One Month To Go and Trying to Capture the Accomplishment…With a Tattoo.


Not that I had an incredibly long work week.  In fact, I was so convinced that yesterday was Monday that I started gathering the trash (our trash day is Tuesday).  But weekends are always appreciated.

Also, still haven’t completely caught up on blog stalking, but I did want to wish good luck and fast thoughts to Whitney who is running a 15K this weekend!  Good luck to you and everyone else racing this weekend!

Sorry if I missed you!  I hope to be in full stalker swing by next week!

For me, today is a bigger deal because…

It is exactly 1 month until the Chicago Marathon. 

(Why yes, I am having a mild panic attack.  Or a big one).

In just a little over a week, I will be starting my taper.  I wish I could say that I’ve matured since college and that I don’t procrastinate/cram.  But I’m not.  Marathon training started off not so easy and all I wanted was to be fast and I wasn’t fast.  Then everything improved.  3 weeks ago I felt like I had a pretty decent shot at hitting a 3:30.

Then the work craziness started and my training took a major backseat to life.  Like, way major.  It was sitting in the back row of stretch limo bus  (a school bus that stretches, because those exist outside my head, right? ).  Last week, things went pretty well (aside from the super humidity of southeast Texas), but I’m starting to have that old familiar feeling that I used to get at the end of a semester.

I’m not prepared.  It is midnight before my final exam, and while I kinda paid attention in class all semester, I didn’t start actually studying until…now.  And even though my instinct is to go crazy and drink 10 cups of coffee and stay up all night memorizing, I also know that it is a little too close to the “too damn late” point. (For the record, I always went for the 10 cups of coffee and staying up all night option, and I graduated cum laude, so I’m not really a good example).

I’m not going to get all retrospective and start throwing in the towel quite yet.  It ain’t over until it’s over. Or until the fat lady sings.  Or both.  Plus, I think this race will be a mental battle for me.  I have a month to brainwash myself into thinking that complete and utter misery is cool and means to run faster. I’ve done it before, but on much smaller scales.

But I am one month out.  And I’m equal parts terrified and excited.

And that’s all I really want to say about that.

In other related news:

I think I might get a foot tattoo after the marathon (sorry for the heart attack this just caused you, mom and dad).  At least I didn’t get that tramp stamp palm tree (don’t ask) at Zebra’s in Berkeley as a college freshman.  Right?

I know that some of you out there are the run 10 marathons every year types, and that’s cool.  Maybe one of these days I’ll be that too (AAAHAHAHAHAH!).  But I need to remember that this is a big deal.  Committing to and running 26.2 is beyond my wildest imagination, and I’ve been trying to think of a way to capture the accomplishment that extends beyond the 26.2 car magnet that I will buy.  After all, my 13.1 DID come off at a car wash.

So what better way than to permanently defile the feet that took me there, using painful methods that will likely leave me unable to walk for a few days?

(It is completely ok if you take this opportunity to try and talk me out of it.  I don’t like needles).

I’ve been trying to think of some options.  Inspirational Word? (GO!), phrase (I just kept run-ning), picture (running shoes), or symbol (does anyone know what “run” is in Chinese characters? How about a Celtic motif?). I’d like something that won’t be completely weird when I’m 80 and hanging out in the old folks home.  Old ladies can be quite judgmental of appearance

I love this saying! So appropriate for a marathon (unless you cheat).  I actually thought that this was a literally quote, but apparently it is just an Alanis Morissette lyric?

Birds fly.  Flying seems like a good metaphor for what I want my feet to do.  Plus, I think birds are pretty.  Unless I’m watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  And there was that one pigeon that tried to sabotage me when I was learning to ride a bike.

Translates to “she flies with her own wings” which is lovely.  Running is such an individual effort sport.  I will cross the finish line knowing that it was all me (and some support and advice from Aaron and you all) that got me there.

Translates to “one foot in front of the other.” Another great running mantra!

Or I could go the sassy route.  I mean, I think this anytime I get passed on the trail anyway.  Like, you wouldn’t be running so fast if YOU were on mile 19 of 20!

