A couple of hours ago I realized that today is the 2 year anniversary of my first marathon, the 2007 American Discovery Trail Marathon here in Colorado Springs. Having never run over 16 miles until that day, and having registered on a whim, you can imagine how painful it was. It was definitely what you'd describe as 'surviving' the last 8 miles or so.
Crossing the finish line in 3:21. 9/3/07
This being the case, it brings a smile to my face reflecting on the unexpected (or at least unplanned) twists and turns life takes us on. Case in point:
I would have NEVER imagined that in less than 24 months I would have completed eight marathons, three 50-milers, and the Leadville 100! As a matter of fact, I doubt $10,000 dollars could have convinced me to run another 100 meters as I sat in the grass at the finish line. I specifically remember laying there with my feet swollen and blistered, hardly able to limp around, thinking about how I'd just finished the most difficult challenge of my life. A fellow first time marathon finisher mentioned how she would rather give birth without an epidural than ever run another one, and all I could do was agree at that point!
The memory that sticks out the most was my conversation with another finisher who was talking about how easy marathons seemed compared to the Leadville 100 which he had finished just weeks prior to this. Based on the pain level I was in at that point I couldn't even wrap my mind around the concept of a human running nearly 4 consecutive marathons through much more challenging terrain and AT ALTITUDE to boot!
That day was the catalyst to the many adventures that have followed and is partially responsible for my health being as good as it is today. Not to mention the great people I've met in the marathon, and ultramarathon running communities.
Fast forward to 9/3/09... if I ever run into that guy I talked to at the finish line again, he deserves a big 'thank you'.
Isn't life great?!