My Marathon High Experience, By Monica Macias

Me and my fellow Marathon High team mates after Run for The Water, 2013

Me and my fellow Marathon High team mates after Run for The Water, 2013

Five, four, three, two,
and one: go! The race had officially begun, and I was running against the
clock, others, and myself. With at least 20,000 runners
,
what allowed me to stand out? Thirty students of Marathon High started the
marathon and I was one of them. Of course, for every runner all that mattered
at the time were themselves and their doubts and fears of the task in front of
them.  Was I capable of running 26.2
miles? How long would it take me to run a marathon? Would I be able to complete
the whole thing? My heart was beating as I anxiously waited for the clock to
start. I took my first step, then my second step. Yet, it was just the
beginning. I still had twenty-six point two miles to go.

            Knowing
what I’ve put myself into, I tried to stay positive throughout the whole
journey. Come on, keep breathing and running it’s all going
to be worth it
, I kept repeating to myself. It took me six months to
train for this marathon and I was not about to quit. If I quit,
what would I have been training for then
? Luckily, I had two running
buddies with me and we encouraged each other to not give up.

Training...

Training…

            It
all began on September 10, 2012, when our cross country coach Lantzy,
introduced the Marathon High Program to us. Our amazing Marathon High coaches
were Scott MacPherson and Julianne Masciana, who are professional runners. They
were coaching us through Rogue Running and they wanted to make a change to
teenagers who didn’t believe they were capable of completing a marathon at a
young age. I signed up to participate because I wanted to be able to say “I’m
capable of doing anything!” because I had all the courage and dedication to
show up at the starting line and complete the marathon. We trained three times
a week, including two days after school and a Saturday long run.

            It
was hard at the beginning of training because my dad didn’t believe I was
capable of running a marathon, even so, more than six miles. I didn’t bother
arguing with him because I knew it was all up to me of how far I wanted to go.
My mom was a great supporter and I must say that this experience allowed our
mother to daughter relationship to grow. 

I’m proud to say that I
completed three 5k’s, one six miler, one ten miler, one 30k, 2 half-marathons,
and one full marathon. It was incredible going home with my bib number each
race day and the medals that I been awarded and showing it to my dad. It was
unbelievable seeing his reaction, he looked like he had just seen a ghost. At
that time forward, he never doubted me again and he even began running with me.

            Not
only did I win a medal, completed a marathon, but also had gained the
self-confidence that I didn’t have before. I was able to inspire other runners
to keep training to get the perfect time or distance they wanted to achieve. I
was interviewed twice by a radio station and video commercial in order to get
more students involved. It was amazing being able to be such an inspiration to
others and I plan to beat my new goal time for the marathon that I will be
completing in this upcoming year! Anything is possible if you just put all your
effort into it and believe in it. With this experience I will be able to help
others out and train to become a better runner. Not only did this program help
me train for the marathon, but also meet incredible people who changed my life.

            This is the second year
I’m part of Marathon High and I can already feel myself improving my time. “Why
would you join again this year if you already did once?” you might ask.
Whenever an opportunity comes up, I take the chance. My goal this year is to
beat my marathon time by at least thirty minutes and I know it’s possible if I
put work towards it. Many people believe that running a marathon is crazy, but
trust me, it’s possible and worth it. I’m thankful for having the wonderful
coaches that have been training us; my parents for supporting me, Devon for
pacing me, and Lenora for helping me challenge myself to beat my last marathon
time.  Put on your running shoes and
start training now! It’s never too late to try something new, especially if it
brings many benefits to your health and life.

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