The build up to every marathon or half marathon is intense. You spend months preparing your mind and body to face the 26.2 or 13.1 miles. You teach yourself to press on even when every part of you is telling you to stop. You do all this so that on race day you’re ready to break through the wall and grind through the pain cave. And then after months of training you make it to the starting line. The gun goes off and you’re in the race. You battle through the mental and physical ups and downs of the race and finally you see it: THE FINISH LINE.
I’ve often visualized finish lines while training, imagining what it would feel like to finish my first marathon or what it would feel like to break 4 hours. I’d see myself charging to the finish line with everything I had left and then crumpling into a ball of joyous tears. I guess I had imagined it that way because that’s how I’ve seen so many people react to great personal feats in long distance running. I thought I would follow suit. But, surprisingly, I’ve never cried at the end of a race…which has always struck me as a bit odd. Like Dude, you cry at every rom com and cute old couple on the planet! How are you not crying at the end of a marathon?! And really, I’ve always wanted to have the ugly cry at the end of marathon. I’m not really sure why either haha. Maybe it would be my way of feeling that I had really left it all out there on the course? Who knows.
I really thought I would just break down in tears after crossing the Dallas Marathon finish line and setting a huge PR of 3:54:38. But I didn’t. What I did experience was feeling like a total badass! Actually, at most of my finish lines I’ve just had HELL YEAH run through my mind. So with the Berlin Marathon coming up I’ve been thinking about how I’ll feel as I approach Brandenburg gate and see the finish line. Will it be another “hell yeah” moment? Or will it be my turn to ugly cry? I suppose no one really knows. And truly, it doesn’t matter. Whether I cry, fist pump or scream, it will only make up a few SECONDS of a quest that has taken MONTHS of HARD WORK, BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS to complete.
At the end of the day, it’s not about the finish line feeling…
It’s about the journey you take to get there.