One more. I feel as though I used that phrase a thousand times throughout the year. One more hill. One more lap around the track. One more mile. One more song. One more long run. And now, one more marathon. The knowledge of only having one more is challenging, freeing and inspiring.
Having one more can be challenging because it usually signals that there have been a number that have preceded it. Whether it is hills, miles, or laps, being left with one more is a recognition of all the work that has just been done. It can leave you bending over with hands on the knees, sucking in air and staring down the final hurdle.
One more is inspiring. There is no reason to not work your hardest because it is the last of its kind. Additionally, you don’t want to finish on a sour note, you want to have your last one be your best one. Therefore one more stirs up inspiration to give all you can to finish strong.
The mantra of ‘one more’ has been weighing heavy on my heart as I am now three days away from running my fifth marathon of the year. Truthfully I debated for a few days as to whether or not I was going to sign up, but as I did I said that I wanted to do one more this year.
One more marathon this year is a challenging thought to me. Within the past two or three weeks I have significantly felt all the miles I have logged this year (currently just under 1,500). I have had two bouts of a 48 hour flu that basically knocked me off my feet for a few days. I have recently picked up a hamstring niggle that bothers me ever so slightly while running. I have had a great year of running, and the thought of one more is a challenge. I’m tired from all the training, all the early mornings, all the hills, all the speed workouts.
One more marathon is also freeing. When I cross the finish line I know I will have surpassed every running goal I set for the year. Miles accumulated, marathons run, average time of my races were all goals that will be accomplished. Once I take that first step over the finish line, I will be done with training for the year. After 11 months of training, I am looking forward to some time off both physically and mentally. I recognize all the miles I have put into training to prepare my body for Philly, but I also look forward to the fruit of all that hard work as I cross the line.
One more marathon is also inspiring. I love to compete, I love to push myself, I want to test my body and see how far I can push it. With my collegiate alma matter having great success in recent weeks, I have been thinking more about the glory days of playing. There are few things I would want my former teammates and coaches to say about me other than, “He always gave his all. He never quit. Never gave up. Game, practice, relationships, he was completely dedicated and never gave less than his best effort.” As I come closer to the start line of this next marathon, I hope I can bring the same attitude to my race. I am inspired to run and run as best as I can. I have yet to settle on a goal time – right now I am debating two different goals: 1. To finish in under 3:18:00 (my average this year is 3:17:17, with my slowest being a 3:22) 2. I am thinking about trying to run my fastest 2nd half of the year (my fastest 13.1-26.2 split in 2014 was 1:40:55, set a month ago in Columbus) As I get closer to race day I will solidify these.
One more. Truthfully, I’m getting really excited and am ready to run.