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Go Jonnie Goooooo!

Jonathan Haber

I DID IT - I ran a Marathon ✅ I’ll admit the pain I feel from after this race is miserable but I can’t stop smiling because I “EARNED IT”! Everyone has their own journey but here is mine. These are the big life lessons that will always stick with me from these 114 days of training… LIFE IS A MARATHON... (this post also one.. debatable haha 😉)

NEVER GIVE UP: In all sincerity this race and training did not go at all the way I planned. I had trained up to 17 miles as my longest run before 26.2... 6 weeks before the race I started getting sharp pains in my left knee making it extremely painful to run or even walk. I rested 2 weeks hoping I’d get back to 100% but nothing changed. I decided to see a knee specialist who ultimately recommended, “Sit this one out, next time though”. That was not something I was willing to accept... This was MY DREAM to run a Marathon and I wasn’t willing unexpected circumstances dictate my life. I requested some cortisone, strong anti-inflammatories and did every possible physical therapy routine for knees I could research. Without the ability to run I would exercise on the rowing machines and bike for 3hours plus each Sunday. Race day came and I was nervous how I’d be able to run 9 more miles over 17 when that alone was extremely taxing... It was 42 days since I’d run at all over 3 miles… However, I was determined to not quit no matter what! Took off at 6AM, the first 11 miles were consistent but I could feel my legs getting fatigued. By mile 12 I popped some Advil and kept going strong. 13.1 miles comes around and the swarm of 25,000 people I had run with splits into the finish line for half-marathoners & the then the full continuation. This is where things changed unexpectedly, I did not realize 23,000 people would run the Miami half-marathon, while only 2000 finish the full. As I approached 13 miles I could see the joy in everyone’s eyes around me, they were about to finish. Here I am thinking, “Damn this is when my real race really begins…"

TO ACHIEVE YOU MUST BELIEVE: There were no more crowds of people cheering me on or even that many people running beside me. By now, the sun was up high in the air and humidity was strong. By mile 16 my thighs were beginning to cramp and I ended up stopping for salt pills and pain relief cream for the legs, my body was tired but I knew I could still push strong. Mile 18 came and my arms began to cramp, I’d take some electrolyte gel and run with my arms straight downward for half a mile looking like an ape until the cramps were gone. I was now pretty tired but still mentally put together, but the knee was certainly as painful as my Dr. warned. Things took a turn at mile 22… by now my legs were so heavy and my body had sweat out all the salts that I couldn’t stop cramping uncontrollably in my calves, thighs and arms… Now I began to hit the wall mentally when I got a text “way to go you’re 30 minutes away from the finish!."

COULDN'T DO IT ALONE: Those last 4 miles were truly the only ones I recall with most vivid detail. I could feel blood in my right sock because my toenail was ripping out. I was limp jogging and then power walking with as long strides possible alternating every 3 to 4 minutes. Knee pain was level 10 and I was singing out loud “THIS IS THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!”. I truly did not give a f*ck what I looked or sounded like, I was willing to do whatever I could of to finish. Mile 24 I fully hit the mental wall everyone told me about, it came much later than most people had warned me. I couldn’t go on any longer alone … Literally no one was on the highway to cheer to keep going and I actually began to tear. I called Andy Weiss on my phone for help, I needed encouragement and he pushed me when I really was struggling. “YOU CAN DO THIS JONNIE, YOU ARE KILLING IT!, DON'T GIVE UP" I used the positivity to push me! I thought of every single person who made a donation to Team Friendship believing in me! for the kids who had been helped. This propelled me to the point where my family and friends would be waiting for me at mile 25.5 to boost my spirits again. I shouted as loud as I could and pushed with every last thing that I could manage. I waved my arms to the crowd to get loud and nearly fell because of how tired my legs were. There were 150 meters in front of me and the finish line and I for the first time in about 45 minutes I ran until I crossed that finish line!

If I ever watch another Gatorade commercial and hear, "is it in you?" I now know that answer...

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