Two weeks ago I ran 21 miles. It’s a goal that I’ve been working toward for months (years, actually), but was never really sure I could accomplish. I have friends who tell me I’m crazy for training for a marathon or say “I could never do that”. It’s pretty crazy thinking about it, because these are statements that I’ve said to myself numerous times. People tend to think that just because I work for the marathon, that I must automatically be a marathon runner. But let me tell you, I’ve looked at friends who run insane amounts of mileage each week and thought, “how does someone do that?” If I’ve learned anything in the past few months, it’s that accomplishing a marathon goal is only partly about the physical training  and knowledge – it’s also about the strength I’ve gained from those who support me. And it’s about learning to reach out and asking for that support.

For a very long time, I’ve been held a mentality in which I feel like I must do things on my own in order for me to be worthy of my accomplishments.  Five years ago, when I began running, it was very much a solitary activity to help me get through a difficult transitional phase in my life. At that time, I ran by myself, trained by myself and embraced the solitude.

In the beginning of my marathon training I’d had several weeks of difficulty. I’d been plagued by recurring plantar fasciitis, back spasms and hip and knee pain. Making it through a 10 mile run, something I’ve done on enough occasions for it to be a tolerable distance, was bringing me to tears for the last couple […]