The old bucket list. Everyone has one in some capacity, and while I stated for years that I didn’t, there was always a nagging itch and voice in my ear that came up at the beginning of every “race season” (aka each spring) for me. When was I going to cross that marathon off the list?
Before we get to that, let’s go back in time to my career as a runner.
Most people are surprised to find out that I have not been a runner all my life. I started running during my sophomore year in college for two key reasons: 1. The freshman 15 had found me, and 2. The stress of my workload was getting the best of me and my fuse was short.
Why someone with such a competitive, type A personality took so long to discover a love for running I am not sure, but after the initial three months of training (and kind of hating it) I had the itch. And it has stayed with me for all of these years since.
For the rest of college, it was enough to run 6 miles a day most days. When I entered my professional career, I joined a relay team for the Pig for the first time, and the rest, as they say, is history. For the past 10 years I have been running four to five races a year, always inclusive of the Mini Heart Marathon and the Flying Pig. However, the longest distance I ever ran was the half marathon. And for a long time, I was okay with that.
Then the urge started to grow. And this year on our family Christmas vacation when my brother casually mentioned that he might consider running a marathon this year I jumped at the opportunity and we both signed up.
First marathon, new city. We went to Nashville, found a course that we (falsely, as it turns out) thought was relatively flat, and took a road trip. The goal was 4 hours, I finished in 3:48:25, and the day of the race I said one was enough and I wouldn’t do it again. But then I woke up the next morning thinking, “I can do better.”
The start of a marathon career? Not sure I’d go that far. But I completed my Curiosity day, crossed this off my bucket list, and have fond memories of sprinting across the finish line for the last 100 yards. The fans were awesome, the music kept me going, and the most important part: I beat my brother by a full five minutes. (Sorry, Braden.)