Sunday, August 2, 2009

1st marathon out of the way

As most of you know, I have been training to run a marathon since November 2008. On July 26th, 2009 I have accomplished my goal of running a marathon. This grueling, strenuous, rewarding, and ultimately crazy activity occurred over the course of 5 hours, 52 minutes in beautiful San Francisco. We started on the Embarcadero along the famous piers, traversed through the Presidio and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Coming back over the bridge, we ran back through the Presidio due south to Golden Gate Park. Once through the park, it was a downhill jog through Haight-Ashbury back to the Embarcadero and through to the finish line. (Sorry for the pic on the right, had to grab a proof photo.)

Most people would consider this a physical accomplishment and I would agree to a certain extent. Physical training for this endeavor was absolutely necessary, but I had no idea that there was a mental element as well. By the halfway point, I would have been content to call it quits, get a ride to the car, and enjoy a warm cup of coffee. By mile 18, I seriously began to question my sanity and wondered why I even attempted such a long run. With 8.2 more miles to go and a large blister on the ball of my left foot, I found myself determined to cross the finish line. Time was not important, just the fact that I was not going to quit. When I passed the 25 mile marker, I actually choked up a bit. I can't really say why now, but at the time it seemed appropriate. Crossing the finish line was an instant feeling of relief, pride, and joy. Mostly joy for the fact that I didn't have to run anymore, but also joy that I broke through the pain and completed a goal.

Aside from everything Jamie and I have done together, this has been my greatest accomplishment so far. Much to Jamie's dismay, I look forward to the next big race and hope that I can make huge improvements in time and physical strength.

If you are interested in increasing your level of fitness and doing a bit of self-exploration/discovery, I would absolutely recommend this to you. Find the time for yourself and push yourself beyond what you think you can do. I promise it is worth it in the end.

1 comment:

Patrick and Kimberly Gillette said...

Congratulations Ritchie! I will never have your physical or mental will-power!

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