|(poor quality, in front of the Shoe)|
The 24th annual Columbus Marathon took place on October 19th, 2003. For me, the marathon started nine months earlier when I started to train for my first half marathon in Napa Valley, California. From the moment that I decided to start training, it was never to do just a half, it was to do the whole thing. I did a little research on marathons before I chose the one I wanted to do and decided, with the persuasion of my friends, to do the Columbus one.
I missed the beginning of my marathon training since I was in Spain for the first seven weeks of summer and the daily temperature was in the high 90’s on a cool day and topping 104 on frequent occasions. Running was not always an option since it was neither easy nor safe to run in this type of heat.
I got back from Europe discouraged and unmotivated. However, when I had told my mom at the end of spring quarter my plans for the marathon, she excitedly agreed that she wanted to run it too. I wasn’t so sure about this, but I figured she was just being whimsical and didn’t really mean it. However, when I got back in the beginning of August, my mother, forty six, had been training all summer and had not missed one day of the program. Feeling worse now than ever, I couldn’t believe my mother was going to train and run a marathon and I was going to sit back and do nothing!
To her, though, she had no idea that I was so unmotivated. She simply asked me if I would be getting up in the morning to do the morning run or not. How could I say no, even when it was a 5:30 a.m. start? Slowly, but surely, I was running everyday with her in the wee hours of the morning. I could never bring myself to say no to her, when she was so enthused to finally have me home to train with her so her lonely morning runs would not be so bleak and boring.
So, there I was, at 5:30 in the morning, lacing my shoes, getting ready to pound the cement with my determined mother besides me. And I was there the next day, and the next. Some days would be even earlier than the prior with our runs increasing in mileage, until we were running at 4:00 a.m., so we could finish before she had to get ready for work. It was slightly insane, I know, but I do not think that a fully rational person would ever train for such an event.
I have never felt such pride for one person before. This was the only person in the entire world who could gently persuade me to get up and running towards our goal before half of my friends were even in for the night. We did this every morning till I had to go back to school. I could sense her disappointment when it was our final run together before I left. I felt guilty because I would get to school and have friends to train with and she would be alone.
She is a strong woman, stronger than most I know. She is the only reason that I did end up running and completing my first marathon and I will never forget it. She has no idea what kind of an inspiration she was to me. I remember running the race and feeling so good, tough and unstoppable. I remember watching everyone that was there, cheering on their family and friends, and thinking without a support system, whatever and whoever that may be, not one of the runners in the marathon would be able to complete. I did though. I completed and ran a phenomenal first race time of 3hrs 50mins 05secs. I remember being excited and proud, but not half as moved as when I saw my mother cross the line. There are many lines we are going to have to cross from the start to the finish and having someone significant to help you through some of them is what it is all about.
|Cheers to you!|
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! You continue to be an inspiration. I love you!