In order to run a marathon you must be crazy. You must be crazy, dedicated and passionate about running. You must also have a good pair of running shoes. It’s possible to run a marathon without shoes but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s much easier to smile through the pain at the finish line if your feet have been cushioned for the last 26.2 miles.
When friends, family and coworkers find out that you are training for a marathon, there will come the inevitable shock “Wow!” They will look at you with a smidge of admiration but mostly disbelief. Then after the shock sinks in, “why?” or “are you crazy or something?” To that you can say “yes”, for it takes a certain degree of insanity to want to run 26.2 miles. You must be a little bit nuts to get up at the hour you do in order to get the miles in before work. You have to be off your rocker to sit in a bathtub full of ice water to soothe your aching muscles after a really hard day on the track. You have to be a bit mad to put Vaseline on your eyebrows, band-aids on your nipples and slather yourself with a product called Body Glide. Yes, you must be a little bit crazy to run a marathon.
However, along with the insanity, you must be dedicated to the training. You must be willing to run all the miles on your training schedule even on the days you’d rather sleep in or grab a drink with friends. You must run even when you can think of anything else on the planet you’d rather be doing instead. You must run even if you have a head cold, even if you have a blister the size of Texas on your pinkie toe, even if it’s 92 degrees outside. You run.
You run in shoes picked out with the help of a professional. Don’t go to Dick’s or Footlocker; go to a specialty running store and have a professional watch your feet while you run. They will bring you shoes that are appropriate for your needs. Try all of them on until you have found the perfect fit. You will know you have found the perfect shoe because it won’t feel like a shoe at all, but rather an extension of your own foot. Splurge a little and get the best shoes for your feet, after all, you will be spending a lot of time with them. Become friends with the sales people. They know their stuff and can recommend other gear you might be interested in, but at its core, shoes are the only essential accessory you need in order to run.
You’ll skip the happy hours with friends. You will eat spaghetti by the ton and drink so much water that your boss will think you have a UTI. You will happily put on your running shoes when everyone else is in bed because you are passionate. You know that running a marathon is so much more than the medal they will drape around your neck as you drag your weary body across the finish line. During training you’ll realize how strong you really are, not only physically, but also mentally. You will learn how to press through the moments when the word “quit” screams through your brain. You will learn when to push yourself to the limit and when to give yourself a break. You will learn something everyday about who you are.
And when Marathon Day finally arrives you celebrate. The fact that you made it to the starting line healthy and prepared gives you confidence for what lay ahead on the road in front of you. Each mile you run that day is a celebration of every mile you put in during training. Write your name on your shirt and thank the volunteers and spectators cheering for you. Talk to other runners around you. Encourage each other when the going gets tough. Cry if you need to. Those last 6.2 miles will be the toughest 6.2 miles you have ever run in your life. You will wish you were dead; you will know you are dead. But most importantly, no matter what your time or how horrible you feel, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Lift your hands and smile when you cross the finish line. This is your moment. You have won the race. You realize you are too tough to kill.
Monthly Archives: September 2008
Comments: Good solid run. I expected my legs to be tired and stiff like last week, but there was none of that today. Strength training in the evening.
Weather: 63, sunny
Clothes: MiT shirt, NB shorts
Shoes: Saucony ProGrid Guide ( 32.43 miles)
Run Time: 40:24
Course: To Goodale Park, x 2 and back.
Comment: This was my first solo race where I needed to look up directions on how to get there. I found the place without any problems though. 🙂 (Getting lost is one of my biggest fears)
We could have not asked for better running weather. It was a little cool and no sun. The 20 miler race group went out first. I recognized two people from work and wished them both good luck. 3 minutes later the 20k runners (117 of us) were off.
The first 5 miles I ran an average 10:40 min/mile pace. In some ways I tried to slow down on the other hand I wanted to do really well. The next 5 were a little slower. My slowest mile was # 11 with a 11:40 split (that was one tough mile!). The last mile and change I managed a 10:35 split. I ran with my iPod (book on CD) and it really helped me to have something to listen to during the spectator-less race.
