Past Race with Dad: DC Rock n Roll Marathon

I spent much of my day looking back at my triathlon career. I enjoyed looking at pictures and getting fired up again about who I become when I am active. The secret really is to be surrounded by people who also love to move. I am pretty sure that is why my dad wanted to start a tradition where every year we do a race together. This year we are going to do the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon but it all started with DC…

It had been such a whirlwind weekend that I didn't blog my marathon experience till after. I got emails and questions about it and so I made sure I went back and got it all down to share with everyone.

First, I had a ton on my mind. I am in a leadership group that was creating an epic legacy project in New Jersey. The game of it was to finish it in 7 days! That was 4 of the 7 I would be gone doing the race with my dad. I had excitedly planed this adventure with my dad so far in advance of our epic project that I had to go. And I gladly went to DC so excited for me and my dads adventure. 

We had been talking about our DC Rock 'n' Roll Marathon for months and we were committed 100% to crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles of running. When you see it on paper it doesn’t really seem like such a big deal. If old people can do it, so could we, right? I knew it wouldn't be easy but I also 'knew' that we could do it. I totally down played what a challenge we were undertaking!

We had a blast going through the pre event expo, imagining all the fun gadgets and gear we could buy. In fact, that is our favorite part. We laughed, we chatted and were simply being joyfully goofy with each other. I succumbed and bought a few things even though I did an amazing job keeping my dad from buying stuff. I love gadgets! It was wonderful spending such quality time with him.

The morning of the race came and the weather was nasty. The days before were beautiful and sunny but this day was wet and cold. The excitement of it all had it not be a thing and once we got going, I really didn’t notice... Till later in our run. Thats when nerves wear off and training comes into play. The plan was to use the first 5 miles as a warm up, 10 miles rock it and assess if we needed to start a walk/run routine after that at a 10 minute mile pace. We got this! So optimistic for 2 people who's longest run was 11 miles...

We started the race having to pee and the lines were so long that we thought we could just wait till the next one. The porta potty situation is def part of the experience! Embrace it with grace and you'll just find it funny. 

First 7 miles, we did amazing. Our goal of 10 minute mile pace slowed up but we still were doing pretty good. 

I checked in with my dad and he was starting to get a little stiff. Nothing a few strides couldn't fix, right?

It was pretty early when my dad started feeling his legs. I rethought our strategy. "Ok, let's walk for a minute, run for 5." His brain was on board but his body wasn't. After that 9 mile mark, it was so painful for me to walk! The human body is such an interesting machine. It does what you train it to do and the truth was, neither of us trained well. For him even walking had become hard.  He def couldn't keep up with my New York walk and the slower the walk, the more painful for me. We both were hurting!

We were both on a mission though. We will finish this! Quitting isn't an option!

My dad gave the run everything he had. And by the time we got to where the marathon continues and the half ended the marathon course was closed. "1 more mile daddy! Let's finish strong!"

We finished the half marathon together holding hands. 

I know he was disappointed that we didn’t complete the entire marathon and I was too, but the truth is we both didn't train enough. We thought through pure commitment, determination and will power we could just cruise through it. NOPE! This was the longest distance I have ever run. Ever! My dad too! We did awesome and now we both really respect what it takes to finish such a distance. 

I also walked away with real life lessons that I was really happy to review once I didn’t feel the pain in my hips.

1) Committment= Action

Commitment is important but you must back it up with consistent action to get the things you want in life. Not just this marathon but everything in my life. I thought simply wanting what I wanted would have it come to me, but having the life you want and deserve is about taking steps to really create it. 

2) My parents are amazing.

My mom and dad are awesome. I'm so grateful for my parents. They are so supportive in everything I do and to this very day, they would give anything just to see me happy. I won’t ever take that for granted!

3) Celebrate small victories.

It is so important to celebrate the small victories in life. We didn't reach our ultimate goal, however, we both learned some valuable lessons, spent time together learning them and we both ran the furthest we have ever run. Why not celebrate that? We will learn and do better next time. Life doesn’t always work out the way we want but if we take each moment and take what was great about it, we can continue to keep a good attitude about all of them.

My dad was so determined to cross the finish line of a marathon and get a finisher jacket, that he put us both in the lottery for the Marine Corp marathon that ultimately we got into and finished. That one hurt too! But it was such a joy to see his smile at the end!