Friday, October 14, 2011 Just Keep Swimming

"A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort, be it fast or slow. It's all in conquering the challenge."

I read this quote 2 days after I ran the Chicago was written on a teammates' FB page by another teammate. The quote is from Mary Wittenberg, the CEO and President of the New YorkRoadRunners who oversees the NYC Marathon and other running events.

Time...well isn't that what Chicago was all about? Likewise, the burning question many ask when you finish a marathon is "what was your time?" It isn't a bad question to ask, really...its legitimate...I
mean why on earth do people go out and run 26.2 miles? That's a long way to run. Runners for the most part are time-oriented. Do I have enough time for a run? How many miles can I get in during this time? Did my time improve from my last 5k, 10k, half? I could go on...

The dictionary defines "time" as the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.

For me Chicago was about was my race...the one I've trained, sweated and cried over for the last 9 months. When all is said and done...I missed my goal by 2 minutes and 37 seconds. My official finisher time is 5:02:37. Am I upset? Yes, because I made a goal and I didn't make it happen and that falls on me. Am I disappointed in myself? No.

I started running in August, 2009 with Team in Training. I've estimated that I've logged roughly 348 days of running and about 1044 miles in 2 years and 3 months. This coming from someone who hadn't ever run a consecutive mile in her least not one that I remember. So when I go back in time and look at it that way...I think I've got a lot to be proud of...I can now say I'm a runner. Chicago was also my 3rd full marathon all in 1 year! From Marine Corp Marathon to White Rock to Chicago I shaved off 31 minutes!

I won't go into detail about the 5 hours I was on the course...mainly because I don't recall all of it. I vividly remember how packed the course is with 45,000 runners on it and trying to find a place to zone out was difficult. Robin and I ran together the majority of the race...we separated in the last 4 miles. I've said it before but I will again...having a friend next to you in a marathon is priceless...comfort beyond words. I remember seeing Will and Ken (Robin's husband) at Mile 13. Seeing Will on the course always gives me a lift. Then at Mile 18 I saw my family...tears of joy. Abi and Beau were handing out skittles and pretzels...I was so proud of them. I remember my iPod dying at Mile 19.

After 19...I was tired and without music to help me zone out. I looked at my orange "Georgia" bracelet and words that would get me through the next 7 miles came to me..."Just Keep Swimming". It is what Courtney (Georgia's Mom) has said the last year or so... "Just keep swimming ..." is a pretty good motto, especially in the fight against cancer, so that's what Georgia's going to do. Just keep swimming, and before we know it, the summer will be over, primary treatment will be over, and she'll be back in school with
all the other little fish, where she belongs. " So I just kept swimming to the finish line because if Georgia and all the other children I know can fight cancer I can finish my race!

And in the end that's what is was's not about the's about why I started running. I started running to celebrate Allie's 15th year in remission and I just kept going because it breaks my heart to see a child with cancer.

In closing...I'd have to say the best part of the weekend was the last morning we were there. My grandparents have lived in the same house for 56 years. I've spent countless holidays there and I can close my eyes and visualize every inch of that house especially the photos I took on that front porch. This weekend was the first time that Allie, Andrew, Abi and Beau all gathered in that house together. My grandfather passed away 6 years ago this month but I know he had to be smiling down on us and I know it made my Grandma overjoyed to have us there.

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  1. VERY good post! I love you so much!
    We had a good weekend all together at Cho-Chi's! I totally agree with you, she probably LOVED having us there all together and I really wished Chi-Chu was still with us.

    You did WELL at the marathon. No worries :)
    I love you.

  2. I am so very proud of you and what you do and the reasons for it all.
    "Bacons for a Cause".
    God's Love and Mine

  3. Just now catching up on all my blog reading...

    This is a GREAT post. Great. So very proud of you!

    Just keep swimming. :)