Four years ago today, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon to celebrate my 60th birthday. I wasn’t sure I had it in me, but never underestimate the power of putting one foot in front of the other, listening to your instincts and trusting that regardless of the outcome, you’re better for having made the effort.
The night before race day, I laid out my marathon gear and debated whether I’d be able beat the bridge to actually cross the finish line. After all, I had bronchitis the month before which limited my training time, and I was still recovering from a huge blister on my heel. But I had made it to Washington, DC so I made up my mind to do my best.
From meeting walk-run coach Jeff Galloway, listening to the inspiring Team Semper Fi warriors during the pasta pre-race dinner, seeing my Arctic Annie on the course in her official-looking bike gear, to savoring the serendipity of sharing 23 miles of the course with a runner named the same as my marathon guardian angel, the day was one I’ll never forget.
I’d like to think I have another half or full marathon in me, but if not, I’ll always have MCM15.
There were many memorable moments during my 2015 marathon training, and Justin Verlander’s 9K Win for Warriors run with Team Red, White and Blue on Memorial Day was a highlight.
The race began outside Tiger’s stadium at Comerica Park and we ran 5.4 miles along the waterfront and through the streets of Detroit. Near the end of the race, we entered a tunnel where someone handed me a flag. When I entered the stadium, I ran around the perimeter of the field and crossed the home plate finish line.
I had started training for the Marine Corps Marathon on January 9th and by May 25th had logged 239 miles. There were 150 days until marathon day…and more miles to cover than I wanted to think about.
Four years ago today I posted this picture on Facebook with the following announcement:
Running the Marine Corps Marathon has always been a dream of mine and I’m not getting any younger so it’s now or never Baby!! I’ve been training since January, have already paid my entry fee for my bib, and will be paying all my own expenses in DC the weekend of the race (25 Oct 15)…now to earn my bib by raising money for the Semper Fi Fund, an A+ charity that provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Every penny I raise will go to the SFF. Please support our Warriors and the Semper Fi Fund.
Today, I’m happy to announce that the story of my magical 2015 Marine Corps Marathon journey will soon be published in an anthology. I’ll share more details when I can, but seeing this picture reminded me to keep dreaming big, because you never know where your dreams will take you.