Thursday, April 18, 2013

I am a marathoner

I've been sitting on some news for a month now. Last month, on my birthday, I got swept away in a daring moment. I was celebrating another year of life (and what an amazing year it was), watching the inspirational Biggest Loser finale, and processing the early death of an acquaintance. And in that moment, I felt a strong need to recommit to myself, my health, and cherish being alive. And so what does one do in that instance? Well I took a daring leap. I jumped online and signed up to run the California International Marathon again this December. I then quickly questioned my sanity.

Needless to say, running 26.2 miles is hard, but all the training that goes into it is even harder. And the further I've gotten from December 2nd, the more afraid I've been to do it again. But I remember feeling the desire to do it again that same day, right after finishing my first marathon. I wanted the chance to do it injury-free, so I could give it my all. And I trusted that crazy "something" that told me to run my first marathon. So for another brief moment of insanity, I trusted that thought again and I signed up this year.

Since then I've been quietly processing this. I've shared the news with close friends and family, but haven't found the courage to announce it to the world. I've been slowly building the courage to step up and own this adventure again. I've been daring to believe that I could run it stronger and faster than I've ever run before. And I was even daring to dream that I could someday improve enough to qualify for a Boston Marathon (which would mean shaving almost 2-1/2 hours off my first marathon time, an unfair comparison due to my injury, but still the truth). I was building the courage to share my plans and dreams out loud. This would make them more real and allow me to transform dreams into goals. But then the explosions happened at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

That morning, my girls and I had just been watching the marathon online as we got ready for school. I openly shared my dreams with them and they believed in me and my dreams (the magic of being a mom). As I grocery shopped that morning, I dreamt of running in Boston and having my family there to support me and celebrate what would be a tremendous accomplishment. I reminisced about races from last year and visualized races to come this year. I could feel the excitement I experience as I line up to run a race. I really love the energy at a race that comes from the crowd and running community. And then those dreams were suddenly rattled by the explosions. What had already been a scary dream for me, became even scarier.

For the past couple days, I've definitely squeezed my family a little tighter. I can't even begin to express all the emotions I have felt as I watch the news and follow countless runners on Facebook. It's simply unbelievable. But when I get past the shock and the horror of what has happened, I am reminded to be grateful. Grateful to have today. Grateful for everyday heroes. Grateful for my family and friends. Grateful for my health and my legs and my ability to run. Grateful to be a part of the amazing running community. Grateful to have dreams and the chance to chase after them. So as I move forward in gratitude for all that I have, I will step up to my dreams and my goals. I am a runner. In fact, I am a marathoner. I am training for my second marathon in December with dreams of someday qualifying for and running in the Boston Marathon.


Teresa said...

Excellent news Jen! That is the way freedom wins. Keep running!

Anonymous said...

Love it. Go Jen ! "If you're dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough".

Phyllis C said...

We love ya and know you can do it. I would love to be there to cheer you on !!! You go girl :) :) :)

AmyC @ running escapades said...

Congratulations. The running community is here for you!! Happy Friday!

Marathon Mom said...

Keep working on the Boston dream. When I started running my first marathon was 5:20 by my next I was running sub 4s and now consistently 3:30s and qualified for my 1st Boston when my daughter was 8 months old. The race holds a strong connection for me and even though I wasn't there this year I am so overwhelmed with the strength of the running community in Boston and beyond :) I plan to be back there running in 2014 and showing my support.

jillconyers said...

You can do it! And you have the running community to support your dream!