Thursday, November 4, 2010

Response to An Open Letter for a Fall Marathoner

This a response to An Open Letter for a Fall Marathoner

Dear Marathoner,

It’s been a long road. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared. I am. It wasn’t so long ago that running a 5k was big deal for me. But I’m also excited, thrilled, and grateful to be about to join the ranks of marathoners.

Training was hard. For a while I didn’t really think I would make it, but I listened when you said I just had to follow the plan. It seemed impossible! Me, run so many miles at a time? I thought I’d surely break - some body part would give up - but I thought I’d keep going until that happened.

Through the miles, the heat, the early mornings, the sweat and the exhaustion, you believed in me. You encouraged me to keep going, to continue the slow buildup that would lead me here.

Taking it one day at a time, run per run, I saw my body change. I ran until my racer back top was tattooed in sun onto my skin. Clothes started fitting differently; the waist was loser, while my thighs were straining at the fabric. One rainy day I realized I’d outgrown my rain boots: my calves had gotten too big for them. It was part of the process of getting legs that would take me across a finish line 26.2 miles away from the start.

I can do this. I can run 26.2 miles. I can run through five boroughs. I can run five bridges. I can run New York.

The race is just days away and I’m swinging from elation to panic. Little aches are popping up everywhere and I have to remind myself you told me this was normal. Though I start tearing up when I see the posters, banners, and flags all over the city, part of me just can’t believe this is happening and that I’m about to run a marathon.

I couldn’t have gotten here it without you. Thank you for leading the way. Your advice and your kind words have helped me and now it’s time for me to trust you again. It’s time for me to believe I can do this.

You’ve reminded me I’ve put in the training and I’m ready. Now it’s time to eat, rest, and stay calm in the knowledge that I am ready. I’m going to honor you by doing my best to stay calm in the days and hours leading up to the start line and by running and enjoying my first marathon.

I will run 26.2 miles. I will run through five boroughs. I will run five bridges. I will run the ING New York City Marathon.

Thank you for running with me, thank you for cheering for me.



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