With a newsfeed full of race photos and a heart full of inspiration, there is only one thing on my mind this morning: the Philadelphia Marathon.
Instead of running the marathon this year, I was a spectator. I thought that I would have extreme FOMO (fear of missing out) watching the race this weekend, but I had such a great time cheering for everyone that I was only a teeny tiny bit jealous.
(Seeing the elites start the half marathon was super impressive!)
(Melissa made a friend along the course.)
Several hundred students from Students Run Philly Style and many of my friends were running this weekend. Saturday had perfect weather for the half marathon and everyone looked strong as they approached the finish line. But Sunday was a different story. It was FREEZING with winds over 15 mph. I watched thousands of people push themselves through tough conditions. Runners were smiling, crying, limping, dancing, holding hands (I teared up every time I saw this), and carrying their children on their shoulders as they crossed the finish line.
(Shoutout to my roommate, Mel, for completing her first half marathon!)
(This is how much we bundled up on Sunday to watch the race while some runners were in shorts and tank tops.)
Five years ago, this was my first marathon. My friend Jon and I started training in the early spring of 2011 and ran together several times a week for that entire year. Running brought us together and turned us into best friends. I think about that race a lot and how we grew from it. When we started training together, Jon had never run more than a mile and I had only completed one half marathon. While the race was awesome, I’ll always cherish the time we spent training for it. We built up our mileage one step at a time (literally 😉 through hours of running. It helped us de-stress after class while getting to know Philly on foot. Building that foundation in college made me realize that anything is possible with dedication. If we could fit in 20 mile training runs while balancing school, work, and social activities, there should always be time for running in our lives. Jon recently moved to Switzerland for work so we may not be running together for a while, but we will always have that experience under our friendship belt.
Being part of the marathon experience, even as a spectator, motivates me like nothing else. Seeing people set and accomplish such a huge goal makes me want to set new challenging goals as well. I didn’t run any full marathons this year. I wanted to fall back in love with running and that’s exactly what I did. Refreshed and recharged, I’m ready for another one. I learned my lesson about spring marathons (you’ll end up training in rough winter conditions on the east coast), but it’s time to sign up for next year’s races. Any suggestions??
I hope this little recap motivated you to set a goal this week. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – if you need motivation in your life, watch a race, even if it’s a 5k. You’ll still see people accomplishing something that they didn’t know was possible. People are amazing and our accomplishments are limitless. Sometimes we just need a reminder about this.
My new friend Phil – a former SRPS runner – and an FYI about Students Run Philly Style.)
Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Did you run this weekend?
What is your next race?
What marathon do you recommend?
Have any fun Thanksgiving plans?