Friday, April 30, 2010

THE RACE

I choose running long before it chose me.  As a child, I played every sport known to man.  But want to know what I was always best at?  Sprinting down the field (most likely without the ball).  When I got to the end of Middle School, we had a track meet vs the other middle school at the High School.  I knew I was fast, but finally a chance to prove I was fast.  My older brother was already a star on the High School team so the High School coaches were looking out for me.  Sure enough, I didn't disappoint winning both the 100 meters and anchoring the winning 4x100 team.  Fast forward 15 years and I went from 100 meters to embarking on my first marathon.

And in those 15 years, running has been my best friend and my enemy. I've run to win, run to finish, run with teammates, run with friends, run through heartbreak, run through conflict, run through love, run with hundreds of people on the treadmill on the track through many states and cities.  I choose to torture myself in the cold and in the heat, through pain and injuries.  I chose this sport. And I love it.
I'm scared to death about Sunday.  I'm scared about my sore throat. My achilles.  The weather. The heat. The course. My stomach.  More than anything I want to finish.  More than anything I want to finish and not be disappointed.

In those 15 years I just fast-forwarded through, I joined my High Schools Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams.  I ran 55 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters, 300 meters, 300 hurdles, 400 meters, 600 meters, 800 meters and even the 1000 meters once or twice.  But distance events? No way.  I was mainly a sprinter and the time I finished in and place I got was always important to me.  I placed in just about every race I ran in High School and when I didn't, I would beg my coach to put me in another, either a relay or something else.  I always needed to place to feel like a "Runner."  But the truth was, I wasn't a great runner.  Put it this way, no college coach was knocking down my door to recruit me.  But I was a reliable and versatile runner and I would do just about anything for my team.  Run the 4x100 back to back with the 400 meters. No problem.  Need me to place second in the 800 to win the meet, you got it.  My races were under 3 minutes of running.  Always.  And now here we are.  About to run 4 hours plus.

Running a marathon was never on my To-Do List.  I was a sprinter, right?  But somewhere in between 5K and half marathon, I decided why not?  Life gets busy and you need something to give you structure and a release and running did all that for me and more.  And pretty quickly, running 1 hour became 2 became 3 and on Sunday it will be 4+.

I trained for this. I AM READY.  I ran 12 runs over 10 Miles.  I ran 11, 13, 10, 13.1, 15, 15, 17, 20, 14, 20 and 16.50.  I'm ready and I will rock this.  Here we go.....


"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."
-Emil Zatopek

“Life’s battles don't always go to the strongest or fastest man,
But sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can.”

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

"Real athletes run others just play games"

"Pain is only temporary,
Pride is forever"

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder  

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian    


Sunday May 2nd, I will become a marathoner! 

9 comments:

  1. LIZ!!!!!!! You've come so far and gone through so much, now is YOUR TIME! Relax and do what your body knows what to do, put one foot in front of the other and RUN! Good luck LIZ!!!!!!!

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  2. Lizzy, Kim told me about your blog and that you are running your first marathon this Sunday! I can relate to you A LOT as far as why you love running, and I wanted to let you know YOU'VE GOT THIS!! You've put in the work, and this Sunday, it's all about enjoying your first marathon and seeing the fruits of your labor pay off! Though it may be painful, it's all MORE than worth it when you cross that finish line! Good luck!!

    Noel

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  3. this is an awesome story! who knew you were a sprinter, and a star track athelete at that. gosh all those quotes and this story really did take me back to high school track. I never placed in anything. you do rock! good luck on sunday!!

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  4. Thanks so much guys!!!!! One foot in front of the other. One mile at a time!

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  5. You know, Natalia asked me what the big deal was about running and why this marathon was so important to you and I think you summarized it beautifully here. I cannot wait.

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  6. Great post, Lizzy! I know you are going to do great! GOOD LUCK!

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  7. Stephanie BucklerApril 30, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    I have been thinking about you all week. I love this post so much. You ARE ready. You are going to do it and be great! And if you don't that is ok to, not this time, another time. Listen to your body! Here are some mantras I like "Relentless Forward Motion" and "Stay in Your Mile." I say these to myself when I get tired. I also try to think or imagine that people are running by my side (kind of on my shoulder guiding me) whether it is Jake pushing me to do another mile or my mother-in-law watching over me that seems to help. Maybe corny but think about those things and they will see u through...GOOD LUCK!! Can't wait to hear all about it and then have you guys over to celebrate :) :) :)

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  8. This was a gorgeous post, thank you for sharing! For the love of running - cheers!

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  9. Hi Lizzy! First time stopping by. I am in love with this post! I just completed my morning run but want to go again after reading this! haha. I too worship running for all the reasons you mentioned. Ran track (hurdles!!) in HS and this past fall ran my first half marathon. Which, I never saw coming. I like to think it chose me too :)

    I'll be back for more! Thanks dear!

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