This week marks the end of my training for the 2011 New York City Marathon. What an amazing journey it's been! Training has spanned five geographic locations -- New York, Chicago, Martha's Vineyard, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Los Angeles. I've trained in all kinds of weather conditions -- extreme heat, extreme humidity, cold, seemingly endless rain, a historic hurricane, a historic Nor'easter, in the dark, in the light, alone and with friends.
I've logged hundreds of miles both alone and with my coach, mentor, and friend, Sid Howard, and his amazing wife, Asteria. The number of miles, minutes and hours have only been outnumbered by the number of smiles, giggles and all-out crack ups. It's been quite the ride!
This week my tapering continued. I did my usual treadmill workout, modified to be a little less taxing. To make sure there was drama 'til the bitter end, Mother Nature gave me a parting gift by having it pour rain during my entire Thursday run. The final plot twist came Saturday with the Nor'easter (seriously?!!). Fortunately, I was able to get my run in before it really hit. That was the last run. A wrap. Now I just chill and pray I stay healthy and don't get involved in some freak accident, like tripping over the toilet, this week.
Hopefully you've gotten something out of this blog. The intent was to give a real inside peek into what it's like to train for a marathon: the ups and downs, triumphs and challenges; the "stick-to-it-ness" it takes to persevere and train NO MATTER WHAT. And FUN! Sid and I had a good time out there.
I was also hoping to inspire you to get up and move, try something new, not necessarily a marathon but something you like to do and haven't done for a while, or an activity you've never done but have not had the inspiration to yet try. And last, I was hoping you would crack a smile or two, or even laugh at some of the crazy beats that have happened along the way.
I feel truly grateful to have worked with Sid and his wife. It doesn't really matter what happens next Sunday. I feel like I've already "won." There's no question I'm a better runner. The feeling of accomplishment at having done the work and knowing I've improved is only eclipsed by the friendships we have formed. Sid has inspired me to run not only for myself but to keep running, teaching, Zumba-ing for others. Sunday will mark the culmination of weeks, months, years of work – the end of one event that is a part of a whole much greater. The race of health, fitness, achievement, and happiness has no ending. I'm just getting started.
See you on the course!!
Jennifer Turner is a veteran television executive in New York City. A certified group fitness instructor and self-proclaimed "fitness activator," she believes that everyone has ability, with the right tools, social support, and inspiration to be able to connect to fitness in an emotional way. Her mission is to activate that ability and to inspire communities across the country. Jennifer blogs at madcoolfitness.com.