Saturday, October 24, 2009

The day before the SV marathon

One day to go!  It is so exciting.  I picked up my bib this afternoon.  #480.  It is going to be very interesting on how my body holds up.  Last year was my first marathon, but I hurt myself (as everyone knows) around mile 3.  Hopefully I don't get injured this time and can see how my body responds in the second half.

I am targeting a finishing time between 3:59 and 4:20.  I plan to go out at a 9 to 9:05 min a mile pace the first half.  If I feel good, I will slightly pick it up the second half (maybe just 5 or 10 seconds a mile).  I want to leave myself a couple extra minutes for any unexpected breaks (the need to walk or use the bathroom being the main ones).  I know I will hit a wall at some point.  So hopefully I can push through it.

However, regardless of my finish time I am so thankful to be able to run and hopefully complete 26.2 miles.  Two years ago, on Oct. 28, 2007, my father passed away after a tough battle with cancer.  I lived close to him and did my best to support him.  I watched him undergo all the treatments that were recommended.  I rushed to the hospital a number of times when something went wrong.  I was there about week before his death when his doctor came to his house to tell him that the treatments were not working and he would likely only have a week to live.  He handled the news with strength and courage.  He continued to battle the cancer until his death.  He fought to walk 20 feet (with the use of a walker and help from others, including me).  I remember how difficult it was for him to just stand up or sit up.

I know that 26.2 miles is hard. And, I know there will be hard times.  But, just like last year, during those hard times I will focus on how lucky I am to be alive and to be healthy.  I will remember that many people, like my dad, have to fight a tough disease that makes it difficult for them to take one step.

My dad died because of lung cancer.  He smoked.  Sometimes I get angry because he smoked.  Yet, about six months after his death, I looked at my life.  I weighed 232 pounds, had high blood pressure and eat unhealthy.  I did not smoke, but yet I was not treating my body as I should.  I was living a very unhealthy live.  I decided that I would get in shape.  I always enjoyed running (even though I had not run years) and always wanted to run a marathon and decided that I would train for one and run it in memory of my dad (my first posts tell the story).  I've also learned to eat healthier.

So this year I will gain run this marathon in memory of my father.  I also run it to be healthy because I learned from his live and what he went through.  So no matter what time I finish with I am so thankful to be able to run 26.2 miles.  It will be a blessing to be able to complete (hopefully) my second marathon.


EbethS said...

Good luck tomorrow, definitely have the right mind set for the race. Can't wait to read the race report.

Brian Hawkinson said...

I second you... This will be my 17 marathon or longer and I am still in awe with each one, always having the ups and downs during the rac e, but ultimately coming out in the thankful and happy to have pushed through it. Good luck tomorrow. Looks like weather should be great, so we have everything going for us!