In less than 9 hours, I am off to complete my 6th marathon. 

 . . my first marathon was the Portland Marathon in 2001. This photo is from 2005, my 3rd marathon, when my husband brought our kids to  join me for a short time toward the end of the course and then again at the end to cheer me on.  100_0004

100_0006I decided to walk/run my first marathon in 2001 after a number of conversations with people in my life. People who had run marathons recently. I grew up in a family of runners and my sister and father had run marathons when we were growing up but I never had that goal. I think knee injuries had something to do with it.

But over the years after having kids, I felt like I wanted to get back into shape and yet I felt like my kids were a reason I gave myself for not getting into shape. I’d get into shape, then have a baby and lose my shape. And then the conversations with a few people in my life, especially my friend Paul got me thinking about my life. And my friend Kristi was doing marathons at the time, she had started as an adult in her mid 30s or so,  And she is now set to run her 10th or 11 th marathon tomorrow, and she is one of the reasons I started doing marathons.

She just loves the feeling afterwards of finishing, and her sister and cousin are joining her tomorrow for their first marathon. I saw them at the Hilton today picking up their packets. It was one big fair for runners/walkers/okay, crazy people.

I don’t know, I just wanted to set a goal and accomplish it, that first marathon in 2001. I needed to do it for me. I felt God had given me this idea. To set a goal and to complete it. To show myself that I could do it. As a mom of four (at the time). As an athlete. As a woman. As a person.

 It was an adventure in life. Yet, in some ways it was just setting an ordinary, okay extraordinary goal, and accomplishing it.

I remember my first marathon was the year of 9/11. . .and there was talk of whether theyshould cancel it, but they decided to still hold the event. . .

I completed it in 5 1/2 hours…and felt like I had won the race…

I couldn’t walk for 5 days afterwards. . .

It is a wild feeling to complete a marathon and you truly do feel like a winner just for finishing,  no matter what the time you crossed the line in. My family came down to cheer me on, my daughter was there with her Girl Scout troop and handed me a rose.

There is something about completing such a goal, the 26.2 mile marathon. The adventure. The I can set a goal feeling and accomplish it in a few hours.

And I have talked to various people about doing the marathon with me, just as Kristi talked to me, and Shelley is one who joined me  a few years ago, and she is set to do her 4th tomorrow. Here she is with me and Kristi in 2005, before her first  marathon, my 3rd.  100_0002

A year a  half  ago my daughter and I ran the Newport Marathon  together – I had tried to get her to do a marathon with me over the years, but she never could because she was training either for track or cross country. Last year, she had just finished high school and so she could finally do the marathon with me. It was an amazing experience with my daughter. 100_0015

Today’s Oregonian had a story on the cover

about the Portland marathon that 10,000 participants are set to run/walk this year. A new record. The previous record was 8,000 people.

I am doing this marathon with a goal in mind- to beat last year’s time. And, maybe then it will be my last…it is hard on the knees and there are other ways to keep in shape and I seem to have said after the last few marathons, that this is my last  . . . but, then, here I am. I needed a goal after Rachel left for Germany and Ryan for school . . . so, my goal came in the form of completing the marathon again this year, to beat last year’s time [got to break 5 hours!] and my other goal that I feel maybe God laid on my heart: To pray the entire time. I told that to God, and asked Him to remind me —  I want to make it a time of prayer.

I do need to rest now. . . less than 8 hours now . . . till the gun goes off in downtown Portland. Perhaps I  will see you running or walking…or cheering:  the spectators are estimated to be in the70-80,000 range  .

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