Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Happy Marathon Anniversary
Two years ago today, at this very moment, I was running the London Marathon.
One year ago today, I was limping around, due to a mystery problem with my left foot.
Today, I know these three things: (1) I completed the London Marathon; (2) I have arthritis (3) Making that marathon my first, and last, one.
April 17, 2005 was, quite simply, one of the most amazing days of my life. I had been a runner since I was 12, and a marathon was something I always planned to do, but life (job, family, etc.) always got in the way. Finally, in 2004, I "won" the London Marathon lottery and got my place. My plan was enhanced by the fact that I had to do all of my weekday training with Thing Two, who was 23 months old by the time race day rolled around. I called him my personal trainer, and to this day, I am amazed at how patient he was about the training, though I think all of the raisins and fruit bars along the way helped.
Two years later, I can still hear the roar of the crowds, the mission I shared with the 33,000 other runners that day, strangers yelling out "Go M0!" and, yes, the brutal pain that made me wonder why I wanted to do it in the first place. To keep me going, I kept repeating the mantra: Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever. I also kept in mind that if I didn't finish, my chosen charity CAMFED wouldn't get the sponsorship money I promised it. In the end I raised more than £4,000 to send African girls to school, an accomplishment that makes me quite proud.
Now that I have been diagnosed with arthritis-- an especially interesting problem, given that I'm only 38-- my marathon memories have become all the more special to me. In November, my doctor told me I'd never run again. Never one to take no for an answer, I kept nagging him until finally last month he relented and said I could give it a try if I took necessary precautions (i.e.: 20 mile runs are a thing of the past). I've now been out on four runs and I'm thrilled to say my foot is not hurting all that much (though sadly, it's not entirely pain-free).
Even though I'll never run a marathon again, I know that I've done one. I'm just glad that I did finally do it in 2005, or else it never would have happened.
The moral of the story: Just Do It (whatever It might be: a marathon, a novel, climbing Mt. Everest) because you never know what life will throw at you.
To everyone who ran the 2005 London Marathon, (but especially my friends Laura, Liz and Sam) Happy Marathon Anniversary!
Just for kicks, and because I can, I've rerun the picture of me and my personal trainer at the family meet-and-greet area, where he tried to steal (or eat) my medal, which he earned too.