Marathon Medal Monday

Today we have a guest post from my friend Renee (@rgibson0316) who started running about the same time I did but in a different city.  It’s been fun to watch her progress over the past couple years on facebook.  When she started celebrating Medal Mondays, I knew I needed to share it with y’all.  Hope you enjoy as much as I do!

If someone would have told me 2 years ago when I ran my first half marathon that getting a medal for running 13.1 miles would be as gratifying as it was I think I would have laughed in their face!  In fact, a friend that I was running with one morning actually laughed in my face when I mentioned to her that I always sport my marathon medal the Monday after a race.  Not only did she think that it was funny but she also said that she never does that!  It was baffling to me that one would not wear their accomplishment proudly for the world to see!  After all, you trained for months, sacrificed time with your family/friends and made a commitment to start and finish something that the average Joe would consider crazy.  Needless to say, after a little bit of sass and explanation about why I thought it was most certainly a good idea, the concept of “Marathon Medal Monday” was born!

I have successfully completed 5 half marathons and on December 4th, my first full marathon.  Instead of Medal Monday, I decided that it needed to be Marathon Medal Week!  I talked a whole lot of smack before this marathon about my medal (what it would look like, how heavy it would be, what kind of  ribbon would be associated with the medal, etc. etc.) and it became the running joke that I couldn’t possibly wear my medal all week.  I always do what I say I’m gonna do so I knew I couldn’t back out.  I would be lying if I said that I was totally confident about wearing my medal all week and what this would say about me to my family and friends but I was committed as soon as I laid eyes on the bling!  When I saw the finisher medal for the marathon at the expo, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!  Not only was the medal substantial in weight and beautifully constructed, the ribbon had exceeded my expectations!  When the shadow box guy started to hand me the medal I backed away for fear of jinxing my performance!  I didn’t want to touch it until I had earned it!  And when the moment came for me to wear my accomplishment around my neck you better believe I did – ALL WEEK!  I also learned a lot from this mini experiment as this was not intended to be something that would spark any kind of crazy “movement!”

I learned that:

  1. People were really excited to see the medal and actually found me to see it in person!
  2. I felt great about my accomplishment and loved sharing it with those around me!
  3. I got to talk about my accomplishment with people who were actually interested and I didn’t feel guilty or that I had “sucked” them into the conversation!
  4. Those who saw the medal mentioned that they were inspired and motivated to run because they didn’t realize you get such cool “prizes” for running!
  5. My friends didn’t get tired of seeing it all week!  (They actually called me out when I wasn’t wearing it and waiting for me to post the picture on FB!)
  6. You CAN make a finisher medal and tech shirt “work appropriate!”

The bottom line is that the medal is awesome.  One week, much less one day is definitely worth celebrating the accomplishment that took so long to achieve.  All too often we are worried about what other people think of us and frankly if it looks bad that we are tooting our own horn.  Running has changed my life for the better and I am committed to sharing my success with others.  I get up every morning at the crack of dawn to live a healthy lifestyle and that should be celebrated – even if it’s in the form of a medal!  And if it inspires someone there’s nothing wrong with that!  Since I have started Marathon Medal Monday and I have mentioned it to a lot of my friends who are runners/bikers, they have started sharing their medals with me the day after a race and posting a picture on FB!  If anything, it’s a nice piece of bling that renders a ton of compliments and let’s face it – we all love a good compliment every now and then!

Renee and her Marathon Medal--so proud of you!!!