7 Continents: Final Reflections

Even now that it's been almost a month since Morocco, it still doesn't seem like it is real. I can't quite believe that I am done with my 7 continents. I ran my first marathon in 2009- so that's 8 years I have been working on this goal.

I can't think of anything else in my life that I have worked towards for that amount of time. That's twice as long as college! I have that post marathon letdown, only multiplied. On the one hand, I am so glad that it is over. But I am left feeling aimless and wondering what is next for me.

What have I learned from the experience?

As cheesy as it sound, you really can do anything you put your mind to. I am not a natural runner. Running is so hard for me. I am not rich. Yet, I managed to run 8 marathons in 8 years on 7 different continents.

Having long term goals is so important. It is the big picture that keeps you going. There were so many times when I wanted to quit. In fact, I announced publicly that I was quitting two different times. But, as I thought about how much work I'd already put in and how close I was to finishing, I changed my mind.

with my Mom in Antarctica
The harder it is, the more it will mean. Training for, and running a marathon, never got easier for me. It scared me, humbled me, broke me, every single time. As a result, crossing that finishing line (quickly followed by sitting down and eating something) meant so much.

Support is vital. While I did all my training runs and races by myself, I was never alone. My family and friends met me with water along the way, listed to my endless running talk, rubbed my sore muscles, and encouraged me when I was ready to give up. They traveled all over the world with me.

I feel like I should have some deep, meaningful closing thought here, but I don't. It was a lot of work, but it was also a wonderful adventure. Follow your dreams friends.