Marine Corps Marathon 2012 – My Freedom Run

I’ve been pecking away at this post in my head for a while and decided to stop over-thinking it and to just get it out there.

I have to start by saying THANK YOU. Thank you to the Marine Corps and all the Marines that were on the course to help us. Handing us food, drinks, whatever we needed. Pushing us. Being an inspiration out there. It was surreal and I was humbled by it. It moved me and that is why I WILL BE BACK. It was an honor to be there doing something tiny in comparison to what they do for us around the world every day.

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) held in Arlington, VA on October 28, 2012 was my first full marathon. I have been working toward the goal of completing this marathon since Thanksgiving 2011, when I made a deal with my Marine Father. I told him that if he made a go at quitting smoking, that I would run either MCM or the NYC Marathon. It was his choice. After a few days, he took the deal and chose this race, which I was excited about because I really wanted to run MCM for my own reasons. Having my dad, the best step momma, and my Abuelita there was amazing. It was such a huge motivator for me.

The training is pretty well documented here, so I won’t talk about what it took to get to this point, but I will say one thing. Getting physically prepared isn’t nearly as difficult as the mental preparation. The training plan is important to prepare your body for what you are going to put it through, but it also does a lot to get you into the right mental frame of mind.

Outside life events absolutely impact your mental conditioning, and there were many of those that happened over the course of my journey to Washington DC for MCM. Some of which I didn’t really deal with until I was on the course and at mile 25. You have a lot of time to think out there on the course and I chose to focus my mind on my life versus focusing too much on the task at hand and that worked out well for me. I made some decisions about my life moving forward on that course. The kind of man I want to be, the kind of father I want to be, the kind of mentor I want to be. The things that I need to do to actually become that person. I thought a lot about how I want to help people who want my help so that they can feel what I felt taking a pretty heavy item off the “bucket list”. Whatever that item is for them isn’t important to me. Not nearly as important as helping them get there. I buried some pretty big hatchets on that course. I decided that I was leaving those out there and I did. Those people will likely never know that I have forgiven them, but that isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that I know that I have forgiven them. That I will not forget what was done or what was said, but I will forgive. I have spent a lot of time working on this with the best therapist a guy could have and I’ll be proud when I tell her that it has happened and that I have completed that process.

The support and inspiration that I have received has been incredible. The motivation that my kids provide me. Austin and Allie are the beat of my heart. I have the finest group of true friends that I could have hoped for. I am a lucky guy in that way. I hear so often how I inspire people. Every time I hear it, I am inspired and motivated. If you have told me that and you are reading this, I want you to know that I take that very seriously and that I feel accountable for that inspiration and it fuels me. I don’t want to let you down. I realize that sounds like pressure, but it’s such a positive pressure. A special thanks to AdvoCare, Dr. Crow and Village Health Partners, Cheryl La Mastra and Mind Matters Clinic, Dr. Jill Wisdom and Premier Foot and Ankle, Larry Urban and Covenant Hand Therapy,  Luke’s Locker, especially the Plano crew, and the Tri Shop crew.

Next up… Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside, California the last weekend of March, 2013. I am looking forward to the work it will take to toe the line in Oceanside alongside my great friend and training partner, Josh Pittman.

Freedom Run