Just The Beginning
A few weeks before the marathon, I was sure that after I crossed the finish line I would break into tears. This only happened after two out of the six marathons that I had done before. But I was sure it would happen for Boston.
They’re not sad tears, or even happy tears. They’re tears of accomplishment, fatigue and, mostly, relief. I can finally stop pushing; I can finally relax.
But, to my surprise, after Boston, the tears didn’t come.
I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well. I felt like I owed it to my team, my coach, my family and friends, my readers(!), all of whom supported me and my efforts an incredible amount. I was so terrified of letting people down that I had a dream that I didn’t finish. I ended up only getting a few hours of sleep the night before the race. So when I crossed the finish line — all in one piece — only 2 minutes and a few seconds away from my goal, I wasn’t sure why I felt so … empty.
Sure, I was probably a little dehydrated and my fuel storage was at an all-time low. But I didn’t experience the kind of euphoria that I was expecting after finishing the most important race of my life.
After three bottles of water and hugs from my family, I pepped back up. Looking back now, I think I realize what I felt when they hung the medal around my neck.
I know that seems strange. I had just achieved what I had been striving for since the start of my college career. But that’s how I felt. I think the quote that really rings true here is Hemingway:
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
And training for this incredible race was definitely a journey. I learned a lot about myself — how far I am willing to go and how hard I am willing to push myself. I made a bunch of amazing new friends through working on this blog and the friendships I already had grew stronger as so many cheered and rooted for my success. I had my ups and downs. But the experiences I gained from this adventure are worth much more to me than any medal ever could be.
Now that my journey has come to an end, I can already feel myself itching to start a new one. Part of me thinks it would be really cool to finish a total of 10 marathons before I turn 21 … What’s three more marathons in the next four months?!? Now that I’ve done Boston, I feel like I can do anything. And I will.
— Arielle Rausin