I think I realized that I was done a long time ago. Maybe it was right when I got to college, maybe it was a few weeks after. It wasn't about the shins anymore; in fact, my legs felt awesome, thanks to a new pair of custom made orthotics. I simply fell far behind on training. Way too far behind. College took up all of my time and running hit the back burner. So today, I'm bummed about not participating in the race. But I'm thrilled that so many others are doing it. I really am.
If anything, dropping out of the marathon has put things into perspective. Months ago, the marathon was everything to me. I thought that if I finished those 26.2 miles, I would have that "ah-ha!" life moment when everything just clicks. I wanted a big moment like that, more than anything. When I had to take a few weeks off from running, I was absolutely crushed. I cried. A lot. If I couldn't run the Chicago Marathon, then what else was I good for?
Looking back, I see the error in that thinking. I don't need to run 26.2 miles to prove myself. God has a plan for me. Running a marathon might not be a part of it.
But I am still thankful. Training for this race taught me how to run. (Read my success story here!) And when I got sidelined, I found new loves: biking and swimming. Now, I'm itching to do another triathlon. Finishing one of those is an amazing, amazing feeling.
I guess that's just God. This is how He works, giving and taking away. Who knows? Maybe, someday, I'll run those 26.2 miles. I still have my Team World Vision jersey folded up in my drawer for motivation.
It's all up to God.