Yesterday I was at my shoulder physical therapy appointment. The exercises I had to do were so painful. I cried it hurt so bad. I cried some more because I felt so weak and even the easiest tasks just seemed impossible. Here it is almost 3 months since I fell off that snowmobile and I can’t wash a window with my right arm. I can’t put my hair in a ponytail (unless I bend down and do it upside down), I can’t lift myself off the couch or do a push up or plank….and the list goes on. All the pain, frustration and tears turned into anger and since I’m not a naturally angry person, that anger quickly turned into determination and I pushed through to finish my exercises and scheduled my next appointment.

I then posted this to Facebook:

facebookpost

And then I had my “aha!” moment. This is one of the many reasons I run marathons. It makes me stronger just as much on the inside as it does on the outside. Training for a marathon and the marathon day itself show me I can get through hard things. I can take the impossible (how on earth can i run 26 miles?!) and make it possible (baby steps! start with a long run of 7 miles and 14 weeks later run 20.). And with every marathon and training cycle I learn more about myself, my strength, my endurance and my capabilities. I learn through injury that I have weaknesses too. But I also learn that I can use my marathon training mind to get through those injuries.

I just need to stay in the mile i’m in! Just going to remind myself i’m only in “mile 1” of rehab for the shoulder. So my mantra for Sunday’s race has now become my mantra for shoulder rehab too. And if when there comes a day I’m not injured or rehabbing I’ll be able to apply this mantra to some other aspect of my life.

Setting my PR of 4:38 last year. Best moment ever!

Setting my PR of 4:38 last year. Best moment ever!

Running marathons have given me confidence and to a degree an identity. If you’ve ever had the chance to see my Dicks Sporting Goods “Every Runner Has a Reason” video I said “I’m becoming more and more Sally, the runner rather than Sally the widow”.

I’ve also created some amazing friendships and just feel so at home in the community of runners.

Me and Lisa at my first marathon—the 2011 NYC Marathon

Me and Lisa at my first marathon—the 2011 NYC Marathon

My Ragnar Relay family!

My Ragnar Relay family!

Jane and I at mile 25 of last year's NJ Marathon

Jane and I at mile 25 of last year’s NJ Marathon

running and chatting

running and chatting

I really learned this after taking on the part time job working for the NJ Marathon. Speaking of, here’s a great interview with Joe Gigas, the race director of the NJ Marathon and a huge source of support and encouragement for me. This man cares so much about the runners!

That's Bre, Joe and me representing NJ at the Philly expo this past November. Photo: RunJersey

That’s Bre, Joe and me representing NJ at the Philly expo this past November. Photo: RunJersey

Lastly, while I was shooting for the Dicks Sporting Goods campaign a couple of years ago I met some amazing runners including Leah Thorvilson.

Me, Leah, Meggan (Rest in Peace-she lost her battle with breast cancer this past fall. ) and Tara—who's also running NJ on Sunday!

Me, Leah, Meggan (Rest in Peace….she lost her battle with breast cancer this past fall…I thought of her last month while running the Philly Love run right when I had that moment that I decided to stick with the full for NJ ) and Tara—who’s also running NJ on Sunday!

She’s run a 2:42 at the Olympic Trials and won the Mount Desert Island Marathon last October with a 2:49 after hamstring surgery no less! Now she’s faced with another huge setback a hole in the cartilage of her knee and she needs another 2 part surgery that will happen far away from where she lives and will keep her from any type of exercise for at least a year! But this girl is determined to run. And she has the biggest heart and gives so much of herself to others that I’ve decided to pledge money toward her traveling expenses for each mile I complete on Sunday (which will most definitely be ALL 26.2 even if it takes me all day). It’s not so much the money aspect but the return of support. She should know that the community of runners that she’s inspired is there for her as she undergoes another challenging year.

Oh I could go on all day about why I run marathons but I’ve got to head out for my last run before the big day.

What are you doing this weekend? Any fun plans? 

4 Comments

  1. Yay!! Have a great run. Sorry we never come to cheer you on. One year we will run with you.

  2. What a great post! You are strong and you will do this. Running has changed my life I’m so many ways and I have become a miche better and stronger person because of it.

    Ran my first marathon 3 weeks ago and I’m still buzzing because of it. Especially since I had a knee ACL reconstruction one year prior. Made me more determined to train and achieve it.

    You are so amazingly strong and have had obstacles and hurdles to get on the start line. Smile and enjoy every step of the journey.
    Love the inspiration you share :)

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