Yesterday, I experienced the hardest challenge I've ever faced. Granted, it was by choice. I ran the Top of Utah Marathon in Logan!
The first 13 miles I flew! My girl Stef and I got separated at mile 8... leaving both of us to run the remaining 18.2 miles solo, might I add: WITHOUT music. We both thought we would just talk to each other the whole time.. haha, yeah.
The last half was not quite the same story as the first. At about mile 16, I was done. Reality had set in, you still have 10.2 more miles. That's when the mental block started..
I thought I was never going to make it, but I just thought.. take it one mile at a time. I slowly made it to mile 17...18...19..20. After 20, that's when I really didn't think I could take it.
The cheerful spectators along the sides were very encouraging, but also had NO IDEA what we, as runners, were going through. I'd hear their yells, "You are doing great, only 6 more miles!!" SIX?!?! Only six? HA. That seemed like a lifetime away.
By mile 21, I thought, I have come this far, let's just finish this sucker. It got to the point where I could only run about a half of a mile before walking again, my legs had had it. I could feel my right Achilles on the verge of tearing.
At mile 25, I knew it was over. Go Jenna, Go! I hit the 26 mile mark and that was it, only 0.2 left.. It was all becoming worth it. At the 26 mark I saw my Dad and lost it. I started bawling, turned the corner and saw the most beautiful thing I have ever seen: The Finish Line.
All of my friends and family were there, and seeing them made me even more emotional. I crossed the finish line and I was so delusional, the fruits of my labor had not even really hit me yet... until after. All my friends and family came and gave me hugs, (semi- I was REALLY gross). They all congratulated me and it really made all the training, early mornings, GU, soreness, Hot hot summer runs, and tears worth it.
This marathon served such a crucial purpose for me. It was really the first time I set a goal and did everything in my power to achieve it, and I DID IT!! It also served as a metaphor for another trouble in my life I'm currently trying to overcome. If I can run a marathon, I can do anything!
At about mile 14, I met two young girls in their mid 20's.. They were so positive and encouraged me so much. I was bummed because I thought I was "behind schedule," they told me "It is just amazing that we're here, remember that. If it were easy, more people would be doing this." I am so thankful for encouraging words of strangers.
I know there are amazing people out there who run tons of marathons, and with amazing times. But for me, I really think just being there is half the win, and finishing, period, is the other half.
I encourage all of you to take on something bigger than yourself. It will only make you stronger, and be worth all of the hard work. I promise.
Sep 18, 2010
12th Annual Top Of Utah Marathon
I have the greatest friends anyone could ask for.
I love these girls!
Me and Stef! We did it!
Happiest moment!! I did it!!