Two weeks ago I was sitting in a city council budget workshop meeting (fun, I know!) and an email came through from my Mom. I opened the email to see: “Look at spacecoastmarathon.com. Coolest medals, we are thinking about doing it. Let me know.”
So, I proceed to check out their website and started the internal debate with myself on whether or not I wanted to run an other marathon and whether or not I was going to sweet talk my husband into running it with me. I sat there debating back and forth. I checked out their finisher’s medals (AWESOME) — and then I heard my phone vibrate with another email from my Mom: “Dad keeps going on. He said look at the finisher’s certificates. Plus it includes a pancake breakfast and a TOWEL!”
I could not contain myself and instantly laughed out loud in the middle of the meeting. There has always been a standing joke in our family about infomercials. At the end of the infomercial you always you have the sales person go, “But wait, if you act now you will get three times the amount!” My Dad and I always joke how the “but wait” is cheesy, but wonder how many people fall for it, pick up the phone, and order the product! I knew instantly that my Mom’s last email sold me. I instantly hit the reply button and responded with: “OMG, A TOWEL!!! HOW COULD WE PASS THIS RACE UP????????? WE ALL NEED TO REGISTER NOW!!!!!!”
I then turned back to the computer and continued to check out the race website. I learned that this year is the first year of their 5 year long Big Bang Series. Runners who finish a Space Coast Marathon in the next five years will get a finisher’s medal commemorating one of the space shuttles –and runners who finish three marathons will get an additional 3 Year Milky Way Finisher’s Medal — and runners who run all five years will get an additional 5 Year Intergalactic Medal.
Okay, let’s be honest! After looking through the website and reading about the medals — not only did I know we were going to sign up for this year’s marathon, Mark and I have made it our goal to at least get the 3 Year Milky Way Finisher’s Medal; and we are going to try to get the 5 Year Intergalactic Finisher’s Medal as well!
For those who are just starting to run one thing you will learn — and for those already running you already know — just how expensive running, more specifically racing, can be. Entry in smaller 5k’s and 10k’s can range any where from $15-$50, where entries into half marathons and marathons can range from $50-$300+. One of the biggest reason I choose not to sign up for the 2013 Chicago Marathon is 1) the medals are not that cool and 2) it is expensive, plus travelling and staying in Chicago during race week is not cheap either! Just like most American families, here in our household we have a race/golf budget. (Well, it used to be racing for me and golfing for Mark; however, now it’s racing and golfing for both of us!) This includes everything it will cost us to run the race from the entry fee to what our travel will cost us, if travel is necessary. There are hundreds of races I wish we could run every year, so how do I decide in the end which races we will actually enter?
Well #1- they must have cool finisher’s medals! I am not going to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles for a cheesy medal; #2- they must offer the runners a technical shirt and not just a t-shirt; and #3- I have to be drawn to the race because of it’s location, race theme or route. If you look back at my last few races you can see races like the Flying Pirate Half Marathon and the Martian Invasion 10k. So, how fitting is the Space Coast Marathon!
Surprisingly, when I told Mark about the race he was excited. I couldn’t believe how excited he was to sign up for his first marathon and then it hit me — the long training runs of 16, 18 and 20 miles and then race day. The day where you push your body further than you ever thought you could. I almost think Mark will have an easier time running his first marathon than I will running my second. Why? Because I know what lays ahead of us — whereas he is clueless!
This race is going to be very different from my first marathon experience and there is a part of me that is bummed that Mark’s first experience won’t be like mine was. The Marine Corps Marathon is an amazing race with over 25,000 runners! The maximum number of runners who can register for the Space Coast Marathon is 4,000. There is a huge difference between a race with 25,000 runners and one with 4,000. Although it can be a little intimidating, I really enjoyed running my marathon with thousands of other runners. (Don’t worry — Mark and I are both people who like to push ourselves. I have a big feeling this will not be the last marathon the Reckling’s run together! Now if I could just get him into triathlons with me — although he has never learned how to swim so that’s a BIG up hill battle for me!)
Registering for the full marathon this time around was scarier than the first time I registered. I am excited but I am also extremely nervous! Why? Well, this time I have expectations that are a little higher than “just crossing the finish line”. I have been working extremely hard the past couple of months on speed. I know I can run faster than what I do — I usually just choose to go low n’ slow. This time, I have a time goal — and I will be pretty disappointed with myself if I do not achieve my goal.
Although I have goals of my own and this will not be my first marathon — this marathon will be one of the favorite marathons I run, and a race I will remember forever. Why? It is the first marathon my husband and I will run together!!! This past weekend, when talking about the Boston Marathon and racers, Mark asked me why I get emotional watching runners cross the finish line. I simply looked at him and responded with, “Trust me honey, on December 1st you will learn why first hand!” There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment and pride which swells inside of you and you push yourself those last few steps and cross the finish line of your first marathon!
So now… let the training begin!!!