It seems a bit unreal that my marathon training and actual marathon race; have been completed. I remember deciding (albeit hesitantly) to take on my first marathon (which for those of you who are unclear; is 26.2 miles!! And yes, there seemed to be MANY people unclear on this fact)
and the schedule that laid out ahead of me.
I am not a “natural-born” runner. I remember having to run for P.E. class and just hating it with a passion. I was lazy. It hurt. I couldn’t breathe…
On and on, the excuses went. They never changed either; since I hadn’t changed the way I thought about running. It always makes me think of how powerful our minds are. We put so much emphasis on how much “strength” or “endurance” we have within us; when it’s simply just the mind’s capacity and ability to get over the hurdles.
My humorous complaints regarding the marathon itself; the amount of training I needed to overcome; and the fact that Grace (my running partner) was trying to “kill” me with these challenges, were only said in jest. I knew in my heart and in my mind; that I was determined, one way or another, to get to the finish line and be able to stand (in a semi-proud posture) and enjoy the accomplishment after.
I found it amazing how I went through the training phases in a pyramid like fashion; which meant increasing my long runs each week until 20 miles and then gradually tapering back down for recovery.
Those 20 milers sure took a toll on my body! It took every bit of strength to walk the rest of that day; and don’t get me started on lifting up my legs to walk upstairs!
All in all, the day following my super long runs were surprisingly good days! I was told it would be worse the “day after” but my body didn’t follow along the basic guidelines, I’m sure! (not too surprising since I don’t really follow along “normal” guidelines in anything! ha)
The week leading up to our marathon was more or less a “restful” running week. Runs were shorter and a few quick bursts of speed and that was it. I didn’t complain one bit. It seemed to be more of a “mental” training week; in preparing ourselves for the upcoming race. How would this be possible? I wondered. What if I had to quit? I feared. I know that these are all normal thoughts and feelings that newbies have; and maybe even veteran marathoners at times. It didn’t slow me up or make me fear enough to back away…NEVER!!!
The weekend of the marathon, Grace and I went to the Expo along Huntington Beach Pacific Coast Highway in order to pick up our race packets and receive all of the important info for our race. I have to say that we just became giddier with excitement and it was then that I knew I would do well. No matter what happened; I would finish. No matter my pace; I would finish.
All in all; we would finish.
I will write more in the next few blogs regarding the specifics of our nutrition prior to race day; (yes, carb-loading to the max!! NOT as fun as I thought) planning for the big day; during the run itself; and post marathon.
Aren’t you excited already?