It’s time for another Wednesday Word linkup, hosted by Debbie! Be sure to click on the button below to join in and see who else is linking up.
Each week Deb provides a word prompt for us to write about, and this week’s word is triumphant.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the word triumphant is crossing the finish line of a race. You’ve put in weeks to months of training, weathered the ups and downs, and have probably had lots of personal victories along the way. Getting to run the race truly is the cherry on top, and that feeling of crossing the finish line is like no other.
But, there are also lots of moments of triumph during training. On the outside you may not celebrate them as much as that finish on race day, but on the inside they often feel just as big. I’m going to share one of those moments from my training for the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon.
The Marine Corps Marathon was my second full marathon, and I chose to take a completely different approach to training by following the Hansons Marathon Method. It was more running than I had ever done in my life. Often, I had to figure out how to balance training with life. One of those cases was during my peak week of training. I got an invite for a friend’s baby shower in Virginia Beach (roughly a 6 hour drive) the same weekend I had an 8 miler and 16 miler back to back. I decided I could do both.
Saturday wasn’t too bad. I had driven to my friends house the day before, and I got up and ran my 8 miles like normal. It was fun to run in a new place and do some exploring.
That afternoon we had the baby shower. Then in the evening Virginia Tech took on Ohio State in football. We ended up having a huge win over them! However, I stayed up until nearly 2 AM watching that game. For my 16 miler I had plans to stop halfway through my 6 hour drive home to run on a state park trail I was familiar with. I knew I needed to get an early start because it was only going to get hotter as the day went on. So after a bedtime of 2 AM, I was up at 5 AM and on my way that Sunday morning. Three hours into my drive I arrived in Farmville. Time to take a break from driving and run 16 miles. I still couldn’t believe I was about to do this.
The only way to get it done is just start putting one foot in front of the other, and that’s exactly what I did. It turned out to be a fantastic run. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, and there were lots of people out on the trail. Plus, it’s always neat to run across the high bridge, which is over half a mile long and 125 feet above the Appomattox River.
There were a few rough spots during the run, of course, but overall it was one of the best long runs I’ve ever had. I had my mind set to do it. But there was still some self doubt about whether I could really accomplish this by myself, in the middle of a long drive, after very little sleep the night before. But I did it, and the triumph I felt when my watch beeped 16 miles was incredible. I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face.
After my run I changed clothes, grabbed a quick lunch at the nearby Sheetz gas station, and then drove the final 3 hours home. I think I was on some kind of endorphin high for most of the way. As soon as I got home, I was ready to crash. I took a long shower and then a nice long nap. Overall, it was a great experience, as I proved to myself I was stronger than I thought. Little victories like that are part of what makes a long training process so enriching.
Tell me about a time when you have felt triumphant or had a moment of victory during a long training cycle.