This weekend I attended the Hartford Marathon. I knew about 10 runners from mission FITNESS who were doing the 1/2 marathon and 5K. Plus, five of my girlfriends were doing the relay. It is always so inspiring and special to watch people come down that finish shoot, even the ones I don’t know. Without fail, I always shed a few tears as I watch complete strangers pass me. Some in excruciating pain. Some so caught up with joy that they can’t hide their pure emotion and tears. Some supporting each other, literally carrying each other across the finish line. I believe you experience the purest form of humanity when watching the finish of a race, which is why the tragedy at the Boston Marathon last year hit hard. How dare someone perform such an act, especially at one of the few places that we are still completely surrounded by the good in this world? Hard Work. Dedication. Emotion. Support. Determination. Honesty. Pure, Unfiltered Emotion.
While I wanted to be at that finish line for so many, there was one person who I had to race to the finish line to see after teaching my 830am bootcamp. That’s because she is so speedy! Any one who trains with me or knows me, knows who I am talking about. A runner that has truly inspired me over the last 6 months. Someone who has shown me what dedication looks like, and what it means to earn your success. Any client who asks, “how can I get faster?” I send them to her blog. Many later told me that they were screaming “Go MsFitRunner” as she ran by. After following her blog, they were so inspired to watch her live. They were so impressed with the smile on her face (and her abs) every time they saw her!
As I dream of getting to the next level in my racing, I look to her blog for guidance. While our training is different, her running the roads while I run the trails, the dedication and even some training is universal. Her (and her husband) have introduced me to speed work, tempo runs, hill repeats, etc. It has become so clear to me that training and running really is a science, something that gives you back what you put into it. The ones you see crossing the finish line in the top 10 are not there because they were born fast. Genetics can only get you so far.
So, while I watched Katie speed by me at mile 26 of the marathon, with the clock reading 2:48, a goal she worked so hard for, I couldn’t help but shed one of those few tears that are inevitable when I watch a race. Why? Because, while her and I are merely acquaintances, I feel like I have been there with her every step of the way as she trained for this. And there is nothing I respect more than someone who works hard for something and achieves it. Especially when it comes to our physical capabilities. Maybe because it is so much a part of me. Since an early age I have sacrificed and worked hard for my athletic accomplishments. While my teenage friends were out partying, I was shooting hoops in my driveway with a spotlight on. Shoveling after a snowstorm so I could get my 100 foul shots in. And all those hours and missed moments with loves ones paid off when I hit that winning shot, made the All-Conference Team, and broke that scoring record.
Just like my hard work paid off, I know those 4:29am run starts for Katie paid off when she saw her three kiddos and Hubby at the finish, after hitting her goal time. As she will soon write about, the “magic” of race day made all of those dreaded tempo runs worth it. And anyone who knows what it means to REALLY work hard, knows that there was no magic that occurred on Saturday. Yes, she was lucky to get amazing weather, but that’s about where the luck ended. Katie worked for that time, and she deserved it.
I look forward to following Katie as she continues her journey towards even bigger and better things,and I encourage you to do the same by signing up to follow her blog.