Last year my husband left for a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan. As we all know, this is a lengthy and painful stretch of time. Some might compare it to running a marathon-a long 26.2 miles-where staying focused and strong is a must.  Besides being a stay at home mother of two, I decided I needed another challenge during this deployment to keep me “busy”.  So, I teamed up with a friend to train for my first marathon! I think friends and family thought I had lost my mind (in a loving way), which of course made me even more determined to do this. : ) Rather than outlining months of daily activities and many miles,  I will tell you that my family crossed the deployment finish line on October 27th, 2011. Hallelujah!! Three days later, on the 30th, I crossed the Marine Corps Marathon finish line and I even have a medal to show for it, not to mention my hubby was there to see it (which meant more to me than anything!)

Here are five things I learned during our marathon deployment and you don’t have be a runner to use them…but if you are, they sure help! : )


  1. Focus on and celebrate the time or distance you have accomplished, not how far you have to go…
  2. Keep a good buddy close by. The support is priceless.
  3. Rest. Take a week off and don’t stress  about it. In the grand scheme, it will only do you good. Perfection is NOT a must.
  4. Reward yourself often…a decadent milkshake after an 18-mile run or a movie night with your best friend…you deserve it!
  5. Remember you are a role model for  somebody…whether it’s another military spouse, a friend, a sibling, or  most importantly, your children…show them that it can be done. Set a goal  (whatever that is for you) and go for it!

Shannon Walent, Military spouse, mom of two and a silly dog, Daisy.

One Response to “The Marathon Deployment”

  1. Danya Devine

    She is an inspiration!

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