Today’s post comes to us from TNT Peninsula Run Team participant Doug Smith, who recently completed the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Marathon. Read on for more about Doug’s inspiring journey…
Now that the pain of my first marathon has subsided, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the season.
First, the life lessons I’ve learned:
Showing up is 90% of life.
When I first started with Team in Training (TNT), a lot of people gave me the same piece of advice: show up for everything. Track workouts, group runs, solo runs, cross-training — everything. Sometimes, the reason was obvious (running stadium stairs), other times not so much. (“Do we HAVE to do all those push-ups?”)
Achieving a larger-than-life goal is transformational.
I didn’t realize how humbling of a journey it would be. We had honorees at our group runs to talk about what they had to endure to beat cancer. With that reminder, training for a marathon seemed like a piece of cake. When I crossed the finish line after 26.2 miles, I was no longer the same person who joined TNT five months ago.
Everything is easier with a good support system.
Last November, I could barely run 4 miles. Who was I to think I could run a marathon five months later? But I had faith that all the good folks at TNT would get me ready. A huge “thank you” goes out to all of the volunteers who helped me: captains, my mentor, coaches, and all of the heroes who manned water stops — even on those cold, wet days. There’s no way that I could’ve done it without every one of you.
To all of my fellow participants, you were invaluable. I won’t try to name everybody because I know I’d forget someone. You know who you are.
The big day–a newbie’s perspective:
It was all very surreal. After taking a deep breath in front of the mirror, I stepped out of my hotel room at 3:30 a.m. A small convoy of buses waited in the dark to take us athletes to the start line. As I boarded, I thought, “There’s no going back now.”
I felt totally out of place, but that feeling didn’t last long. We killed an hour or so at the start line laughing, reflecting on the season, and generally trying to keep warm. When we finally lined up in the staging area for a 6:00 start, I saw a man in front of me wearing a sign on his back that said “Blind.” Next to him was a woman wearing a sign that said “Guide.” They were holding either end of a thera-band. Every time during the run when I wondered if I could keep going, I thought about them. If they could do it, I wasn’t about to let some temporary pain stop me.
Let’s do it again!
If you asked me right after the marathon whether I was going to do it again, I probably would’ve hit you…but after I got back to the hotel and soaked in an ice-bath, I can say with certainty that I’ll be back next year–in better shape and more ready than ever for the hills…
Congratulations, Doug, on your great accomplishment! GO TEAM!
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Team, registration is now open for TNT’s Fall Season. To learn more, attend a local information meeting or informational webinar , give us a call at 800.446.9460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org