I am training for the Shamrock Marathon on March 17, 2013 in Virginia Beach, Va. I love doing marathons and I am not even a middle of the pack runner. I am a back of the pack, like in the last 10% group. I've been the last finisher couple of times. I thank all the volunteers organizers and spectators who remain out there for the 'slow pokes'. I am an Athena - what a lovely name. I've been doing them for about 10 years straight now. I've never been injured while doing one but I've had like 3 'did not finish' (dnf). The 1st two were back to back Country Music 2001 & 2002) and the last one was 9 years later (Kentucky 2011) (when I thought it would never happen again - got to mile 20 and choose the option to not finish
). I've had situations where the race was over and I finished without getting a medal (Twin Cities 2007) - but I know I finished so I count it as a completion
. I've had situations where I had to beat the bus (Marine Corp marathon 2003)
. I said they have a job to do and I have a job to do. The spectators were soooo supportive they would say just get around the corner and you'll be able to finish. I did beat the bus
. The next year I ran like a bat out of hell to the cutoff and the bus was not an issue
. I ran so fast I imploded at mile 20 and walked the rest of the race.
There are two main reasons I do marathons - to give my exercise some purpose and then to challenge myself to dig deep and finish. I find during the long run - I meditate and actually see problems more clearly and come up with solutions
. I sometimes call it my disco time - with the music I run with
. I do not carry a cellphone with me - it's my time and I don't want any interruptions.
It is demoralizing that I still have a weight challenge despite all my running
. I've gained weight during these 10 years but I've decided that I won't stop the running. I know I've slowed down, but the running is for me and I enjoy it. I berate myself for my eating because the weight affects my pace. So, I am trying to complement my running with my eating programme.
I see the marathon as a reflection of life
. The shapes, weights and pace of people represent life problems, solutions and prizes. The emotions one experiences during the marathon also reflect life - exuberance, anxiety, mellowing, impatience, triumph, pain, relief and euphoria. Some people sprint, some run/walk, some walk and some hobble to the finish. For me the finish represents my reward for having the courage to start and the faith to finish. It says to me that if I make a plan and I work the plan then I can succeed.
My goal is to transfer these same skills to my eating which seems the area of life in which I have a challenge with sticking with the plan. Beating the bus, time cutoffs and finish lines are not as demarked. 50lbs or 155lbs by September 2013 just doesn't seem as poignant as complete the marathon within 7 hours on march 17, 2013.
I think the goal of eating within my calorie range 50% of the time has given it a more beat the bus, cut off kinda of feel. I've dnf so many times on my weight challenge. But you don't fail until you quit - right
I really want the medal of self-esteem and improved health at this finish line.
I am thinking that the half way point is to lose the weight, the finish line will be when you keep it off until you pass over. Then I'll be an Ironman.