Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 1012 : A little break from cheese...of music, life, running and challenging yourself

Song lyrics triggering memories of running through tunnels in Washington DC, racing along the Schuylkill, the thunder of feet crossing the 59th street bridge, finish lines feeling like a million bucks and feeling like I had been through the hardest experience of my life -- my mind had started to wander somewhere over the Atlantic en route to run my first international marathon. What was Stockholm going to offer?

For me, the marathon is the ultimate test and the ultimate adventure, 16 weeks of training for one race pushing yourself to your limits, testing how far you can go both mentally and physically. In our contemporary day and age, we, as a people do not challenge ourselves sufficiently, we become complacent, happy to fall into a routine, knowing how the day will unfold. But how do we grow  if we don't challenge ourselves?

Distance runners are quite familiar to those challenges -- the sacrifices, the injuries, and the training but in the end it all leads to the joy of crossing that finish line, knowing that you have pushed yourself to your limits. Ask any dedicated distance runner why they run and sure you may get the weight loss answer or the "so I can eat what I want answer," but underneath all those superficial answers is : we, as distance runners have to run. It makes us who we are. 

Thinking about where I was 16 weeks ago when I started training for the Stockholm marathon and how much can change in that small amount of time, I feel thankful for the opportunity to run here in Stockholm and to challenge myself on a daily basis. Tomorrow I plan to run in honor of my best friend, my four legged companion, Coco, who made her passing during my training. So here's to you Coco! I can't think of a better way to honor you than by dedicating this entire experience to you. 

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