Sunday, October 27, 2013


Ten years ago this weekend, I completed something I never thought I would do: I had no real intention of doing, but am so glad I did. I ran the Washington D.C. Marine Corps Marathon: 42.2 km or 26.1 miles.

In January of 2003, I joined a running group called Jeansmarines. Their purpose was to train a group of people to run and complete the Marine Corps marathon. Heck, what did I know about running a marathon? I hadn't run since I was in high school, and even then, I only ran under a mile, under duress.

Elated, exhausted and empowered!
Little did I know when I went to the first meeting on a dreary grey wet Saturday morning in January, that I was about to embark on one of the most challenging and empowering experiences of my life. I formed bonds with a group of ladies that have held up ten years later. Hours of training, over a nine month period, allowed for a lot of life story swapping to happen. We were at our best and our worst on those training runs. We were vulnerable and we were cranky. We did not judge, we listened, we laughed, we shared, we encouraged, we chanted that we would finish upright and smiling, we were determined that we would beat the dreaded bus that could possibly scoop us up at the bridge on race day, we had a sense of humor over this crazy task at hand, we shared well deserved post run breakfasts, hill trained in the heat, ran in the rain, speed trained in the dark and shared in the final glory on race day in October.

There is something about completing a task, few take on, that allowed me to call myself an elite athlete, for a day anyway, call myself a marathoner for life and have such long lasting effects. I proved more to myself, than I could have thought possible. I found out just how much grit and determination I can muster up when I'm motivated and challenged, which has held in good stead. What I also found out, was that without that group of women at my side on those nine months of training, I couldn't have done it. I may not have been able to untie my running shoes after I ran across the finish line, but I could smile and know that that moment couldn't be taken away from me. We all shared in the glory at the post run dinner, all sporting our medals and lifting a glass of champagne surrounded by our families and friends that were our support system and cheerleaders.

Thank you Jean Marmoreo, the Jean in jeansmarines,  for help empower me on October 26 2003.

1 comment:

  1. My dear Kathi; You have no idea how much pride and joy I felt when I got to the various corners or roadways where you would be running by. I remember frantically getting to Georgetown, and waiting in the Four Seasons Hotel, where you would be passing, as I got there earlier than I thought I would. Next stop, The Smithsonian. Find the right subway and get there as fast as I could. Nearly missed you there, but saw you run right in front of me. I knew you would not give up. You had talked about that bridge, at the end of the marathon that was the "killer" for many, but as I got to the finish , and waited for you to cross the bridge, my heart was jumping out of my skin. But, I knew you were coming. You would not give up, and I knew that. There you were; crossing the finish line and your name announced on the PA system, if my memory is right. But, definately you made it. I thought to myself, what a kid. You just would not give up. Your determination was amazing, because I could see the pain that you were in, which you had to deal with later. What a moment for you. What stregth you displayed in the training and in the success of completing the race. I was so proud and happy for you, on that day, ten years ago.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.