It was almost a whole year ago when my phone rang and some guy by the name of John was calling me in search of blind runners. He had read an article about a blind runner who did the New York Marathon with the assistance of a sighted guide from Achilles International. John wanted to bring Achilles to Las Vegas, and he happened to call someone that morning who wanted to get out and run.
On November 30, 2017, we met up at a nearby park and Achilles Las Vegas hit the ground running. That first morning, we walked /jogged/ran about 2 miles. He asked me if I had a running goal. I told him, “I want to run the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon.”
Today is November 8, 2018, and in 3 days, I will be running my first marathon.
Wow! I seriously just teared up writing that last sentence.
It has been quite a year.
From running the Resolution 5k Run on New Year’s Eve with a sea of yellow Achilles Las Vegas supporters, my brother, sister-in-law and 2 nieces running it, and our family waiting at the finish line.
To Marley running her first 5k with John and I, along with other Achilles volunteers at the Vegas Cares About Rare Kids Run.
To my first half marathon on the first hot day of the year, where I finished in 2:49 at the Recycle Run.
To a spur of the moment run with my Achilles crew in the beginning of summer at the Elemental 5K.
To beginning my official 16 week marathon training in the end of July, where we had to run at the butt-crack of dawn since the temperature rose to above 100 as soon as the first ray of sunlight rose.
To challenging the low expectations of a race director who did not think it was safe for a blind runner to do the Red Rock Half Marathon, where I not only safely ran with my guides and our tether of choice, but I set a PR of 26 minutes, finishing in 2:23, and 2 other blind runners ran their first 10K races.
To experiencing foot pain and developing Plantar Fasciitis three weeks out from race day.
To catching the crud the kids brought home from school 6 days from race day, which I refuse to believe is strep throat and battled with my holistic hippy magic and have almost completely kicked out of my system.
To waking up feeling good after 3 days of feeling like crap, ready to get out of a nice 3 mile run around the hood and finding that my streets are being resurfaced today. Since I resort to running in the middle of the streets in my tiny gated community, because running on the sidewalks means running into poles and tree branches.
I’m choosing to believe all of it is part of the master plan to making sure I get across that finish line on Sunday night. I was meant to rest my feet and not push too hard these last few weeks. I am meant to rest my body and conserve energy these last few days. With the time and training I have put in, I am ready to show up at the start line ready to smash my first marathon.
As I run those 26.2 miles, I’ll be counting the mile markers with these 26 ways of being I strive to live by.
Whether you are running a marathon, walking the kids to the bus, walking the dog, or strolling the suburbs, city streets, or aisles of Target, remember that it’s you who gets to choose your way of being. Whatever you choose, choose to smile.