Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day Thirty-dOne - Uecker - Let the Park My Butt on the Sofaothon begin!

The end.  That's what today was.  Or was it?

Technically, realistically, practically Marcothon 2013 ended today.  It was done when I finished my 3.3 miles with Catherine.  I had a total of 101 miles for the month of December.  More than I've had in a month since I started running a year and a half ago.  I was able to take off my shoes, pull off my hat, strip off the running tights and say, "It's finished."

Why then does it feel like it's not done?  Does it have anything to do with the things I learned about myself as a runner this month?  Or more importantly, does it have anything to do with the things that I might have learned about myself as a person?

I'm not sure.  I think it's because at this point I'm a bit too tired to know exactly what it is I have learned.

I know that I have a will to finish something that is physically pretty demanding.  In many ways I knew that before, from being a swimmer and football player in my younger days.  In all honesty, it feels different and new this time.  It might be because I am much older.  That I pushed myself through, an almost three day flu.  A cough that seemed to last for a couple weeks and countless other little things that I think all runners go through in the quest to better themselves.  I am stronger now that I was 31 days ago.  I feel a bit leaner even though I don't think I lost a single pound.

I also know that I didn't do this alone.  Yes, I ran all the miles, but this was not a solo accomplishment.

My wife, Catherine, helped me daily.  To get out the door, to put the feet on the pavement and the head on straight.  I listened to her a lot during all of this.  When the flu hit on day 5 we talked about whether to pitch it in or not.  I finally got to the point where I could get out the door and go from there.  There were the many days she ran with me and the days when she just kicked me in the ass and asked if I was going to chuck it when I was so close to finishing. No way I finish this without her.  Absolutely none!

There were all the members of the HFCRC who were doing this too.  Whether we were meeting for straddle runs, runs in Izaak Walton, meeting on the street, or just encouraging each other by reading each others blogs.  Giving each other grief on Facebook, or just knowing that they were out there somewhere too enduring the same crappy weather I was.

There was also, all the other people running the Marcothon and posting from different places all over the world.  Some of their stories were inspiring and moving.  Reading about someone's midnight run under the stars to finish.  Another runner having to drop out with 2 days to go because of an allergic reaction.  And many more that just made me realize that as runners we belong to a community that we can all lean on and be inspired by, if we so choose to be.

I have a feeling that in the next days, weeks and months I will come to realize that there were many other things that this experience has taught me.  I'm sure that I will draw on this when I start training for my first half-marathon in 2014.  What I look forward to are the times when something from this comes up and smacks me in the face as a lesson I had no idea that was learned or being taught from all of this madness.

Real quickly in closing I would also like to thank all of the people that have read my blog and made comments along the way.  Knowing that I wasn't alone out there made it much easier to finish this.  It really did.  Also, a huge thank you to my mother-in-law.  Without the thermal tights for my birthday, there is no way I would have faced the subzero temperatures.
It is done!

Stats don't matter today.  They just don't.

Marcothon 2013, you are completely in the books.