We watched The Barkley Marathons yesterday on Netflix. I highly recommend this documentary for runners and non-runners alike. The movie is about one of the hardest ultra marathons that takes place each year in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. Since 1986, just 14 people have managed to complete the 130 mile race. You have to watch it to understand what it's all about. One of the key messages of the movie was anything worth doing is not going to be easy. The message lingered with me. I was thinking about my own running journey and goals. Naturally, my mind went to my DREAM BIG goal of running Boston one day. I think about that often, actually. Not in a "I will be devastated each time I do not qualify," kind of way, but rather knowing how sweet it will feel when I run 42.2km from Hopkinton to Boston. I will get there one day.
For now, I'm in the peak of my Ottawa Marathon training. Getting up before the crack of dawn and pushing through each workout is about much more than just completing the race. I have so much fire in me to run a strong race. To know how hard I worked in the past 21 weeks will make the feeling (which I can't justly put into words) at the finish line worth it. To finish smiling, knowing that I laid it all out there. Marathons are always special to finish. But the more I give to my training and to running in general, the more I get back. Running is generous like that.
@OttawaMarathon tweeted this the other week. It captures the moment I play in my mind often. I get chills thinking about it. I've completed the race many times before, but each time I run the home stretch is different.
As I look ahead to the next 9 weeks, I'm going to focus on enjoying the process. I know that anything worth doing is going to take time. I'm not rushing to get to race day. I will find joy in the sweat, aching muscles and early mornings. This hard work, this dedication, this is what will make the 2016 Ottawa Marathon so special.
If you a training for a spring race, I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on what you've accomplished so far. The prize is in the process.
Have you watched a good running movie lately?
Have you run an ultra marathon?