Magic & Misery: An Introduction to my 1st Marathon

18 Jan
photo (20)

Mile 20

It’s over. Sunday morning I successfully crossed the finish line at my much anticipated 1st Marathon. I really want to be able to sum up, in one quick phrase, how it went- but as I reflect on the experience, I can’t. I felt a healthy mix of “magic” and misery and I now realize I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. There is so much about this experience I want to share, but for now I will reflect on two powerful words I took away with me when I (sadly) left sunny Florida.

Possible – Walt Disney once said “its kind of fun to do the impossible.” One year ago I would have told you it was impossible for me to run a marathon – yet on 1/13/13, I proved it was possible… and I did it where Walt himself created the impossible. At mile 19 I would NOT have told you it was fun, but looking back, it was worth every second. The pain, the fear, more pain, the heat, discomfort… it all led to a sense of accomplishment unlike any other I have felt. There were times when I felt I wanted to stop. It was too hard to move on. I was miserable. It seems cliche to say, but I simply remembered, “if it was easy, everyone would do it.” I didn’t cross the finish line because of Disney “magic,” I crossed because I pushed through the misery to discover the possible.

Team Tink

Team Tink

Together – I crossed that start line with three friends- one from my hometown, one from high school and one from college. We came together with one common goal: to train for a marathon. Doing it together made all the difference. Together we did “the impossible.” We started as an unfamiliar group, all with various running experiences – we finished dressed identically and labeled “Team Tink.” Through aches & pains, highs & lows, personal records & personal stories, we supported each other. That’s where I discovered the “magic.”

Over time I expect that the true sense of what this all means will change with growth and experience, but for now my ridiculously heavy medal & “Team Tink” will be a consistent reminder of what is possible.

With Heart & Sole,



5 Responses to “Magic & Misery: An Introduction to my 1st Marathon”

  1. Dan January 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Congratulations on earning the title of marathoner, a point of pride that you will keep for life. Over that lifetime, yes, the meaning of this one particular race may change, but you will never forget how it felt to cross that finish line. Trust me, I still look back on my maiden run with such fondness that it’s impossible to avoid a big smile.

    Great choice picking Disney as your first — it was a brilliant race with so many distractions and checkpoints that it makes conquering psychological hurdles so much easier. Well done 🙂

  2. erinhynes January 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    You are absolutely correct in saying it was a brilliant race. So many distractions to keep your mind occupied. I have no doubt that, like you, I will smile whenever I think of crossing that finish line. I mean, I was greeted by Mickey Mouse, how can you NOT smile?! Happy Running! – Erin

  3. Melinda Gentry January 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    This is so inspiring and encouraging. I love it that all you all finished together. My one and only marathon finish line was running up the hill to the Iwo Jima Monument in Arlington VA at the Marine Corps Marathon in 1991. I can remember thinking, “did this really happen?” and how starved I was. It would have never happened if my friend Chrissy and I had not stayed right together every step of the way. That was key to both of us finishing. I will have dig out my picture of me crossing the finish line and share it with you. Go Team Tink! Love it!

  4. Dash January 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Congratulations! What a brilliant race for your first marathon!


  1. A Runner’s Bond | With Heart & Sole - March 27, 2013

    […] you read Magic & Misery: an Introduction to my 1st Marathon you learned about Team Tink and you briefly met three of my best runner friends- Stacia, Nikki & […]

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