearly wanted to sip some vino. We had a great time vineyard hopping before and after the race. I ended up biking the last 5k next to my sister because she needed a little motivation. I simply took embarrassing pictures of her and told her that her legs were still there.
(This was not an embarrassing picture I took of her but rather a very embarrassing picture of myself...thank you mom. But it does capture the moment quite nicely.)
Afterwards she cried, looked terrible, and complained for days. I vowed I would never run a marathon. Ever. This girl is six inches taller than me and made it seem like the worst experience ever. My little legs would clearly struggle. (Side note: since then my sister has ran three marathons, qualified for Boston, and developed a passion for becoming a running coach. I don't know it seems like she may not hate it...)
Then there is my friend whom I run with. She likes to equate running a marathon to giving birth. Meaning that it's terrible and painful, but once you cross the finish line it's totally worth it. Well now I'm not not running a marathon AND I'm not having kids.
So why now? What made me change my mind?
For one, I watched the marathon this past year and the atmosphere was so invigorating and exciting. I love races full of hype and wonderful spectators.
On the other hand I was running with my friend one day (yes, the one who thinks marathons are like child birth) and she was like "why don't we run the marathon?" I shut that idea down real fast. But then she elaborated with "what better way to graduate from grad school than to also run a marathon?!" That idea hit the spot... This would be my first marathon to top it off (and maybe last, let's not get ahead of ourselves).
So I bit the bullet. I registered for the Vermont City Marathon and the Unplugged Half Marathon. Why not right? Then I went out and bought new running shoes...since when does it cost so much to exercise? But I am in love with my shoes...
Rotations ended in December and I slowly picked up my mileage. Let me just tell you that after a year of hardly any time to exercise, it feels so great to be back at it. Currently I'm at 20 miles a week. I'm happy with that, but also ready to see what I can handle although I wish it would warm up already...The other day I ran when it was 11 degrees. I had three layers on under a down vest which is not made for running. I also had a ski scarf and hiking socks on...
Just like I can't stop thinking about graduation, I can't stop thinking about the marathon. It's going to be two great weekends back to back. One weekend I will spend with my parents celebrating my future and finally being done with school (I think my dad may cry out of sheer joy) and one weekend spent with my sister carb loading and crying through 26.2 miles...
For now I am going to enjoy my running scenery, my running company, and the time that I have to run. Stick with me through this journey. It will be painful for me, but most likely comical for you.