I’ve had many people lately, including runners, tell me how the marathon is not a healthy thing to do to my body. I agree.
I just finished up week 12 training yesterday and completed my 20 mile run. It was grueling. I could barely rest last night because my body ached so much. I am better this morning but it was hard to walk normally when I took the dogs on their morning walk.
I know to people who see me daily, they think I’m hurting myself. I am. They think I look injured. I am.
I even wonder why I do it to myself. I do believe this is my last marathon. I will stick to 5k, St. Pats 5 Mile and maybe an occasional half marathon. That is my comfort zone.
The good thing about the human body is that the injuries and pain now are not permanent. My body will recover.
And it’s because a marathon is out of my comfort zone that I do it.
I do not have a runner’s body. I am much older than the average runner. I run much slower than the average runner. I hate coming home from a long day at work and running until dark. I hate giving up my entire Saturdays to long runs and ache with pain afterwards. I hate spending more time to muscle and foot care than to fun things.
I read something once and maybe it sounds cliché but it’s exactly why I had to do the first marathon at 54 years old.
“A marathon takes an ordinary runner and turns them into something extraordinary.”
That’s why I did it once and attempting to do it again.
Maybe it’s vanity. Maybe it’s insecurity. Maybe it’s because I squandered most of my life as a fat, inactive person.
Yesterday, it was a beautiful, cool and sunny day on the MKT trail where I ran my long run. That trail is nature at its more beautiful here in our area of Missouri. My husband, Kevin, rode his bicycle and carried my water, fuel, glide and other things such as toilet wipes! (just in case HA!). He’s the reason I am able to do this, by the way. I fussed at him a little bit because he never puts the top on correctly on my hand-heal Nathan water bottle. Then it leaks on my hand causing weird friction. But other than that, I had a drama free run. He had a great time on his bicycle. He gave me encouragement. He always has. He told me numerous times he was proud of me. He pepped me up when it was getting hard at mile 15 or so.
The trail was beautiful and he rode at a leisure speed. He loves his bicycle and cycling. For about 13 or more miles, I was able to enjoy the beauty of the morning and the trail.
I wore my outfit that I plan on running the Chicago Marathon in. I have never worn a skirt before so that was a newbie for me. My outfit felt comfortable. The morning was cool (less than 65 degrees). The temps never got over 72 before my run was over. All things were perfect. Well as perfect as it could be for someone about to tackle 20 miles.
My training run was set for 18 miles. The good thing about an “out and back” run is if you go out 10 miles, you have to come back 10 miles. I thought if worse came to worse after 18 miles, I could just call my run complete and walk for 2 miles to get the soreness out. But I was determined this would be a 20 mile run. So it was.
After the run, while Kevin was putting his bike on the rack, I walked around about 15 minutes or so as to not cramp up by immediately sitting in the car. That was a good decision because nothing is worse than thigh cramps after a run. So I walked around the area drinking my water and tears in my eyes because I completed the 20 miler. It’s by far my longest run in almost 2 years and only a few months of colon surgery.
When I got home, I walked around a bit more and sit outside my beautiful back yard enjoying a beer. I was able to enjoy that beer like it was going to be my last one! I felt happy and relieved that I was able to do it. I really had in my head that I would not be able to.
I had a warm shower and got in my favorite pajamas. Kevin rolled and massaged my calves and hamstring muscles. That’s when the euphoria set in for me. I was in pain and high at the same time. A high that only runners know, maybe. I was aching, hungry and happy. I might have been the happiest person in Columbia, MO at that time. Kevin made me a delicious, hearty and healthy lunch except that I wanted about 3 servings of Lays potato chips!
I felt like I was extraordinary. I felt immortal if only for a while.
“Cause we could be immortals, immortals. Just not for long, for long” ~ Immortals by Fallout Boys (Favorite Running Song)