“We cannot start over, but we can begin now, and make a new ending.”
Well, this is not the blog I thought I would be writing! Last week I wrote about the St. Jude’s Memphis Marathon and my meaning and motivation behind it. I said I would follow up and share my experience. However, as most people know, the race was cancelled due to the weather. In all my years of running marathons, I can definitely say this was a first! I did debate up until the last minute whether or not to go because of the threat of bad weather, but I just couldn’t walk away from my commitment. I know myself and I knew I would feel like a quitter. Although we all know that the decision was made in the interest of safety, it doesn’t make it any easier when you have worked so hard for something. (Did I mention that ALL of my long runs fell on Saturdays that required me to start at 3:30 a.m. and that they announced the cancellation two hours after we arrived in Memphis?!?!….Ok I’ll stop!) The truth of the matter is that it was a huge let down for all of us. I mean I had carb loaded for nothing!
I can’t help but feel worse though for those runners who were set to run their first marathon, or those that came from far away. I can imagine the frustration and the disappointment is overwhelming! Hopefully many of them will be able to run the Nashville Marathon in April. I kept trying to tell myself the whole night that it could always be worse, and tried to focus on the fact that I have Boston to look forward to in April. I have waited 5 years to make that trip happen! I did however, have a very incomplete feeling the whole weekend, and still do. It’s like reading a really good, long book and not being able to know how it ends, or planning a vacation for months that you don’t get to take. I have looked online a million times to try to find another marathon in the near future that I could sign up for. While there were a few like the Louisiana Marathon in January, they would require a hotel and a flight, things that aren’t easy to accommodate when you have 4 kids and a full time job.
I think again that it is important to remember a few things. First and foremost, a lot of money was still raised for St. Jude’s. One thing that people may not know is that at St.
Jude’s no family pays for anything, ever. That would not be possible without fundraising efforts like the marathon. Secondly, training for a marathon takes months of running and cross training and eating right. There is a lot of sore muscles and days when you just feel like you can’t do it anymore. It takes more perseverance to get through training than it does to get through an actual marathon sometimes. So for everyone, especially those that were first time marathoners, a goal was still accomplished. I love the quote by John Bingham, a writer, columnist, and comic who started running for the first time at age 44.
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
I hope everyone that was there for the race finds another race to sign up for soon. There is nothing like crossing that finish line. However, we should all be proud that we were strong enough to get there this weekend, it is a huge accomplishment. There is no better way to stay motivated than to set goals for yourself. So I always plan ahead. With the New Year Around the corner, there is no better time to set goals than the present! As for the Memphis Marathon, I will definitely be going back again next year…….hopefully this time with a wind chill in the double digits!