Sooo… tomorrow I defend my dissertation. WHAT?!
I wanted to make a few materials available here, for purposes of accessibility for those attending my defense. Enjoy!
Transcript of my Defense Talk
Defense Talk Slides (PowerPoint)
In other news, I ran a marathon this morning. I ran clear to Canada and back with my friend Ann! Check out the view as we approached (and then ran over) the Ambassador Bridge:
Ambassador Bridge at Sunrise: Detroit International Marathon
Easily the best way to spend the morning before my defense — celebrating the marathon that has been this PhD with a marathon tour of Detroit!
I ran a marathon on Saturday. Never thought I’d do that.
at the finish line
I know some people in my life think I am more than a little bit crazy. That there are better ways for me to have spent hours of my life this fall. That I’m even more crazy for spending a good part of today signing up for new races. That just because I can doesn’t mean I should.
And that’s fine. They can think that. I did this for me, but just in case it’s important for me to have other reasons to do incredible things like run marathons, here are 26.2 other reasons why I spent 4 hours, 32 minutes, and 11 seconds putting one foot in front of the other.
Wanna know why I ran a marathon?
I ran a marathon because:
- Of the free T-shirt. Ha, ok, not really. The shirt is pretty nice, though.
- I signed up for the damn thing. Early, so I couldn’t duck out.
- My mom taught me to stick to my commitments. Like I said, I was stuck.
- My hip was not broken. I thought it was for a couple weeks there.
- That first 5k was awesome. August, 2011. Big House, Big Heart. I’ll never forget it.
- Of Boston. The attacks last year left some racers incapable of ever racing again, and shattered a community of people who, despite being perfect strangers, love and support one another.
- My first year exam pushed me out the front door. One day in May, I just couldn’t stand it any more. I needed to get the hell outta the house and away from that exam.
- My sister looks up to me. Sorta. She’s taller than me, but you get the point.
- Of graduate school. ‘Nuf said.
- I like jelly beans. And I bring them with me as fuel. And it’s the only time I don’t feel guilty about shoving candy down my gullet.
- Of the silence. Those 5:30am runs, when all I can hear is my shoes on the pavement.
- I needed a break from taking care of the puppy. Imagine if I had kids?
- In middle school I dropped out of track because I was a wimp. And a whiner. And that’s not ok.
- Of PT. My physical therapist spent a lot of time fixing me when I broke myself last year.
- In one night, 175 perfect strangers supported me. No, “likes” to my Facebook page about my running shouldn’t matter. But dammit, they do, especially two days away from the starting line.
- I like to run. Seriously.
- Lots of people can’t. I’m not talking about people who won’t. I’m talking about people who wish they could, but because of crippling injuries and disabilities, actually can’t.
- Of all the shoes. They need replaced every 500 miles. And I love shoe shopping.
- It was for a good cause. Indianapolis public schools, to be specific.
- Of the dude in mile 25 handing out water. He looked me in the eye when I looked like death and told me I looked like a million bucks and I could do this.
- My dissertation is not allowed to take over my life. It just isn’t.
- My friend Melody supported me. Early, often, and with a smile, even when I was slowing her down. She sent me a link to the registration for that first race.
- My friend Tonya inspired me. We started running around the same time. When I could barely go six miles, she was running half marathons.
- I love to eat. A lot.
- Of my husband. He inspires me. He pushes me. He amazes me.
- I didn’t think I could. Multiple times in the past few months, I have doubted my ability to go the distance.
And reason number 26.2: BECAUSE I CAN. And as it turns out, that IS a reason to do this particular thing. As a blogger/runner friend of mine points out, the marathon journey isn’t at all about the race, it’s about what you have overcome and what you have promised to yourself:
Completing a marathon is not about the race itself, but what the training has come to represent. The race is simply a culmination and a celebration of that individual’s responsibility to themselves.
So yeah, I’m probably a little crazy. And sure, there are plenty of reasons NOT to run a marathon. These are just a few reasons why I big fat did it anyway.