Last week I found out that a friend is also running the Ottawa Marathon in May 2107. We trained for a Half Marathon last year and then ran it together. It was a fantastic bonding experience. When we realized that we were both registered for the Ottawa Marathon, we briefly thought about training for and running this race together and then decided not to, and this is why. A Marathon is a very personal journey. We agreed to do some training runs together but we can know that we can not share the same journey.
This will be my second Marathon and the journey is different for me this time. When I trained for my first marathon my goal was to just Finish Strong. It was a very dark time in my life and I skipped / adjusted / compromised a lot of the workouts, but managed to follow the golden rule of Never Miss A Long Run.
For my first marathon the running was more like therapy than training. Running through grief is a Thing and the training provided an outlet for my tears. I truly believe that there is a reason for everything. If I had known how crazy my summer was going to be, I never would have committed to training for such a long distance. In hindsight I realize that the training saved my sanity. It allowed me to step away from my daily life and provided me with some “me” time to work through my thoughts and emotions.
If you have been following my blog you will know that I lost my brother suddenly to a workplace accident in May. There were weeks of Not Knowing what happened as Worksafe Canada was not forthcoming with details, and rumors were plentiful. We still do not have an “official” cause of death but we do know what happened and we have found peace because steps have already been taken to ensure that it does not happen to someone else.
My mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness on the very day that Roger died and we had to deal with a Double Whammy of grief. It was time consuming and mentally draining, but it was a blessing to fulfil her wish to die at home. She died three months after Roger and through all this I ran. In her final week the only time that I left her bedside was to go for my run. It gave me peace and it allowed me to be strong for her. She passed peacefully three weeks before my marathon and I did one final Long Run on the day after her funeral and then started tapering.
This marathon training is different. The first time it was a coping mechanism that made me stronger mentally and emotionally. This time I am doing very specific training runs designed to make me stronger and faster physically. I don’t know what the next 5 months will bring but I am embracing this journey. One day at a time, one step at a time, right?
I carried these two photos on my fuel belt for the PEI marathon. They still come along for my Long Runs, and are always carried in my heart.
Happy Trails, y’all. !