For some reason I am disjointed with the time, thinking that I SHOULD be much closer to a 10 min/mile pace. But then I have to remind myself that I ran the fasted long distance race in my life”. My fastest 13.1 pace was 11:16 and here I ran a 10:52. Funny how the mind works. It gives me something to strive towards, that’s for sure!
Whenever I can I register as an “Athena” (race category of females over 150 lbs). With my 173 lbs I do not feel guilty running in that class. Yesterday I finished 2nd in that category and walked away with a plaque. Woot!
The deck at home is done. The hubby and I worked on it whenever we could over the weekend. I was not too much help on Sunday, but I tried!
Weather: 65, overcast…couldn’t have been better
Clothes: Old MiT Shirt, Adidas shorts
Shoes: Saucony ProGrid Guide (30 miles)
Distance: 20k (12.43 miles)
Run Time: 2:14:59
Course: Home Stretch 20k
Comments: Yeah, I know a 10:08 pace is not really speedy, considering there are people that run twice as fast as I do…but hey…for ME it’s speedy.
We stayed home today to put a deck onto the house. My main priority was to get my 5 miler in though, and I did. It went well. I was worried about my left calve muscle, it’s been hurting again, but it was fine. My right one tightened up a bit, but after mile 2 that went away as well.
The most surprising part were my splits, usually I am ALL OVER the place, not this time, Baby!
Mile 1: 10:13 (including nasty dog encounter)
Mile 2: 10:14
Mile 3: 10:03
Mile 4: 10:01
Mile 5: 10:11 (Again, nasty dog encounter)
The nasty neighbor dog and I seem to have to come to an agreement: He sees me, charges at me, I start to slow down to a casual walk, and he’ll just bark at me, trailing off after a minute or so. I guess I am boring after all. Good!
I should rest tomorrow, but might run 3 in the early AM, however I reserve the right to change my mind. 😉 I do will lift some weights tonight. On the other hand, lugging all that lumber should count towards something!
Time: 10:30 am
Weather: 70, partly sunny
Clothes: Shirt, Adidas shorts
Shoes: Saucony ProGrid Guide (25 miles)
Run Time: 50:40
Course: Almost to New Salem and back.
Comments: Another good run. I stubbed my middle toe yesterday on a French door at home. The door didn’t give, but my toe did! *sigh* I was worried about it, but it didn’t bother me too much.I am taking a vacation day tomorrow to work on the deck for the addition to our house, so I m not sure what I’ll be able to get in running wise. I am hoping to run 5, take Saturday off, and run the 20k race on Sunday.
BTW the shirts we got for that race are horrible. It is a VERY thick sweater and on top of that is a Christmas green color! Gag me!!! The hubby and I were trying to come up with events that I might wear that shirt; we weren’t very successful. I think I’ll hang it on my Wall of Fame. lol Thank goodness we are suppose to get a medal when we finish the race, that will make up for the disappointment of the shirt.
>>>24 days to go until the Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon<<<
Time: 10 am
Weather: 70, sunny, another nice day
Clothes: Old MiT Shirt, Pearl Izumi shorts
Shoes: Saucony ProGrid Guide (21 miles)
Run Time: 40:09
Course: To Goodale Park, x 2 and back.
Today’s theme at “Take it and Run Thursday” at Runner’s Lounge is “Conquering the Marathon in 26 words or less”.
My goodness, so many things went through my head, almost felt like rush hour up there!
This is my advice for people running their first marathon, take it for what it is worth. 🙂
This is your day, this is your run, enjoy it…no matter what.
The first 20 miles are a warm up for the last 6.2!
Comments: Another great run…fastest 4 miler YET. Gosh I LOVE this weather!
>>>26 days to go until the Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon<<<
Time: 10 am
Weather: 72, sunny…N I C E
Clothes: Adidas shirt and shorts
Shoes: Saucony ProGrid Guide (17miles)
Run Time: 39:39
Course: Goodale Park, x 2 and back.