A Family Affair – Marie’s First Marathon

Image 1_copyToday it is hard to fathom that there was a time pre Title IX (1972) when running, like most sports, was considered unladylike and females were not allowed to join in. I grew up dreaming of one day running a marathon: alas, injury thwarted that goal, so I was especially thrilled that my niece became a runner. No one cheered louder (long distance) when on Sunday, October 20th, Marie stood at the starting line of her first marathon, the IMT Des Moines Marathon 2013. This blog is dedicated to her and to all those marathoners out there.  Run, run, run for those of us who can’t.

What compelled you to train for a marathon?  When I ran on the varsity cross-country team in high school we handed out water at the Twin Cities Marathon. I thought those marathoners were insane but SO COOL!  It’s been on my bucket list ever since.  I missed competitive sports, so to keep the up with my competitive side I need motivation and racing is just that. In June, I ran a half marathon with my cousin, Kayla, and her husband, Steve. As soon as we crossed that finish line she said, ‘We’re signing up for a marathon.’ I thought she was nuts.  But here we are.. marathoners.

What all does marathon training entail?  It is a huge time commitment to training that includes a combination of easy run, speed workout, tempo pace, and then gradually building up to 15, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 21-mile long runs.

What motivated you to maintain your rigorous training schedule?  I was NOT going to be that lameo, who didn’t finish something I set out to do.  If I didn’t train there was no way I would cross that finish line. My friends rarely saw me; I didn’t go out on weekdays or weekends. This marathon became my life.

What kept you going in the marathon when you knee started hurting and you got tired? I didn’t train for 4 months for nothing. I never had any pain while training so when my knee started throbbing after mile 10, I was P.O.ed, but I kept going because NOTHING was going to stop me.(I even texted my mom for Advil and I NEVER take drugs!).  Kayla and I actually ran faster in our last 10k than our first 10k.

Why do you like to run?  I get a runners high crossing the finish line!  Running is my ‘me’ time, I get to think about whatever I want, whenever I want, OUTSIDE!

Completing a marathon takes a huge commitment from the athlete, but Marie credits her family with having the biggest impact. Family – aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, sibling and especially my mom and dad – showed support by biking with me, bringing water, telephoning with encouragement, sending text messages, offering a massage gift card and nine Carlsons cheered us on throughout the whole 26.2 miles. Image 3_copy

What advice would you give anyone thinking about running a marathon?  ANYONE CAN DO IT!  SERIOUSLY.  Yeah, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  And my biggest accomplishment (including college).  BUT if you train for it, you can do it.  A lot of the training is physically draining but most of it is mental.  If you can stop saying you ‘can’t’ and start saying ‘I can’, you will!

What have you benefited from most from your sport?  Running a marathon was my dream.  And I lived my dream. Yeah, I had a lot of help, BUT I RAN IT!  Nobody picked me up and carried me, I ran the whole thing on my own two feet.  After college I was just bumming around and not exercising.  Now I have a pretty good reason to get off the couch and exercise and feel good about myself.

Future goals?   Kayla and I wanted to finish it in under 5 hours; we ran 26.2 miles in 4 hours, 38 minutes.  I just wanted to run a marathon; now I want to run another. John Pupkes, also a marathoner, was the first person to run with me on a long run at the cabin and has encouraged me from day one! I will run the Twin Cities Marathon with him this fall and make it in under 4 hours.

Image 2_copyAnything else you would like to add?  WELL. I CAN’T WALK NORMAL. I have never been in so much pain.  I’ve never been through childbirth of course, but this is pretty darn painful.  My knee feels like it is tearing apart and my ankle feels broken.  BUT I’m going to run another one and another one and another…  OH AND I COULD NOT HAVE DONE WITH THIS WITHOUT MY ENTIRE CARLSON AND MCKINZIE FAMILY!

Run Ri Ri Run!

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Posted in family, health, sport.

30 Comments

  1. What a thrill for Marie. Congratulations! You will always remember that you reached this amazing, difficult goal. That will give you power and strength for the rest of your life. (And consider seeing a doctor about that knee.)

    • Thanks for sending Marie your support from the land of sunshine. She will need that extra dose of fortitude to continue running throughout the snowy, cold winters in the North.

  2. Congratulations to Marie! You show how running a marathon is so much more than just running. You are pushing limits, and living out your dreams as well as showing us all that any goal worth achieving involves hard work. Great life lessons. I’ve been in the cheering section along the route for my daughter and her husband as they run in marathons so I know the excitement you speak about. Best wishes and I agree with Lynne, get that knee checked out!

    • It is so true that running a marathon is more than just running. Even from Marie’s early childhood, we saw her tenacity to succeed at whatever she set her mind to do. I will tell her the nurse echoes her mom’s suggestion, “Get that knee checked out.”

  3. What am awesome post about an amazing person accomplishing and inspiring goal! I am so proud of my sissy and had so much fun cheering her on. Congrats Marie!

