How far is a Marathon?

Wine, great friends and before the night was over I’d signed up to run the New York Marathon again. Misery liking its company I’d convinced my husband and a friend to sign up too. 

Generally I never do the same experience twice and yet this would be different. The first time, I taught myself, trained solo and ran the race with 45,000 new friends. This time, I’d train with my husband, and eleven Kilimanjaro friends, plus several new friends. Together we would run the race with 50,000 other people on race day.  It would be different. 

When people learn I’m running a marathon the most common question is, “how far is that?”  The simple answer is 42.2km or 26.2 miles.  This answer is incomplete. 

I began training in January. I ran through all four seasons, logging miles and running four days a week. I ran hills, cross trained by biking and walking and participated in total body workouts by attending Orangetheory for the first 6 months of the year. In total, I ran 1200km, the distance from Prince Edward Island to Manhattan. I will complete the final 42.2km on November 1st. 

I trained with the Pulse Generator group, led by Joan when I could and admired how each person transformed into fitter, leaner versions of themselves. I especially enjoyed the weekly run at my home followed by wine and great food, thanks Maxine and Gilles!  The hill training was difficult though fun when shared with the group. I’m thankful for all the words of encouragement. 

I started training early to gain strength and keep up with my speedy husband, John. In a case of be careful what you wish for, I will achieve my goal, though John will not run his best race. Surgery derailed his plans in early summer and while recovered, he is now battling bronchitis. We will run and walk and cross the finish line together, certain to remember that salient point years from now. Our finish time will not matter. We climbed Kilimanjaro together one year ago and I will never forget how John stayed with me that long night while I shuffled up the mountain. How fortunate am I to repay that selfless and loving act. 

I trained for a marathon and along the way I gained fitness, flexibility and strengthened the bonds of friendship. I learned what matters is not the time I finish but who is next to me when I do. NYC here we come!

  

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cherylsmit

Writing and photography are my first and second loves and thanks to technology I have the ability to share with a larger audience, including family and friends. Gone are the days of lugging around photo albums after a trip and of keeping a written journal of the experience that only I would view. The days of the handwritten letters are gone, but blogging provides a chance to share ideas, thoughts and photographs with a few mouse clicks and to receive instant feedback from around the world. It provides an opportunity to research a new place and to see that place through the eyes of a multitude of people each with their own unique way of viewing and experiencing the world. It opens the world wide and allows us a front row seat. Blogging connects us and creates a family of support. It provides an outlet and a chance to perfect the craft of writing and story telling. When I sit in my living room drinking my coffee and see that someone from another part of the world has read my words, and then I read theirs, the world is much smaller and more attainable. We are more alike than different as we share uniquely human experiences. Once I had a dream of becoming a Journalist, but somehow life got in the way. I currently have a fantastic career in healthcare and know that I have made a difference so I have no regrets. Still, I wonder if there is time to explore the road less travelled?

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