Wednesday Nov 12 2008
Feeling of accomplishment like nothing else
By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
About a month ago, I watched a movie called “Run Fatboy Run” about a man who runs a marathon to win the woman of his dreams back into his life, The character, Dennis Doyle, is portrayed as a somewhat lazy man who typically runs away from life. When he finds Libby, the love of his life, dating a marathon runner, the competition begins. It was a movie about drive and passion, but in between the silly British humor, what caught my eye, was why people continually asked him why he would run a marathon. That question got me thinking: Why would someone endure physical fatigue and months of training only to cross a “finish” line? As I trained for my first half marathon, I found myself thinking that exact question. When my mom brought up the idea for my sister and me to walk a half marathon together, I thought, why not? I didn’t really think about what I was getting myself into. But once my competitive boyfriend, Alex, who says running a half marathon is on his bucket list, joined the team, I knew many of my weeknights and weekend mornings would be spent training. For months leading up to the race, Alex and I were walking and running an average of 15 miles a week. We followed a training regimen, that included weeknight runs between three and six miles, while weekends were for the long distances. Some weeks were a piece of cake and others were like pure torture. I remember one run about two weeks before the race, we had run the furthest of our training: 12 miles. With about three miles to go, I could feel my legs getting heavy and sore – I knew I had hit a wall. What got me through, besides my iPod blaring “Juke Box Hero,” was thinking about the race and how accomplished I would feel after it was over. But as I got to the house after that run, took off my shoes and collapsed on the floor from exhaustion, I had to admit it felt good. Despite the feeling that my legs would fall off if I tried to walk one more step, I realized, for me, it is about reaching the finish line. I’m always making goals for myself, which keeps me focused and looking forward to things. Whether it’s a simple to-do list for the day, saving up for a vacation or running a race, the feeling of accomplishment is like nothing else. Last weekend was the race and with thousands of other marathoners and half marathoners, I finished the 13.1-mile race around Fresno. The night before, we stocked up on carbohydrates with a pasta dinner and tons of water. Race morning, we managed to get lost going to the shuttle to the race, but eventually found it and arrived at the starting line minutes before the start. It was exciting to see everyone stretching, taking photos and waving goodbye to the onlookers as the race began. It started near Fresno’s Woodward Park and finished in the park with food, sundaes, a sweatshirt and medal for a race well done. There were water and Gatorade stations set up along the track, people cheering and encouraging us on and fellow walkers singing with their groups. The race went through neighborhoods, passed orchards and along streets within both Fresno and Clovis. Throughout the race, it was amazing to see how many others were out there, in memory of someone they’ve lost, to reach a goal they’ve set or simply trying to stay fit. And even though I felt sore for days after and am excited to have my weeknights and weekends free from training, I found myself thinking about preparing for another half marathon and who knows, maybe another after that.