Sunday, April 11, 2010

marathon update

well, so far i have been pretty pitiful at updating after long runs....i know, i know.
last week was supposed to be my 20 mile run -- my longest long run. unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating and i was being a big wuss, so it was scratched. since we were on spring break, bobbi and i decided to meet and run tuesday. our plan was again to run 20, but we only made it to 10. between the heat, my mental bonk and the pain in my chest, i wussed out again.
so, yesterday we met to run -- and several of the girls that ran with us last summer were there, yay liz and renee! -- and i had no expectations. i figured i had tried twice and had major holes in my mental game, so i went in with no set distance. before we started i had decided i would do 14 at least and if i felt okay, i'd keep going as long as i could. turns out, third time is a charm!

i was very down after the second failed attempt...i know it seems funny to most people that i would be very disappointed with a 10 mile run, but i was....very. i thought about it and mulled over it all week. yesterday when we started out, i decided to go slow, steady and really run it like it was the marathon. for ten miles i was good, then i got a horrible blister and had to pause to bandage it up. unfortunately, that bandage didn't work so i tried again. after that second try, i just figured it was going to hurt either way, and plodded on like the 90 year old shuffler i look like -- and sometimes feel like -- when running.

i've concluded running a marathon is very much like getting pregnant and having a baby. there's a lot of training just like the nine months of carrying. if you had a smooth pregnancy, disregard this simile. i say that because neither has been easy in my experience. think back to all the morning sickness (22 weeks worth!), the uncomfortable body, the ravenous appetite, the sleepless nights....that's what training is like. now, those long, long runs and the marathon itself, i think that will be like labor, without the drugs. that feeling when everything really hurts, but you know eventually it will be over....the people giving you encouragement that you love and need, but is a distraction from your focus at times. then, the finish line, the time when you achieve the goal you set out for in the first place...even though you hurt, you're tired, you ache all over, you know you're going to have yet another sleepless, painful night, but you are still so happy and proud that you've achieved something you thought was unattainable....

i don't know if i'll look back on the marathon experience and say i want to do it again, but i wasn't sure i would say that after pregnancy and labor/delivery either. maybe i will...i would certainly experience and train for another beautiful baby, so who knows, maybe i'll feel the same about another marathon later.

after the 20 mile run i actually feel pretty good. i'm not too sore and i actually had a good run, it was the perfect day. i can only hope God will grant us a beautiful day and a strong, healthy body the day of the race. i hope he can help me with the mental fortitude once again and i am able to make it the additional 6.2 miles. i hope i don't bonk too hard, or run too slow. and i hope i enjoy the experience as much as i want to....