As I sit here the day before the BIG DAY of running my first full marathon, I look back on all the hours, miles and time I've put into this ONE day.
Am I crazy? Yes, I think so. But with a goal I've wanted my whole life of completing a full marathon (at least just once in my life) I'm about to cross it off my bucket list tomorrow.
The Columbus Marathon benefiting Nationwide Children's Hospital kicks off at 7:30 a.m. on the corner of Broad Street/Third Street. Runners, walkers and wheel chairs competing in the half and full marathons will start lining up in the corrals at 6 a.m. and I'm going to be one of them.
Before tomorrow, there was yesterday and the day before then. A lot of time and training has been put into tomorrow.
Training doesn't come easy and it doesn't come without hard work, determination, motivation, drive and support.
Support of your family, friends and your teammates.
When I say teammates, I've been able to be apart of a team during this training season.
Team-in-Training which raises money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest endurance sports training program. The program provides training to run or walk a full or half marathon, participate in a triathlon or century (100-mile) bike ride.
This program is your rock. They provide coaches and trainers that support you all along the way including to the finish line. Hours out of their days to help you succeed in whatever training program you're aiming for.
I've met a lot of really nice people and look forward to seeing them at 6 a.m. tomorrow for bagels and bananas before we walk down to the starting line as a team. We start as a team and we finish as a team, one by one.
I've totaled up all of the miles I've run since May and have found that from training with the team and runs on my own, I've run 470 miles. That is 30 miles over what it would take to run to Chicago. I'm looking forward to adding 26.2 more miles tomorrow, making it just shy of 500 miles in 6 months!
Not all of those miles came easy.
I had to take a few weeks off from training after an 11-mile run around a track (worse idea ever)caused me to have posterior tibial tendon in my left ankle. Layman terms: Tendinitis.
Weeks spent at physical therapy...
Sore knees and nights of icing after runs...
And runs on vacations, early morning wake up calls, runs in the rain, runs in 90 degree weather and lots of sweat or as the shirt I bought today says: I don't sweat, I sparkle! So lots of "Sparkling". :)
Needless to say this has been a journey and I wanted to take the time to recap all of this because as long as tomorrow's run will be, it will come to an end and I want to make sure I'm cherishing ever mile, every minute and taking it all in.
It's the support I mentioned before that has kept me going.
From my parents taking the time to drive me to the next town in Georgia to be able to run my 8-mile runs on vacation, to the friends and family that came to my "Beat the Piloxing out of Cancer" fundraiser and Kristina and Oxygen Health & Fitness for their support in leading the class and the venue, to the many nice comments on Facebook and Twitter and to the individuals who personally donated to my page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/coh/columbus12/acurlk.
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED TO SUPPORT THE LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY AND TO SUPPORT ME IN THIS PERSONAL GOAL.
I salute the athletes out there that have already ran one, walked one or ran multiple marathons. I'm looking forward to joining you in this accomplishment tomorrow.
Best of luck to all the runners and walkers and I'll see you on the course. Remember, it's just one foot in front of the other.