Thursday, March 22, 2012

Oakland Marathon - PreRace Post

Hello blog, it's been awhile. Some good things have been happening since I last posted. Unexpectedly great things actually. Much to be thankful for in life. Now on to running...

My Marthonversary is coming up. When I step back and think that is has been almost 7 years since I first towed the line, I often wonder whose life I have been living. It all seems a blur. In those 7 years, I've completed 13 marathons, 3 half marathons and have seen some of the most beautiful landscapes and met some of the most amazing people. Funny how running can change your life like that. I've run for causes. Run for strangers. Run for family members. Run for myself. Even ran for my dog once. Through it all, I find myself facing down yet another marathon. This Sunday marks #14.

This marathon is in my backyard; The Oakland Marathon. I ran this race last year and found it to be one of the most well organized races. For being still a "new" marathon, they really do put on a good show. The course is not easy, it will challenge you like no other, but it brings about a sense of accomplishment. Check out the course profile, uphill the first 10 miles! For those that think Oakland is not a beautiful city, just come run this race. It'll change your mind.

I am not sure why, but marathons always make me reflect on my life. I think because I know it is a monumental moment. One that will call upon my deepest levels of strength, will have me pushing harder than I think I can and will prove me humble in the end. I've been sick this past week, making me more nervous about Sunday. I have bouts of "Can I pull this off?", "Will I make it through?" and all I can think is "There is only one way to find out".

This Sunday will be a bit different. I will be running with a pacer. Oddly enough, we've only met in person once, when he jumped in to save me at mile 18 of the Nike Women's Marathon. He ran the Modesto Marathon last weekend in 3:12 and graciously agreed to intimated me, I mean, keep me company over the course of 26.2 miles this Sunday. I've never run a marathon with another person before, so it should prove fun and interesting. I've named us "Team Jannis" (Jana + Dennis). I'm also encouraging him to wear pink, my racing color for this marathon. Although, that isn't proving successful just yet ;-) I'm also very excited to have many of the "amazing people" I mention above racing as well.

It's been a tough road the past 7 years. Running has proven a great outlet, mentor and all around muse. And how times have changed. In my first marathon, I signed up the day before, bought my race outfit the day before, wore cross trainers, hardly had trained, wore regular sunglasses, carried a flip phone and a walkman during the race. Oh how times have changed :-)

So, T-3 days until #14 is under way. See many of you at the expo tweet-up organized by PavementRunner!

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