Friday, November 12, 2010

Reflecting on the Big M's: My Five Cents

Almost one month after my first marathon and 13 days into marriage, I am still wondering if it is day or night. The past few weeks have disappeared like a thief in the night and I have been frantically searching for this time bandit. Consequently, I feel as though I've had minimal time to reflect on these monumental experiences of completing a marathon and entering matrimonial bliss. The past week my husband and I spent our honeymoon in Jamaica and it was the first opportunity that we had in a long time to simply rest, relax, and rejuvenate. Days of jerk chicken, "no problem man," feeling irie, pina coladas, walks along the beach, and warm weather were just what the doctor ordered for both of us.

During those days in the Caribbean as we lounged at the beach, chilled at the poolside bar, drank a glass of wine at dinner; my husband and I contemplated the past few months and took stock of our lives. I recall sitting at dinner, my eyes flooded with tears of joy, telling my husband, "I feel so very blessed." Thinking back on that moment, there are no better words that can describe how I feel about my life right now. Feelings of gratitude and appreciation disable me and I am frozen in this very moment. I feel beyond fortunate to have completed my first marathon, one of the most mentally and physically challenging experiences in my life. I am thankful to have had the strength, courage, determination, will-power, health, and support to finish the race. Additionally, I feel so privileged to have married my best friend in the company of my family and closest friends. I am thankful to have found such a loving and committed partner to share the rest of my life with. What more could I ask for?

As previously noted, it has been almost one month since the marathon, but the day remains etched in my mind like it was yesterday. My first marathon was remarkable... The weather was incredible, the course was beautiful, the spectators were amazing, and the fellow runners were supportive and encouraging. I can recall the first couple of miles of the race as we crossed the Ambassador Bridge at sunrise and I was in awe of the beauty that surrounded awe of the complete experience amidst thousands of runners. As we ran through Canada, Corktown, Indian Village, Belle Isle, and downtown Detroit; I thought about the months of training leading up to the race but I ultimately allowed myself to get lost in the moment. I thanked each volunteer every time I grabbed a cup of water or Gatorade. I took the time to "high five" the spectators along the course and even sang along with some of the bands. I appreciated the high school students who had sacrificed their Sunday morning to entertain and motivate all of the runners. I chatted with other marathoners who were also seeking to finish their first marathon. I allowed myself to enjoy each and every moment...

While I sing praises for such a wonderful marathon day, I have to admit that it was full of its challenges and obstacles. As I shared before, I have struggled with several cases of runner's knee and you guessed it, this race experience would be no different. I had been experiencing knee discomfort the week preceding the marathon and started race day with the same level of discomfort. However, I loaded my knee up with KT tape and was determined to put two feet on the ground. I started the race just hoping to finish and manage whatever pain came my way. Well, it was quite possible until mile 17. At that moment, the pain became unbearable. I stopped in my tracks and headed to the sidewalk. I attempted to massage the knee, stretch out my muscles, and began praying that I could manage the next nine miles. Well, to keep a long story short, the next nine miles were atrocious, consisting of stints of walking, jogging, and running. While I was determined to cross the finish line, there were moments that I felt defeated and wanted to quit. However, the support and encouragement that I received from the fellow runners and the spectators along with my stubbornness, transported me to the finish line. The last mile was just brutal but I was invincible... As I came to the last tenth of a mile, the tears rolled down my face and I threw up my hands feeling proud, ecstatic, humble, and thankful to finish the race. My final time was 4:50:53. While it wasn't the time I had been anticipating, nothing compares to the sense of accomplishment that I felt for achieving this goal of mine.

So our wedding day came and went and I've been wondering if I was even present..but I have the video and my signature on the marriage certificate to verify my attendance. I was forewarned that the day would whiz by, but I wasn't prepared for this kind of swiftness. I couldn't believe how rapidly both the ceremony and reception began and ended. I've already watched the video just so I can relive the day. Despite the fleeting time, it was an amazing day, my feelings indescribable. Tears streamed down my face as my brothers walked me down the aisle and I met my soon-to-be husband. My mother offered an impromptu speech at the reception expressing her love for my husband and her support for our marriage while paying homage to my was simply beautiful...Overall, it was a wonderful day bursting with love, joy, and happiness.

Thirteen days into marriage and my life is transforming. While I am surely a spring chicken when it comes to marriage experience and any matrimonial advice for that matter. Although, I must share that I have already learned many invaluable lessons in less than two weeks. I am learning how to be a wife, to love more deeply, and to completely share my life with someone else...I am thrilled with every moment. I am amazed at the revolution that has occurred within our relationship and I am truly looking forward to the days, weeks, months, and years to come...

So, at the end of it all, a marathon and a marriage was a phenomenal way to end my October! Yes, I am hoping for more marathons but praying for just one long, happy marriage! = )

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