As with always when doing something for the first time, I felt nervous, afraid, wondering if I would be able to accomplish this goal on my bucket list. I always told myself throughout the weeks leading up to the Los Angeles Marathon that I could do it, that there wouldn’t be anything that would stop me from crossing the finish line, nothing short of passing out from exhaustion and breathlessness.
The moment came when it was time for me to start. As I crossed the start line, the intent was to finish the race within five hours. It went well beyond that, and included marathon blisters, the need to stop and drink water, and the need to just walk because my legs were hurting so much. I had cramped my left calf muscle, my abs were hurting, and not to mention the 90 degree weather and the sunshine beaming on me.
I started out well, until I started not to do well. My sweetheart, god bless her soul, met me in Beverly Hills around mile 16 or 17 to help cheer me on, to inspire me to push forward. She even walked with me, raced to get me gatorade, water, you name it whatever the rulebook for marathons said to do she was prepared for. As the other runners and myself started inching closer, the cheers became louder, the sun became stronger, the choice to give up and just call it quits started becoming easier. But I just couldn’t do it. Not after spending countless hours in preparation, running, strength training, and cross training.
As the other runners and I were making our way to the finish line, I could here my sweetheart cheering me on in the cheering section. I remember her words “GO SWEETIE, GO!!.” I realized how close I was, how close I had finally come, and pushed myself for that last half mile. I wanted not just to do it because I said I would, I just wanted the race to be over so I gave one last push until I couldn’t any more. I finally crossed the finish line at 6 hours, 27 minutes, and 42 seconds.
It was brutal throughout but the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment came over me. I had done it, I set out to achieve my goal and I never gave up. Friends, colleagues, and others ask would you do it again. The answer is a resounding “YES” I would and “YES” I will.