Running a marathon — all 26.2 miles — might seem crazy to some. Running a marathon two weeks before getting married is probably certifiably insane to just about everyone.
Hello, my name is Michelle, but most people call me “crazy Mischa.”
There’s a reason for the nickname. Some weeks I run more miles than I drive, and my idea of a good time is racing through six inches of mud thicker than peanut butter. Given my love for running, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when I decided to run the Akron Marathon two weeks before walking down the aisle. However, some did question my decision…and politely tell me I’d lost my mind. My fiance, Spence, told me I’d be crazy not to run it.
Running a marathon is something I’ve done plenty of times before. Thirteen to be exact. Nine of those were on the Akron Marathon course, including my first one. So there was no way I was going to skip this year’s race. However, in running it, I was rolling the immunity dice as to whether or not I’d get a cold, and be spending the wedding day dosed up on cold medicine.
The odds were about 50/50 based on previous experience; 70/30 with rain on race day.
With Spence’s vow to marry me even with snot running down my face, I ran the race anyway. He rode a bike along side me for miles 18 to 24, and I was definitely hurting a lot during the last 10k. My legs were screaming from going out too fast (a bad habit!), and feet were so swollen I could see my big toes poking through the top of my shoes. Spence knew this, and before he left me to ride ahead to the finish, he said the only thing I remember hearing for most of the morning: “Two miles, two weeks! You got this.” Maybe it’s strange, but that was just the motivation I needed.
Planning a wedding is challenging enough. Planning a wedding while training for a marathon (and running a company) was an undertaking I never thought possible. And I was nearing the finish line for both.
That day, I ran my fastest time for the course…in all the years I’ve been running the race. And this weekend I will walk down the aisle cold-free — unless I get sick in the next four days! — towards the only person I want by my side in the marathon of life. Fortunately for me, he understands that he’s marrying a runner and everything that comes with it…including the need to do an 18k trail race through Tuscany during our honeymoon.
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