So I gotta ask…Do YOU have a tattoo?

HAPPY WEEKEND! This is a back down off it weekend of 12/6.

37 thoughts on “One Month To Go and Trying to Capture the Accomplishment…With a Tattoo.

  1. I really love your idea of getting a tattoo to remember your first marathon. I don’t think a medal is quite enough these days… Would love to do the same if running hadn’t ruined my feet 😉

    • Haha! Yeah, this might be a tattoo that only I get to see! Though happily my feet haven’t been too banged up. I did get a terrible blister last week, but it went away fairly quickly.

  2. I have three! I’m actually getting one after the marathon also 🙂 when I went to get a foot tattoo back in march and the guy told me how long Id have to take off of running, I decided to hold off!

  3. No tattoo…consider getting one all the time. I have a belief, if I want a tattoo, I have to think about it for a year, if it still sounds good then I will get it…alas…nothing every makes it past a month…thankfully. If I ever got tattoos on an impulse I would have a Volcom Stone under my arm (when I was 18), a shield covering my entire upper right leg (22), and possibly some sort of Comic book character (19). All incredibly stupid right? However, the only time I would immediately go out and get one would be when (if) my first child is born…no doubt, no hesitation. Marathon…pondering.

    • For your sake, I’m glad you aren’t an impulse tattooer. I mean…a Volcom logo? I think it might say something about me that I would rather get a tattoo after a first marathon than after having a child. I think I’m supposed to get jewelry with precious stones for that sort of thing!

      • Exaaaaactly…but let’s just say, I know people with waaaay more lame tattoos than a volcom logo. As for you and a marathon, go for it! Can’t wait to see what you choose. Precious stones for bringing a child into the world? Sheesssshhh…I thought my girlfriend was high maintenance!

      • It’s called a push present. And don’t you worry, when it comes time your baby mama will know all about it. My mom has a ring with all of our birthstones that she got after my sisters were born (we have some fantastic birth stones). And Danielle, your SIL’s husband is a good man!

      • My sister-in-law gets some very nice jewellry of all types from her husband every time she has a baby. She’s a mother of 4 btw. I’ve told my husband he should do the same, but we definitely won’t be having 4 kids!

  4. I have two from my rebellious youth days (that I still totally love btw) but now you have me thinking I should’ve gotten another one after the marathon!!! I love some of the above ideas… for a chinese symbol you could use the one for endurance (I just saw that on Pinterest!)

  5. You know I’ve got a tattoo! ‘Perspective’ (in Garamond font) written on my wrist, so that I can look at it as reminder to have balance in my life and to not sweat the small things. I used to want ‘Perseverance’ on the other wrist, but my tattoo hurt so much that I decided against it. I’m not a fan of people getting words or phrases in other languages or characters unless you are of that culture (my Japanese friend got her name in Hiragana, one of the Japanese characters); I just don’t think it’s personal and original, (and I know some will argue this point with me, but that’s what I think). My sister designed a huge chest tattoo with samurai swords and the Japanese rising sun to celebrate our Japanese heritage, I love that! Why not get ‘26.2 Chicago’? Or something in Spanish? The tattoo will be painful on your foot, and you might ‘run’ into issues with friction when you’re wearing shoes, which can affect the pigmentation. You could get it at the base of your achilles instead?

    • I actually think I know Latin better than Spanish! I probably won’t actually get anything in Chinese or from a culture that isn’t mine. Your sister’s chest tattoo sounds awesome! I’m in awe of some of the things people can do with a needle. I’ll have to do my foot tattoo research to find a place that won’t rub and lose pigmentation (truthfully not something I ever thought about), and not kill me in the process.

  6. It’s funny because I got a tiny tattoo when I was in my 20’s, but had it removed in my 30’s cause I thought it didn’t look professional (I was teaching kids at the time). Then two summers ago I caught the tattoo bug again and got two dandelions on my wrist and the letters om on my inside ankle. I’d love to get another, but it would have to be perfect. love that circular “only way out” around the ankle. That could work with my om.

