For approximately 6 months, the OKC Marathon has been on my mind. This is because I signed up to run it with the encouragement of a few other friends. At the time, it sounded like a fun stimulant. Running can get a little old if you don’t have your sights set on something…and the marathon would definitely push me farther than I’d ever been pushed before. So let’s do this!
Training for the marathon has been challenging…mainly because it is quite consuming. There isn’t a day where the marathon doesn’t cross your mind. You find yourself doing calculations on your pace, you wonder if you’re training enough or too much or just the right amount. You study the forecast to figure out when the wind won’t be blowing with gusts of 30 mph or more…and based on that forecast your day’s schedule takes shape.
It is also challenging because it is long. You train for months. Most of the months are when the weather isn’t all that pleasant. And this long training for a marathon can wear you down. I started out feeling great & then an injury to my knee slowed me down…eventually shutting my running down for a period of time. The training has been hard.
But now here we are…a little over a week before the marathon. And I feel ready. Maybe I’m just making myself think I’m ready…but I’ll take it. As I prepare to run, here are a few thoughts on the Marathon…
1. Marathons are Unique: 26.2…that’s what every person will go. There will be one person who wins the overall race, but every person that runs this marathon will be able to take home satisfaction & joy in the fact that they did it. 26.2.
As my good friend Worm Johnson said the other day, “I’m not running this for time, I’m running it to survive.” I think he’s on to something…every person will go that distance & it should bring joy to them no matter their time. That’s different from most every other competition.
2. Pain will Come: That’s basically the gist of the title…it is coming. No matter how much you train, it seems that you hit a point where it gets tough. I’m trying to get my mind prepared for the pain that is coming…whether it arrives at mile 8, or mile 14, or mile 20…it will come.
3. Community Matters: I’m counting on this being true on race day. Having random people cheering for you is great, having family & friends cheer for you is even better. I’m glad to have lots of people asking about the marathon & encouraging me along the way. It has made a huge difference so far & I’m confident it will do so on April 27. So just know that it is deeply appreciated. I’m nervous, I’m anxious…but I’m glad to be able to enjoy the gift of friends & family that God has provided.