Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The past twelve months have, as always, moved faster than these words can explain.  This type of reflection reminds me to take appreciation for the little things throughout the day.  Sometimes, though, the speed of time blows that intention out of the air.  About two weeks ago I started seeing advertisements for the Tour de France.  Ah, yes.  The Tour.  I don’t bike, I don’t know the terminology and I certainly am not familiar with some of the leading cyclists.  I do, however, casually follow the progress of the Tour.  It’s an amazing event that’s mentally and physically challenging.  So, the Tour reminded me that July 3rd was approaching.  This would be the first anniversary of Muffin Madness.

The Muffin Madness Marathon was an idea, introduced to me in June of 2010, that would satisfy my personal goal of running a marathon.  My husband encouraged me (I like to think of it as a double-dog dare) to create my own 26.2 mile route and run it.  After hours of planning and freaking out, I set forth on my journey at 7 am on Saturday, July 3, 2010.  This Madness was everything I expected and more.  I ran, trotted and sometimes walked a beautiful course that incorporated some of my usual routes.  I paid homage to the road that has led me to that day.  Maybe next time I’ll be smart and map out a point-to-point with less hills; the loop of elevation was killer, but I crossed the finish line in my driveway on that 87 degree day at 5 hours 3 minutes and 24 seconds (not bad for the lack of training).

Enough about me.  The plan leading up to Muffin Madness could not have been accomplished by one person.  Friends and family volunteered to be a part of the day assisting with each of the hydration stations (12 total).  Not only did I have people wanting to run part of the race with me, but I had a friend willing to be my ‘lead bike’ for the duration.  Tee-shirts were made and sold with any profited money going to the Lance Armstrong Foundation; a local company, Digital Trust, LLC, purchased shirts for most of my hydration team.  The support leading up to the Madness was overwhelming; the support on race day would top that. 

To Karen – you have always proved to be ‘Mamma Hen’, rounding up the troops and getting people off their buns to help out. 

To Jeff, my traffic cop – I felt like a celebrity with you leading the way for me on your bike.  You saw me from start to finish; best to worst; fresh to spent.  I couldn’t imagine doing it without you.

To my runners: Steve, Bortzy, Dawn & Olzy – I loved having the company and conversation through the entire route.  Starting the race with a skinny Olzy and my crazy neighbor Steve made for great conversation which moved the first 8 miles like it was a walk around the block.  Dawn and Bortzy…Amazing.  You guys are amazing. 

To my Anchorman: Giggles – Seeing you at mile 20 put a spring in my step.  I knew I picked the right man to spend the last six miles with! 

To my Hydration Team & Spectators: KariAnn, Jenny, Mikey, Liesel, Bruce, Bob, Rick, Margie, R.B. and Joey – I love you guys.  Seeing your faces along the course was as welcoming as the bottles of water and Gatorade you filled for me!  Your screams and signs helped me put one foot in front of the other.  Gotta have more cowbell! 

To my parents: I am me because of you.  I like me. 

To Allison: Yes, you were just a thought in my mind…a plan for the future.  In due time you will see the Madness.

To Ava: There’s nothing like rounding a corner to see you hold a ‘Go Mommy!’ sign.  I hope that I continue to show you how important fitness is to the quality of life.  One day we will run together.

To Marcus: You brought the Madness out in me.  Thanks for believing in thinking I could do this. 

I’ll never forget the highlights of my marathon and the people who helped my dream become a reality.  So now I’m looking forward to resuming my regular running schedule with my sights already set on a 10K in August, marathon relay in September and a half marathon in October.  I will run another 26.2 miles again.  It’s just a matter of when.