In the past ninety days I have ran over 300 miles and learned more about myself than I ever imagined. In 26 days, I will be completing my first ever full marathon. It sounds like a long way to run, because it is. Training has shown me the good, the bad, and the ugly of myself. My runs have been the highlights and the low points of my week. I have dropped sweat on almost every inch of every bike path I have ever set foot on. I have loved and hated every second of the hills I have ran up (and down). I have run holes through my socks and subsequently found a “favorite” brand of running sock that fit my (new) “lifestyle.”
As a tribute to the 26 days until my race, I am sharing 26.2 thoughts/stories/affirmations I have had used while training for my marathon.
- Running really isn’t that bad of a hobby.
- Good thing my Fitbit is waterproof because I am sweating.
- Do you think race day will be this hot? Because I would prefer 60 degrees with a slight breeze, not freezing rain and a blizzard.
- I can’t wait to be able to use the phrase “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” without being a phony.
- I basically have my future house’s landscape/floor plan figured out because of all the houses I have ran by.
- This part of the trail did not look like it was elevated. Surprise!
- Wow, this bike path is really nice. I wonder what it is like to peacefully bike on it and not be drenched in salt/sweat.
- *mathematically figures out how many more miles are left for the thousandth time*
- Seriously, how is it humanly possible to sweat this much?
- I am 22 years old with the joints of an 82-year-old thanks to this “hobby.”
- One time a biker passed me and made the “hurry up” motion with his hand and I have never been more enraged at a middle-aged man than I was in that moment.
- I am a socially awkward person and the bike path is no exception to these situations. On multiple occasions, bikers have passed me by saying “On your left.” One time I actually yelled “Ahhh!” because I was so scared by the sudden announcement.
- Recently, I passed another jogger and said, “Good job!” only to see them later a different trail and have to wave again, awkwardly of course.
- Three times, I have gone into Hyvee completely drenched in sweat and went directly to their chocolate milk selection and began drinking out of the carton because I ran out of water on my run.
- I finished up a five-mile run only to hear that I had been running in a tornado warning (Sorry dad, usually I am more aware of my surroundings).
- One time, it started raining on the beginning of my 14-mile run. By the end of the run I was so drenched (in rain this time), my toes were wrinkly from being in the damp for so long. Gross, right?
What I have learned
- Training has given me an insight into parts of mental fitness I never knew existed.
- If you are a not intentional about your pace and your pre-run rituals you end up cramping up and trying to make excuses for yourself.
- Marathon training gives you time to reconnect with nature and explore the world.
- I never imagined running a marathon, but now that I have trained for one, I can never imagine it any other way.
- Music has become my true escape, no matter how difficult the run, the lyrics are always there.
- I am so fortunate to be physically able to run.
- You will win the mile, Mikaela.
- I am stronger than I think.
- I am an athlete.
- I am prepared.
.2 I will finish this.
This challenge has allowed me to grow as an athlete and individual. Running is not for everyone, and I used to hate the idea of running. I went from dreading conditioning to willingly conditioning every day (almost every day) for the past six months. Please, use this as your reminder that you can do anything you set your mind to. Nearly four years ago I underwent my second arthroscopy surgery on my knee and in 26 days, I will be completing my first marathon.
The sky is the limit.
Thanks for reading!
I am dedicating this post to my forever marathon friend, Kasey. You inspire me every day and I am forever thankful for a fully crazy friend like you.
“Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself, you can learn in 26.2 miles.”