One Year Ago Today…

I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, the Chicago Marathon.

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A lot of other people who ran last year posted yesterday about it being a year ago, but I’m considering it a year ago by date, not by this year’s running of the marathon, if that makes sense. 10.10.10 is a day and a date that I will never forget, so I couldn’t ignore the date today!

A year ago, I learned that I could do anything I put my mind to.

I could run an entire marathon–in oppressive heat. (I then wrote on Woman’s Day about running a marathon in serious heat.)

I could push through the heat and the discomfort and any desire to stop, and I could get to that damn finish line. If it killed me. (At mile 18, I stopped to stretch, nearly started crying and for just one half of a second, thought about not finishing. Then I pulled myself together, gave myself a pep talk, like, out loud, and got on my not-so-merry way.)


I could go to Chicago and share a room with two girls I’d never met, and one I’d only met twice before–and have an amazing time.

I could fly back from Chicago without taking Xanax. (Mostly just because I was too sick to. I was terrified that Xanax + DayQuil would equal some terrible reaction.)

A lot has changed in the past year, but nothing can take away from the fact that I am a marathoner. I have completed one marathon, and in just 26 days, I will complete my second marathon. I like to think I’ve become a stronger person for all of this.

What’s made you stronger/what’s a date you’ll never forget? (Weddings/birth of your baby don’t count, sorry. Those are givens.)

13 comments on “One Year Ago Today…

  1. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

    Gaaah this is making me think even more seriously about running that race next year. I know it’s mentally and physically daunting, but just to be able to say “I ran a marathon” would be ridiculously awesome.

    Hmmmm one day I will never be able to forget? I honestly don’t know. I was going to use my wedding, but you told me I can’t use that one.

  2. Jen G.

    Congrats on such a big milestone! I celebrate my cancer-versary on June 6th every year — the date I had the surgery that kicked off treatment. I also celebrate my last day of radiation (Aug 18th). I marked cancer-versary #2 with a tattoo, and this year I celebrated 5 years cancer-free!

  3. Gia

    LOL. I read this an immediately thought – training for the NYCM in 2009 made me stronger. Then I saw your disclaimer about babies and weddings and kinda felt bad that my first thought wasn’t having twins. Oops … that was cool too.
    BUT training in 2009 was really hard, I had just gotten back from my wedding/honeymoon and had only 8 weeks to train. I poured everything I had into those 8 weeks and then ran the marathon with zero expectations. I PR’ed by over 15 minutes. It showed me that a fit body can accomplish BIG goals.

  4. Bridget

    I ran my first marathon yesterday! I started reading your blog this year, but during my training I went back and read your old posts about training for Chicago and they were really useful to me as my time goal was also 5 hours. Well what do you know — I finished in 4:59.29. Just 7 seconds behind your time of one year ago today!!!

  5. tracey

    February 27, 2011 – the day I crossed running a half marathon off my bucket list! And October 1, 2011 – my second half marathon!
    But most importantly, April 2, 2010 – which was the day my life changed for the good – I had breakfast with a new friend who was a personal trainer, who gave me all the encouragement I needed to start me on my journey to that half marathon finish line, and a new and healthier me!

  6. Katie

    I just ran my first marathon (Chicago!) yesterday! The training definitely made me stronger and my purpose helped pushed me along. I raised $5,898 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in memory of my Mom! It was hot, my stomach cramped up at mile 12 and never went away, I puked at mile 18 but I pushed myself through until the end. Not the time I hoped for, but I finished my first marathon and I am proud!!!

  7. Leticia Mosqueda

    My go to date is 10/19/09 — the day I committed to fitness for life, and not just for a season. Through counting calories and exercising I lost 90 lbs and have maintained that weight for the past 16 months! I think 09.18.11 will be a new date for me too as it was the date of my 1st of many half marathons! I can’t deny the fact that reading about your marathon training hasn’t totally motivated me to want to train for one too! 🙂 So pumped for you!

  8. cindylu

    The dates I’ll never forget coincidentally happen to be the same 3 days in a row, albeit in different years. The first was a family emergency in 2002. I came way too close to losing my sister that day, but thankfully that didn’t happen and she survived. Still, it was very difficult and each year we celebrate life in a small but meaningful way on that day.

    The other two were completing the LA Marathon (my first) this year and getting engaged the following day. Both days were memorable and filled with happy tears and lots of love from family, friends and of course my fiancé.

  9. Charlotte

    Hi Theodora!

    My date is 09/10/11 – my first Half this past Sunday!

    Here are some other numbers: my time of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 32 seconds and £700, the amount of money I raised by running with Team Alzheimer’s in memory of my uncle who died last year.

    I’ve been reading your blog for about six months and you have been a HUGE inspiration to me! I genuinely cannot believe the changes that I have experienced since I stumbled across your story earlier this year. I have shed 25 post-college pounds acquired from unhealthy choices, the deaths of my dad and uncle, and a bad relationship. I am now in the best shape of my adult life, have so much energy and feel like I am me again. Your story helped me believe that I could do this and I am thankful everyday that I made the decision to sign up for the Royal Parks Half Marathon, here in London.

    I have totally caught the running bug now and can’t wait for my next Half or maybe even a full marathon… hmm.

    Thanks Theodora! Cheers, Charlotte


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