Marathon Musings: All By Myself…

Yes, you should be singing that subject to the tune of the Celine Dion song because you’d better believe I am.

Yesterday Kira, my marathon partner in crime, asked if I could give her a call when I got a moment. I had a sneaking suspicion about where the phone call was going to go, but then again as soon as someone tells me they need to talk to me, I always assume the worse. Yes, I am That Girl; the one who is certain her boyfriend is going to break-up with her/ her friend doesn’t really like her/ someone she cares about has died/ she’s going to get fired every someone “needs to talk” to her. It happens.

So I called Kira, and she broke the news. She’s decided to drop out of the marathon. I wasn’t really surprised by her decision; that’s her story to tell if she wants to though. What I was surprised by (and maybe it shouldn’t have based on yesterday’s post) was my own response: I was okay with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely bummed she won’t be running the whole thing with me. I was looking forward to bonding with her over the torture of running 26.2 mile together. But I wasn’t devastated by her decision. I wasn’t panicked or terrified. I didn’t freak out or cry or immediately think “Well I’ll just drop down to the half marathon.” I still felt confident in myself and my ability to finish my training and this race.

It’s hard to explain, but in a lot of ways, that phone call was a defining moment for me. It really solidified all of the things I said yesterday. The fact that I didn’t run (pun intended?) screaming for the hills is a huge indication of the confidence I’ve found in myself not just in running, but in life. I’ve never been a big fan of doing things on my own. I remember driving to and arriving at the expo for my first half marathon in tears. I was panicking about a lot of things but one of them the idea of going it all alone. I remember texting with Laura and the encouragement she gave me. Now I’m staring down running 26.2 miles (and the last half that by myself,) and I’m ready to take it on (emotionally speaking anyway. I’m not quite there physically, but I will be when the time comes.)

Yes, those last 14 miles will be a little lonely, but I know I’ll make it. We’re still going to get together for a couple more weekend runs. We’re still going to run together for as long as we can during the race. I’ll have family and friends there cheering me on. And as I learned during my first half, runners are amazing people and the support of a total stranger can make all the difference in the world.

And truth be told, I’m really proud of Kira’s decision. It takes a lot to make a decision like that especially when you’ve committed yourself to another person as well as the event. 26.2 is no joke though, and it’s definitely not something that should be forced. I don’t think any distance should be forced, really, because what’s the point if you’re not enjoying yourself. I could see myself making the same decision, and if my training wasn’t going as incredibly well as it is, I would happily drop down right along with her.

I’m also really grateful.  I can guarantee you I would have never signed up for this marathon on my own. Sure, I had kicked around the idea, but I never would have pulled the trigger if it wasn’t for her. (See above, re: not doing things on my own) One of the things I was thinking about but didn’t include in my post yesterday was the idea that maybe this marathon was supposed to happen. Maybe this was the time for me to step it up and run a marathon. It was time for me to do something I never knew I always wanted. I really believe everything happens for a reason, but I guess sometimes you just need a reminder.

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