November 10, 2012 – Richmond Marathon!

I cannot even begin to explain how amazing Saturday was for me! To everyone who has not heard, I finished the race 🙂 It took me 5:22 and I could not stop smiling the entire time. My family, Joe, and my roommates came down to support me and I got to see them so many times during the race. I kept pushing myself to just make it to the next mile that they would be at. I just kept doing that and then all of a sudden I had finished the race! I have never experienced anything like the feeling I had afterwards and I am already looking at what race I will do next! All in all, the training, the preparing, the injuries, the tears, the highs, the lows, and this race have all been a part of the most amazing experience of my life. I learned so much about myself and I got to see all the people in my life that love and support me. I feel so blessed! And I am so so happy to be able to say that I have run a marathon! There are ten million more things I want to write about that day but I will save that for another time. I am happy to know that I set my mind to something challenging and I accomplished it. If I can do this, anyone can! Thank you to everyone who helped me get here!!!!!!!

One of my favorite things about the race was all the funny signs that people on the side held up to cheer on the runners. I wrote down a few of my favorite ones so I could share them with you all:

“If it were easy, it would be called your mom!”

“You trained for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married.”

“Running is a mental sport. YOU ARE INSANE!”

“Your perspiration is our inspiration.”

“Run like you stole something!”

“That’s not sweat, that’s your fat cells crying.”

“Run, strange person, run!”

“May the odds be ever in your favor.”

“Should we be scared of what you’re all running from?”

“Only 25.7 to go!”

“Chafe now, brag forever.”

“RVA loves NYC’s runners!”

“I don’t even like to drive 26.2 miles!”

And here are a few pictures from the day 🙂 (They get bigger if you click on them.)

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9 HOURS TO GO!

On the night before my race, I just wanted to take a quick second (because I REALLY need to be sleeping), to say thank you. Thank you. Everyone, THANK YOU! I will let you know how tomorrow goes!! But in the meantime, this is the letter my mom wrote me this week, and I have her permission to share it with all of you. Enjoy 🙂

—–

Dear Jennifer,
 
One day, after several months of training, I realized there were so many similarities between training for a marathon, and living a good life.
Here are some of the things I observed, and a few life lessons I saw in action,  while watching you train for the New York Marathon.
 
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” 
  —  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 
 
Go You!
 What an amazing goal you set for yourself, to run the NY marathon!!  That’s a huge commitment, and you seemed to do it without hesitation…  And the obstacle of not being able to gain entry without making a significant fund raising commitment is also 
Amazing… You met the task the way you approach most things in life.. With excitement, enthusiasm,  and an attitude that you will find a way to be successful.
 
 
Enjoy the journey
When you started your training, it made me smile to see you and David pack up his fishing poles and tackle 
And head toward the pond.. You ran while he fished… All the while David was cheering you along… Stuff like that warms a mothers heart . 🙂
 
 
Believing in yourself, even if others may doubt you 
It’s easy for people, even if they truly are well meaning, to question  your decision to challenge yourself by running a marathon, because  it is such an out there goal. I truly admire your can do attitude, and your willingness to keep your eye on the 26.2, regardless of how hard other people might think it will be for you.
 
Never give up
Your willingness to continually take your training a week at a time, and deal with mental blocks and physical challenges as they arise, all the while remaining committed to your goal.
Even when the chips were stacked against you a few times, you didn’t throw in the towel … as a matter of fact, once the challenging incident subsided (pain, injury, hitting a wall) you seemed to be more committed than ever. 
Remember when you called me at 730 am to come pick you up in Seaside? you were done … you hit a wall…
 I thought getting in the car and driving you back would leave you with a bigger mental hurdle to conquer. However, the look on aunt Jennifer’s face when I threw 2 bikes in the car and asked her to drive me to you so you and I could bike back together… Her words said sure, but her face said “are you joking?? When was the last time you rode a bike, let alone ride a bike for 7 miles??”
 
Ask for help when you need it
Another thing happened that morning when Aunt Jennifer was driving me to you… she said to me “you should be out there helping her”
I assumed you wanted to do it yourself, and you would ask me if you wanted me to come with you.  However, I followed Aunt Jen’s advice and  I was pleasantly surprised when you not only welcomed, but greatly appreciated the company while you were training.  In addition, by helping you, I helped myself… I biked over 30 miles this summer at the jersey shore. (thank  you for that)
 
Whether it was Joe going out on a run with you, or David  jumping in to keep you company for a mile here and there or Dad , David and Joe cheering you on, helping  you finish your run around centennial,
 Or your friends running with you on the treadmill…
 or family/friends riding bikes along side you while you ran at the beach…
Asking for help is a good thing… 
 
btw, Dad and I  rEally enjoyed helping you on your long runs around glenwood… Circling the blocks, bringing you water, Gatorade and mint power bars 🙂
 
When you fall down, you’ve got to get back up and keep on going… 
Just like you did the day you face planted around the Washington Monuments… enough said… 🙂
 
It’s usually better to get the hardest things done as early as possible in a day… like getting up at 6am in Alabama to run in 105 degree temperatures..
 
Sometimes you’ve got to run in the rain. (I can’t remember If any if your runs actually were in the rain… but if you did, this is what I would say 🙂
 
Little  things can make a big difference… 
Whether its new running shoes, a cute outfit, or sparkly headbands… They can add energy  to an otherwise ordinary run.
:0)
 
 The universe bends to the committed soul… 
When you set your plan motion, the universe, and the people around you come together to help support your goal… Like Joe  showing up with a cold drink  and pancakes just when you needed it… or dad driving ahead of you, holding a Gatorade out the car window for you to grab as you ran by…and repeating that for several miles… or even that day that I ran a little stretch with you :0)..: that was definitely divine intervention!
 
Ice and Swimming poolsROCK!
 
Whether its crushed and in a tall glass of water, as a refreshing drink, or in a bag, bringing relief to a sore muscle… Ice is wonderful!
 
Jumping in Granny’s pool after your run in 105 degree weather, and napping on a raft, makes everything better!
 
Sometimes you need to push yourself, and sometimes you need to take a break…
Listen carefully to your body, and your inner voice, and you will always know what the right thing is to do. 
 
FAITH is the most important thing.
Faith and belief in yourself are really important… 
However I believe having FAITH and trust in God is more important than ANYTHING we can ever do. 
 
Everything happens for a reason, and if you listen to  the voice of God within you , He will do AMAZING things through you. 🙂
 
Sometimes we can do everything right, and things don’t work out because of events that out of our control…
Like hurricane Sandy and the devastation that has turned over people’s lives in NY. But true to form you met this obstacle with tenacity and resilience and found yourself another race to run!!
 
Knowing whats within your power to change, and knowing whats out of your control can help you determine what to do next.
 
 
Jennifer, you are simply amazing and you have inspired me every step of the way.
 
You are extraordinary!
 
love,
mom
 
—–
 

Please Read:

Well, this was not an easy decision to make at all, but I have decided to defer my entry in the marathon until next year. I am guaranteed a spot for the 2013 NYC Marathon if I cancel now due to the situation in New York, and that is what I am doing. I don’t think anyone needs me to tell them how sad and devastating the current situation is. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wouldn’t be able to do this, under these circumstances. I think we should all pray for the victims, their families, and the recovery of the city of New York.

Although I won’t be running the New York Marathon until next year, I am still getting to run a marathon in one week! Tonight I registered for the Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 10, 2012. It’s much smaller, but apparently gorgeous and hey it’s still 26.2 miles! I’m so happy that I’ll still be able to run and my training won’t have gone to waste. Next year I will be even more ready for NYC!!!