    • That is exactly what I’m scared of! Getting something and then getting a job where it seems inappropriate. A foot tattoo is kind of hard to hide. Om is a good one!

      • I just ran with a teacher this morning (I haven’t taught in 7 years). She was saying that two teachers at her school have nose rings and one has an eyebrow piercing. Compared to that, I think an ankle tattoo is nothing! 🙂

  7. I have a tattoo (my Sorority letters on the outside of my foot below my ankle) from my college days. I kind of like the idea of getting one after your marathon. In fact now I am thinking about it too! I thought if I ever do an Ironman I would get a tattoo of that, but a marathon is a big accomplishment too!

    • That’s a fun idea for a tattoo! I bet it comes with some pretty great memories too! I think an Ironman definitely constitutes a tattoo, but I’m kind of thinking that a marathon might be the only endurance event I ever do, so I better take advantage!

  8. I’ve been thinking about a tattoo for a while, but like Dominick, I always give myself at least a good while before I think seriously about it. I’m just too indecisive… to the point where I’m afraid I’m going to be one of those people who waits til they’re 60 to get a tramp stamp. Haha. Anyway, I think birds are cool, as are exotic flowers or any phrase or poetic verse that speaks to you. If you MUST get a Chinese/Japanese/Arabic word then PLEASE get a native speaker to double check what it means. I cannot tell you how many stupid Chinese tattoos I’ve seen in my life.

    As for the marathon — YOU CAN DO IT!!! And if not, well… do it next time!

    • I’m pretty indecisive too, and it does make me nervous to know that I will have something on my body forever. I’m *hoping* that if I tie it in with something like running a marathon (as opposed to hey, I’m 18 and I can get a tattoo and nobody can stop me!), then I at least won’t regret it. And don’t worry…I probably won’t go for something in a language I don’t understand! I bet you see a lot of silly things. It reminds me of being in Brazil and seeing a little kid wearing a shirt that said “I watch Japanese porn.” I’m guessing his parents didn’t quite know what that meant.

  9. I can’t believe you’re already T-1 month until the big race! I love the idea of celebrating your accomplishment with a tattoo! JP and I always talk about what we would get if we ever get tattoos, but struggle with coming up with something meaningful that we don’t think we would regret in a few years. Marathon completion is definitely up there, though!

  10. I’ve been thinking about getting a running tattoo too. I don’t want sneakers though or the 26.4 number may sounds stupid, but I kinda want a “cute” zombie with the words “just run” by it….lol, i know sounds silly. I would put it either on my foot of calf. But that’s still a work in progress. I do already have 3 tattoos. On is on my foot, inside heel area; it’s a flower and hurt like hell, making my foot twitch the whole time. I have a semi-tramp stamp on my back (semi because it’s off to the side, and not dead center), it was the “i just turned 18 – I need a tattoo NOW” tattoo. It has faded A LOT and I want to get it altered/touched up. I also have a breast cancer ribbon on my side, under well, my boob. It’s my favorite tattoo by far.

    • You getting a zombie tattoo doesn’t even surprise me! I think that would be really cute actually, and very true to your personality! I think the breast cancer ribbon is a great one…I think things like that tend to not be regretted as much!

  11. From your latest foodie box exchanger! I often fantasize about bird tattoos, I have a 28 and 31 year old who have left the nest/sprouted wings. Thought a couple birds my next tattoo. But in regards to running and travel I have the Chinese symbol for ” journey ” on top of my right foot.. every journey begins with that first step ya know! Got in Australia while visiting son 6 years ago! PS enjoy your foodie box:-)))

  12. I love the idea of getting a tattoo to celebrate this achievement! I love the tattoos that are super simple that just read “26.2” Something about that is sort of like that “speak softly, but carry a big stick” kind of thing.

    “The only way out is through” is an Alanis Morissette lyric?? What the?! I say that all the time. Had no idea.

    • I know! I actually did a bigger search, and Robert Frost said something similar (the best way out is always through), and apparently it does come out somewhere in Harry Potter. For some reason, I was thinking it was along the lines of Alice in Wonderland or something.

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