- Stephanie McDuffie
- Hello I am Stephanie M. Freeman and I have created this to let everyone walk with me through my journey I am taking to accomplish my dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.Running is such a passion of mine. When I was 14 years old I experienced a life changing event that gave me this passion. I suffered a brain injury from a car accident that left me in a wheelchair & with no hope to ever walk again. For 2 months of my life I prayed for my miracle, and with strength and determination I proved all my doctors & nurses wrong... I walked again!When I run now a days I let this memory drive me harder than ever to be the best person/runner I can be! So therefore I know this goal of mine WILL happen for me and I will make most sure of it!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
This weekend is my marathon, The Jacksonville Bank Marathon where I will be attempting my all-famous Boston qualification. Tonight I am sitting here thinking on all the events, training and feelings I have felt through the journey I have taken to get here.
Boston has always been a big dream for me. I can remember back in my early Fitzgerald era running talking it over with Frank about the strict qualifications. I knew back then that it would take serious dedication and hard work to get there. I am a firm believer in timing. I have always believed that there is a perfect time and place for just about anything to occur, and when I was in that time of my life that simply wasn't the right time or place. This year I have moved mountains to make this training happen!
I began this marathon season coming back from an injury. I trained for 15 weeks prior to this for a different marathon. On my last long run of that season I pulled my soleous muscle. I put as much heart into that training as I did this one. I recall standing on the side of the road crying waiting on my mom to pick me up at mile 16.5, I think it was... This was a horrible experience for me when you put your heart into something and it is taken away and there is absolutely nothing you can do. When something like this happens to me my mind goes into overdrive. What I did was called up all my useful resources, or qualified friends I like to call them, that have worked out with me for years and got a workout to keep my fast twitch muscles activated through this injury. I then threw myself into my gym to avoid the depression that comes along with runner’s injuries. I received a lot of criticism for being at the gym so often, but this is how I refocus my energy from not being on those roads I loved so much.
I successfully got through this injury and I am thankful I had those friends to help me through that hard time. Then I began my actual running and training for Jacksonville Bank. In the meantime I also started working on my running blog. I decided to do this after I spoke with a good friend of mine who thought it was a perfect idea for me since I had so many years behind me and such an amazing story along with it. Since all of this has began my life hasn't slowed down any. I wake up each day and work harder than I have ever in my life. If I am not running the roads I am blogging or contacting running agencies all over the world for sponsorships. And have I mentioned I work a full time job and have a child as well? Most days I don't have the time for the nervous breakdown I truely deserve. But I will continue on because I know in my heart this is the direction my life is intended to go and I believe in moving toward your goals more than anything.
With all the hard work I have to do, I did realize that you can't depend on other people as often as you think. I caught myself this year being too dependant on others, when I consider myself a very independent single mother. Through my many hard knocks of life I have learned to roll with the punches without loosing my focus. I was raised in a family that made this quality clear to me when I was younger. My mentality is when the stress is high and times are tough you push harder and things work out for the best. I think this is what makes me such a strong runner. I did find that not everyone shared this same mentality I had. I learned the harsh reality that most of us are born with the strength of nails but don't know how to handle this type of stress or hard work.I even found that some enjoy seeing you injured and unable to perform at your best. Either way it goes though, I learned from them all and none of them stopped me.
Here I am, down to the week of my marathon to qualify for Boston. My plans were to have a friend pace me through to get my BQ. She has developed an injury and has handed it to me to do by myself. I am not at all intimidated by this. I feel I have put in my hard training and I am ready. I have overcome many different obstacles that would normally break my focus but I have beat them all. I am ready mentally, with no doubts at all. This training has been such a reality check for me. I discovered while doing it all,what a strong individual physically and mentally I actually am. Even more so than I thought before! As I approach the starting line of that marathon I will remember exactly how strong I am and hold my head up high and push forward towards this goal with everything I have!!!!