“A baby learns to crawl-A toddler to walk- A child to run- A marathoner never forgets the child within.” ~ Dad
“Part 2” rationale for my marathon is INSPIRATION. Throughout the process of preparing for the LA Marathon, I have taken inspiration from many sources. Whether it was an inspirational quote, or seeing a person out on their wheelchair using the same trail I do (that happened several times). At some point it begins to feel as though there is not much more inspiration to run for other than because I CAN. Because God has given me my mobility, I will put it to use while I can. I think it would be great to run for a cause in the future, in fact I plan on it.
There are a couple bits of inspirations though that are very close to my heart. As mentioned in “Part 1” running has been a part of my life forever it seems. My dad ran many races as I was growing up. Between the 5k’s, 10k’s and marathon’s he did, I’ve always considered him a seasoned runner. I thank him for giving me one half of my “running bug.” My mom is the other half to that equation. She also did several races during that time and would support my dad on his marathon’s as well.
Here is a great post-race pic of my parents probably almost 20 years ago.
I love them 🙂
My mom ran a 5k with me (my first) when I was in junior high. In high school, we had a little tradition of running together during the early mornings before I’d go to school. Looking back I believe it was our way to stay connected during those teenage years. Between myself being busy with school and extra curricular activities, and her working, running gave us something special to do together. The mornings welcomed us with early sunrises and the sound of morning birds in their usual chatty spirits. It encouraged the healthy chatter between a mother and daughter that can often get lost in the shuffle of life as we grow up. I’m very grateful for those times we had on our morning runs together. It helped to solidify our relationship, and inspires a closeness I hope to have with my daughter.
There is this great horse trail at the top of the street that I grew up on, which we would all use for running. It brings back so many memories when I’ve had the opportunity to run that trail again.
I can almost imagine my younger self walking to the top of that street again. I’m guessing I would have never imagined to see the woman I am today, but I think I’d be pretty proud.
Being inspired by my parents all my life gives me inspiration as a parent now myself. To be able to leave a positive impression on my children, like my parents did, is something I pray about often.
My inspiration for this race comes also from being a mother. My kids inspire me everyday. They have brought so much life and love to my world and I want to help make sure that I’ll be here for them as long as possible. That means taking care of myself and my health. Running has been something they enjoy doing with me on our local riding trail. I try to get them out with me as often as I can. Plus it’s the perfect activity to complete physical education requirements. Ella and Gavin ride their bikes and I push Grant in the stroller as I run. I hope this helps to spark a lifelong positive approach to health and fitness.
My parents set my sister’s and I up with a great foundation of fitness. Now it is up to us to continue for ourselves/families. We often attended these races as a family when we were little. It gave my sister Jackie and I (being the older two of us three) the opportunity to take part in the children’s dashes. As Jackie also describes here on her family blog that we were fortunate to have the experience and memories of those early days of fitness. Now we have the opportunity to re-create those experiences for our own family which carries on the tradition again.
Here are a few photos from our early running days haha…
Now all these years later, I’m glad to have the knowledge of my dad from his training days. My dad has been such an encouragement. Unfortunately after originally agreeing to do this race with me, he reached the point for himself during the training process that he had to back out of doing it.
That was a bitter-sweet moment.
His mind was telling him he wanted to be there with me to run the race, but his body had told him something else. He finally had to listen to it. Something about pushing between 13 and 15 miles was just not settling right for him. I really didn’t want to persuade him to keep going, even knowing it has been his dream all along to run a marathon with one of his daughters.
That brings me to the special thing about the marathons he did run. He made a point to run at least 3 marathons, earning a medal for each daughter. And he did it. 3 solid times, LA Marathon in 1999, 2001 and 2002. It would have been consecutive if it weren’t for a horrible knee injury he had on a ski trip we took in 2000. It was during the middle of his training, already up to 17 miles which is one of the worst setbacks you can ever face. He had to wait it out for one year.
The story of Dad’s marathon life actually began back in 1989. It was the 4th LA Marathon on the books. My dad’s INSPIRATION to run a marathon came after watching the 1984 Olympics here in LA. He set out for that first marathon not being fully prepared as he came to find out. After only training up to 15 miles, he arrived to the race with not an ounce of nutritional supplements on him. He thought he could rely on what the race would provide for runner’s throughout the course. Little did he know or really consider the thought that they could run out of these things so maybe he should bring back up. That was exactly what happened. Supplies became low by the time he reached the stations. All was good for him till about mile 19, when he started to realize that he wasn’t feeling so well. Then by mile 21 he was able to get a slice of orange to eat. The acidity on his empty stomach was definitely not a match. At mile 22 my dad said he “was done.” He had to quit the race.
This is a moment that would haunt him for the next 10 years. He had to finish it. Ironically the unfinished marathon is the story he shares most, not so much his following victories. I think reliving such an intensely painful moment, not only physically but mentally is therapeutic in some way for him. I would gladly hear it again and again. It’s obviously one of those moments that just changes you forever. You never forget it, and it lives on in you through sharing and reliving it.
I can’t imagine what that experience really was for him. I just know he is a hero in my book and an inspiration for not giving up on his dream to finish it. I can truly acknowledge now how much perseverance he had to complete those runs for us. I appreciate it on such a higher level now that I am going through what he did to reach his goals.
I hope my kids look up to me that way too someday. Not to say I’m going to go run more marathons or anything….now that would be crazy lol.
Overall my inspiration comes mostly from within. What is in my heart and mind. The things that drive me and have kept me inspired are the ones who are closest to me rooting me on, and my kids who always have my heart and soul.
As my dad reminded me…
“Inspiration is nothing without your own spirit in it.” ~ Dad