I've been thinking about up-and-coming races. (How can I not, see my previous post.) How things have evolved for me. How my intentions and perspective so drastically changed. In February of 2011, I had begun training for my first marathon. I was wide eyed and full of wonder as I approached higher mileage. I was bold and determined and confident, yet humble. I had hope beyond hope. June arrived and I embraced my first 26.2 in Lake Placid with kid-on-Christmas exuberance- so much that I signed up for another that took place two weeks later. The heat, the hills, and hyponatremia landed me in an ambulance with an IV in my arm after the Half Sauer Half Kraut Marathon in Pennypack Park in Pennsylvania. Defeated and humbled, part of me started to believe that maybe 26.2 is just too much for me.
As I felt a slight fear of the marathon distance gripping me, I decided the only way to shake it off was to do another one. And so I ran Philadelphia ever so cautiously in November, finding plentiful justifications for biding my time. I "ran" a safe and careful race and my finish time reflected this.
The winter gave me a little time to nurse my wounded ego and also stirred a drive for redemption. This drive fueled me through the New Jersey Marathon this past May. I ran a strong and fairly comfortable race and snagged a personal best. I even beat all my friends to the finish line. Whatever I lost in Pennypack Park and whatever was relinquished in Philly was reclaimed on the NJ marathon course. I'm ready to see 26.2 as a race. I'm ready to push myself through this distance, rather than just cruise through it. The awe and intimidation I once approached this distance with has waned. The Marine Corps Marathon will be a true test- far beyond "I just want to finish" or "I just want to run the whole thing" and any of those other blanket (but justifiable) statements a newbie marathoner typically makes. This will be my fifth marathon in a sixteen month time span. Although I've crammed more marathons into my first year than the average bear, I can't call myself a seasoned marathoner or claim to be an expert at this distance. I'm no longer amazed at crossing the finish. (Ok, that's a bit of an overstatement- I am always amazed and grateful no matter the distance.) I have this. So now, I need to race it.
While we're on the subject of rising to a challenge, can I take a moment to be proud of myself? In this era of self deprecation, we need to glean moments of pride and give ourselves permission to glorify them. We need to seize the joyous times when we are so delighted with ourselves that we completely forget our shortcomings and that seemingly endless list of what we lack is indecipherable. Who knew this would happen for me while taking a photo for this very post:
When I dumped these bibs out onto the floor, I couldn't help but feel so grateful and proud. I could have allowed life to pull me in so many other directions and I could have folded to toxic and destructive interests, but my time, energy and money is spent on running. All three of my sons have a few bibs stowed away as well and there is a heaping pile of race t-shirts in the closet. I love my body and what it has worked so hard to accomplish. So let me pay this forward with this sweet giveaway!
If you have a heaping pile of bibs like me, don't you think it's time to do something with them? (Please don't tell me you throw them in the trash.) Have you heard of Mile22 Bags? This company can take those dusty useless (but PRICELESS) bibs and turn them into something awesome.
|Tri Duffel Bag by Mile22 Bags|
Imagine packing for your race and being fired up by a glimpse of all of your past accomplishments!
|Race Day Tote by Mile22 Bags|
To me, these are better than designer brands. They are designed with memorabilia from your hard work, challenges, and victories. Waaayyy more valuable than any high end expensive bag.
Want one? Good. This will be our first randomly selected winner of a giveaway. The winner can choose between the two styles shown above: Race Day Tote or the Tri Duffel Bag. You can look at all the details on the Mile22 Bags site so that you can make an informed decision. All you have to do is:
1. Be (or become) a follower of this blog.
2. Follow us on Facebook OR Twitter (or both for extra added bonus points!)
3. Follow Mile22 Bags on Facebook and Twitter and mention us. (Say anything about me, just be nice... or funny... or sarcastic... or neutral... I'll take it!)
4. Comment below and tell us that you've completed the three steps above, and tell us what you're next race/goal is! (if you don't have a scheduled race, just tell me something good!)
Following here, on fb, and twitter! Marine Corps Marathon is next for me!
Winners will be chosen in a week. When the winner is chosen, we will e-mail them with specific instructions on how to have their custom Mile22 Bag made! It doesn't matter if you won something here recently, since the winner will be by random selection. So get to it! And make sure you are covering those miles and conquering distances and giving yourself lots of opportunities to feel awesome about your accomplishments!