So here I am on the other side of the world in Okinawa, Japan, roughly 7,600 miles away from Washington, D.C., and training for the MCM Virtual. This will be my fourth Marine Corps Marathon (I’m well on my way to the 5 MCMs required for the runners Club! A lifetime goal I have for myself). I find it ironic that while it is still “The people’s marathon,” due to the COVID restrictions, many, if not all of us, have been training solo and will also be racing solo. My friends who convinced me to run this race are stationed in Hawaii and Virginia- not exactly a hop skip and a jump away. For many of us, we will need to dig deep and find our mental resolve on race day. There will not be aid stations every few miles, cheering crowds, friends to look for at specific mile markers, hilarious signs that remind us to laugh and keep trucking on, and no fancy photo finish. It will just be us, the pavement and our steely determination.
This year, I know that Stroller Warriors and fellow runners all over the world are facing the same inner demons. The little voice in your head that tells you “UGH, just stop.” The voice that says, “No one will know.” The temptation to go back to sleep or call someone early for a ride home. I think this year of 2020, there has been an insane number of excuses to not get up and run- kids need help with their schooling, I’m in ROM (Restriction of Movement), I have to go to work, I have to do EVERYTHING now, plus more!
This race may not look the way we want it to, we may not get the time we wanted, but we will put one foot in front of the other and complete this race knowing that we can accomplish hard things. This year has tested us a lot. It has forced us to slow down. It has flipped our world upside down. It has even changed the way we run and possibly changed how often we get to run.
This likely has not been a perfect training cycle for any of us. WE ARE HUMAN. We stumble and fall. We trip along the way. But must remember that we are military spouses, we are runners, we are Stroller Warriors!. We’ve been adapting and overcoming since day one.
MCM 50kers, Marathoners, 10Kers, as you lace up your shoes and set out to accomplish your race distance be sure to listen for me in your head! I’ll be cheering for you! So get out there, if only to show yourself and 2020 how incredible you are!
As they say in Japan, Ganbatte! (Do your best!)