Monday, October 7, 2013

Stronger Than I Thought

"...there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne

I am now less than four weeks out from the NYC Marathon (Sunday November 3).   I've been learning a lot about myself in the training process, and two of the things I most recently learned is that, for me, running is never easy, and that inspiration sometimes comes from unexpected places.  This includes from within.

I never, ever thought I would ever run a marathon.  I considered it a crazy goal, not at all something that I would ever want to do and certainly something well beyond my ability.  But over the past two years that I have been running in earnest, I gradually realized that not only do I have the desire to run a marathon, I have the determination and drive to do it (and maybe a bit of craziness mixed in there as well)!  This is a pretty amazing thing, because I don't consider myself an athlete  (anyone who knew me in middle school knows that I always came in last at track meets, and those who played volleyball with me know I don't have naturally good hand-eye coordination and am scared of the ball).  It is simply because I want to do it and I am working hard to achieve it. 

Next weekend is my last scheduled long run before the marathon, and yet another milestone--running 20 miles.  I will be running the LBI 18-miler and tacking on 2 extra miles to get to the magic number of 20.  The LBI 18-miler is a great race, which I had lots of fun spectating last year.  Hopefully it will be even more fun to run it!  I am running with some of the ladies from Power of the Pack, a running group that formed out of some of the training programs at Fleet Feet in Montclair, my local running store. 
After the LBI race, I start the "taper".  This, for you non-runners out there, is the time that you lower your mileage to give your legs a rest and shore up your energy before the big day.  A lot of runners seem to have a problem with not running the long miles, but I don't think I will be unhappy.  I am looking forward to have a run of "only" ten or eight miles and resting really hard!  Woo hoo!  And carbo-loading, although I think I started that as soon as I found I got into the marathon!
I am feeling generally good at this point.  I have been so fortunate not to have had an injury other than some normal aches and pains.  I am so grateful to all of you for your support and encouragement during this time, whether it is "liking" my posts about running on facebook, reading my blog, making a donation to my fundraising campaign for Pets for Vets (you've helped me exceed my goal but I am still taking donations for this worthy cause), or just listening to me drone on about running.   Many of you also know I lost my job recently, and the outpouring of concern, suggestions, and help have been especially touching.  I am lucky to have gotten another job in the same field and I will be starting soon.  My ultimate goal is to do be able to switch careers entirely, but for now it will help pay the bills (and ensure that I can get some new running sneakers when I need them).  I feel really lucky to have been able to get to this point in running and life with a lot of help from my friends and family!

I would like to give a couple of special thank-yous to those who have been so supportive around training and running:  Judy Heller (who suggested I join the first training class), the ladies of Power of the Pack who are also training for the big event, and John Fabbro, the owner of Fleet Feet who has been coaching the Power of the Pack, who is also an amazing runner and all-around wonderful person.  If you live in the Montclair area and are interested in running, I STRONGLY suggest that you go to Fleet Feet for your sneakers and training classes.  It is a great store, full of amazing people who are runners and coach runners, and are so supportive and caring.  I can't say enough about this place. 
So with that, let me give you the important information:
To make a donation to my fundraising campaign for Pets for Vets, an organization that works to train shelter dogs to be companion animals to service people as they reintegrate into civilian life:
Here is the website for Pets for Vets, so you can read more about how they help servicemen and women returning home:

If you are interested in doing fundraising for a charitable group or cause, I personally know the founder of this wonderful organization, which can help you do it:
Here is my blog, I haven't updated as often as I would like, but I do enjoy writing it (and this letter will probably go up there at some point):
And here is the link to Fleet Feet, the best running store in the world:

Thanks again, and I would like to offer the above quote from Winnie-the-Pooh to everyone out there.  Sometimes inspiration does come from unexpected sources!

1 comment:

  1. I will be pushing of you Nancy...I also know what its like to achieve difficult challanges where you have to be willing to get past the pain to win!!! go it for all of us!!. see you at the finish line !! YOU are an inspiration my friend :)