First Marathon Complete

I love running. I’ve found it to be one of the only places where exactly zero shits will be given about things that really do not matter. I think as we get older, that special place gets harder to find. I found it, and I think I’m obsessed now. I call it “climbing into the tower of iron will” and once you’re in the tower, it feels like you can just keep going forever.

A year ago I stepped onto the treadmill. More to watch movies than work out, but somehow, a year on, I’ve completed my first marathon here in Johnstown. Typical finicky weather up here worried me all week, but race time was perfect, 42, cloudy - the rain is just hitting now as I write this - and the gorgeous fall colors are in full western Pennsylvania effect.

I loved this race. I can’t say enough about it: It was well planned, the route was picturesque and the people were all super nice. I’m not sure why they don’t advertise it more, and not sure why more people don’t run it, but it being a small race was perfectly appealing to me - it is said that this race is more about you vs. the course, and I believe this to be true. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers.

A couple of shout outs:

High-five to the guy in pajamas at mile two, blasting Renegade at 11 and generally getting the crowd pumped up. There is no better way to start a race on a Steeler Sunday.

Hugs to the massive basset hound at mile four that barked me on. I ran the next three miles for you, Fred.

Hvala to the cheering folks at the Serbian Orthodox church on St. Clair.

Thanks to Shannon Barry for upping my training and kicking my ass plenty of Wednesday mornings at 0500.

Thanks to Fr. George Fr. George L. Livanos and Heidi Hadsell Surunis for continuing to help me find my glow.

Thanks to Chad Kurtz for pushing me on when training got really hard.

Thanks to Sergio Radovcic for inspiring me to try things I once thought impossible.

So many thanks to all my parents coming out to holla when I needed it most.

Thanks to Bella for the tiny Hello Kitty band-aid that I looked at every time I glanced down at my watch.

Special thanks to the best crew in the world, OG Frank Cascino and my #1 crew captain and training coach Michelle Kentros Updyke. XOXO

Yes, I’m still going H.A.M. up here, but I figured while the feeling is good, I’m registering for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile race in DC June 1st. Hopefully Sergio, you’ll be there. I’m also wanting to do Asheville 3/12 Chad. Lately, I’m having this weird desire to run a 100 mile race, so hopefully these are just steps in that direction, God willing. The only thing in life that I find certain is “can’t”. If I can’t, I certainly won’t. So in 2012, I’m done with can’t. I hope you all are too!

XOXOXO to all from the flood city. Sorry for the long post.

Today’s official time: 3:52:12, third in my age division.