    • Marie has always known she has the world’s best lil’ sis on her side and your were not only there for the big event, but also helped her train before it.

  4. What am awesome post about an amazing person accomplishing and inspiring goal! I am so proud of my sissy and had so much fun cheering her on. Congrats Marie!

    • Marie has always known she has the world’s best lil’ sis on her side and your were not only there for the big event, but also helped her train before it.

  5. Marie is such an inspiration, Pat! I can see how proud you are of her. Setting a goal like running a marathon, training extensively, and then actually running — and coming in under the time limit she’d set — well, all that is a good parallel for Life itself, huh? And I guess it doesn’t hurt that most marathoners (at least, the ones I know) remain slender their entire lives! Congrats, and best wishes for the next. And the next….

  6. Awesome work and love the ‘me time’ reference. I have never run a marathon as I have destroyed my knees by dancing over the years, but my twin brother ran many… His commitment to training was unbelievable and he was diabetic from the age of 13. I admire anyone and everyone’s tenacity and endurance to run a marathon! I will stick with my short distance running each week, but I found my physiomed knee supports have been wonderful – I would recommend them to anyone. Once your niece has had someone look at her knees (an osteopath?), ask her to try the physiomed knee supports on both knees for balanced support. Hugs, Rach xx

    • I never knew that your twin ran marathons. With your own determination, you could DANCE a marathon. Thanks for tips on the physiomed knee supports, I will pass it on to Marie and also check it out for myself. My ol’ basketball knees gave out decades ago. ha

      • Ah yes, John was so fit and strong – all 6 foot 2 of him… It’s how I like to remember him running all those marathons… Good luck with the knee supports, an osteopath recommended them to me, so I am passing the good energy on. Miss ya, love Rach xx

  7. Yes, so proud of niece Marie for her perseverance, commitment and sheer gutsiness. Such a great example for all of us…that any dream we want to pursue in life begins with taking the first step (or in this case….running the first step.) Way to go, Marie!!!!!

    • Sue, you were part of that extended family that help Marie reach her goal. Not only by supporting her by riding the bike beside her while training, but also in your role as an aunt guiding her each step of the way to adulthood with your love.

  8. Yes, so proud of niece Marie for her perseverance, commitment and sheer gutsiness. Such a great example for all of us…that any dream we want to pursue in life begins with taking the first step (or in this case….running the first step.) Way to go, Marie!!!!!

    • Sue, you were part of that extended family that help Marie reach her goal. Not only by supporting her by riding the bike beside her while training, but also in your role as an aunt guiding her each step of the way to adulthood with your love.

  9. Sis,
    On behalf of Marie and All those INsane Marathoners, Thank You for writing this blog! It takes sacrifice, determination, commitment, support, mental toughness and just enough “craziness” to set a goal like this and then conquering it! We are very very proud of Marie, Kayla and Steve and inspired by all those Marathoners whether it be in the running world or overcoming what feels like “never-ending” life challenges!
    A huge muchos gracias to your support this summer and then long distance support for our Marie! She was surrounded with love, belief, support and strength to get her across that finish line! We all appreciate the positive blog comments. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Ah yes, John was so fit and strong – all 6 foot 2 of him… It’s how I like to remember him running all those marathons… Good luck with the knee supports, an osteopath recommended them to me, so I am passing the good energy on. Miss ya, love Rach xx

  11. I think I was as excited for Marie (& Kayla)as they were! I was also screaming and cheering long distance. And Hannah allowed me to keep close tabs. So proud of my nieces!

    • Yes, Mary, and I know you wish you were out there running right along side them. Wishing you a speedy recovery, so that you can be back in action real soon.

  12. I think I was as excited for Marie (& Kayla)as they were! I was also screaming and cheering long distance. And Hannah allowed me to keep close tabs. So proud of my nieces!

    • Yes, Mary, and I know you wish you were out there running right along side them. Wishing you a speedy recovery, so that you can be back in action real soon.

  13. Hi Pat. Just what is it with you McKinzie’s and athletics!?! 🙂 Congrats to Marie and cheers for planning her next marathon.

    Blessings,
    Clara.

  14. Pat, I just now read this blog post – thank you so much for doing this! It was quite an experience and so much fun to run with Marie. Thanks for cheering all of us on!

    • Oh yes, Kayla, I was your number one fan overseas. What a great accomplishment for all 3 of you and what a wonderful lifelong memory you created. I just love the photo of you and Marie crossing the finish line holding hands. Bravo!

  15. Pat, I just now read this blog post – thank you so much for doing this! It was quite an experience and so much fun to run with Marie. Thanks for cheering all of us on!

    • Oh yes, Kayla, I was your number one fan overseas. What a great accomplishment for all 3 of you and what a wonderful lifelong memory you created. I just love the photo of you and Marie crossing the finish line holding hands. Bravo!

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