Sunday, May 19, 2013

2 weeks to go and it's beginning to feel real...

...but not entirely. 

Two weeks today, I'll be running my third marathon. In fact, by this time of day in two weeks, I'll be sipping some cold refreshments somewhere, nursing my aching muscles, enjoying celebratory company with my teammates, taking in the feeling of my medal weighing heavy around my neck, and reflecting on the whole experience.

This marathon has been a long time coming. I thought up the idea of it last fall, with my 2nd marathon on the horizon. Since then, it's been an idea that transformed into a commitment, then a goal, a dream vacation, and now a very real reality on the horizon. I'm almost there.

I admit that most of my previous races have been mostly about me, my athletic goals, and little else. Yes, I do often race with friends, but it's still been about all of us going into those races with individual goals. I do indeed have an athletic goal attached to this race - I have worked real hard and expect a personal best. In fact, I expect to blow it out of the water. I know I can and will achieve this and make myself proud. But this one is so much more than just about athletic achievement. And I admit that I am very much looking forward to the vacation aspect of this trip. It's been a very long time since Cam and I got away anywhere, and this will be the furthest and longest we've ever traveled together. I am excited to share this time with him. Boy are we ever going to have fun! But yes, this is so much more than just a race and a vacation.

While many of the amazing people I have met through Team In Training (TNT) often join for their first or second race, I came in perhaps with different motivation having many races under my belt. Having worked with TNT for over a year and being someone who lives and breathes running, some find it surprising that this is my first ever event as an official member of the Team. I couldn't be prouder to wear my purple at this race. I wanted to do this with the Team because of our mission, because I want to make a contribution toward our fight for a cancer-free world. I have plenty of motivation to do just that. And I chose to do this because I wanted to have a team experience. I continue to meet incredible people and make close friends every day I am involved with TNT. And while I didn't train a whole lot with my teammates or follow our team's coach's schedule, I was somehow still very much part of the team because of our collective goal. We all have reasons why the LLSC mission means so much. Collectively, our reasons unite us. When our Team jerseys arrived in the office, I was so excited to crack open the box and claim one for myself.

I took my jersey home and wore it for Thursday's tempo run around the seawall so I could get a feel for the fabric and give it a good wash before race day. I was pleased with the attention wearing it that day got me - lots of smiles, nods, and respect. The purple jersey is earned for your hard work training for an endurance sports event and fundraising for an important cause. It was a reminder that race day is pending. It's almost here, but yet somehow doesn't feel entirely real. I talk about it every day, yet it feels so distant and not quite true. It probably won't clue in for real until our plane lands in San Diego and not a moment before.

I took some time to iron on some lettering and paint the back of my jersey today. I'll probably do a bit to the front too once the other side dries. This was a wonderful experience - reflecting on the people that this whole experience has been dedicated to and remembering why I have been doing all this to begin with. I was likely smiling like a young child version of me in her grade school art classes, while I worked on this project. My finishing touch today was me writing "cancer sucks" on the bottom of my jersey. I had much meaner things to say about cancer, but decided to keep it somewhat family-friendly. I wrote that very much for me.

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