Oh my word! What the hell was I thinking? What made me think…or better yet WANT… to run a half-marathon? Again?
The first one I ran in 2010 was just to prove to myself I could. And I did. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Not just that day, but the months leading up to it. You can’t just go out and run 13.1 miles all of a sudden. You spend months building your mileage, increasing your distance every week. Going on several 6, 8, and 10-milers. Running 25-30 or more miles a week. But crossing that finish line gave me a feeling of accomplishment that I’ve never experienced before. I can’t explain it. I graduated from College…twice…with three degrees. Big deal. This.Was.Bigger.
I even got teary-eyed during that last half mile to Neyland Stadium and the finish line. (Let’s be clear about this….I rarely cry.) So why was I tearing up there? I have no idea. I’ve read and heard that marathoners do that a lot near the end of the course. But that’s 26.2 miles. This was only 13.1.
But wait a minute…only THIRTEEN POINT ONE MILES? Since when does “running 13.1 miles” have to be qualified with "only"? That’s farther than some people drive to work every day. Maybe I was just overcome with everything I had accomplished…..going from a pizza loving, smoking, on the verge of full blown diabetes to completing a half-marathon? My time wasn’t anything to brag about….but I did it.
Or maybe it was from the pain on my inner thighs because this running rookie made the fatal mistake of wearing a new, untested pair of capris to run 13.1 miles in and they chafed so badly that I had scars for months.
Either way….it was emotional.
So am I just thrill seeking? Just want to experience that high of pride & self-accomplishment again? My mom & others see me limping or the ice packs and ask “Why do you put yourself through that?” I really have no idea what my motivation is this time. I am running it with a dear old friend that I haven’t seen since college. But wouldn’t a nice relaxing dinner be…I don’t know…easier??
I’ve suffered for this one. The last one was hard. This one hurts. My left foot has been literally a pain in the foot since I passed the 6 mile mark…in July. Some tendonitis and Plantar fasciitis. As my good friend JV put it recently, “I’ve got PF like a MF.” So I get to sleep in an incredibly Frankenstein-ish sexy boot nearly every night…Mark just loves it. I’ve been going to physical therapy 2x a week for 3 months. I tape. I stretch. I ice. And I deal with it.
My therapist looked at my foot doctor on Monday and said “Ya know, she really shouldn’t be running.” My doctor said, “Yes, I’ve told her that. And I’m certain she’s giving us both the mental-middle-finger right now.” He was right...with both hands too.
But why?? Why do I have this…..this need…..to do this?
Other people can get on a treadmill and run a few miles just for a good workout. It’s good for your heart. I can’t. I have to have a goal. I have to have a calendar with a training plan that ends with a race of some sort. Even though I know I’ll never win or even win my age group. I have this need to run in races. Without it…..I can’t run….I’m lost….I’m depressed.
But is whatever I’m going to get out of Saturday’s half-marathon worth the pain? Worth the amount of time? Worth the money in therapy? Worth the look I get from my husband because I’m sacrificing “our” limited time to train (or recover) for my goal?
Today I struggle with the answers to this. Which is TOTALLY FREAKING ME OUT!!! I’m running a half marathon in 3 DAYS!!! No, it’s not the NYC marathon or Boston or Big Sur or any major race. It’s the Murphy, NC Kickin Asphalt ½ Marathon that as of last week had 81 people signed up. But it is major to me.
#1 – I want to finish. Even if I have to drag what’s left of a stumped leg across that finish line in dead last with blood streaming out of every pore…..I will finish.
#2 – I want to finish in less than 2:50 (which is 25 minutes faster than my first half marathon, but still a 12:58 min/mile pace…which in my book is still crawling)
Truth be told, I want to finish in less than 2:40 or much faster!! (I’d love to be able to average a 10-11 min/mile pace. But I’m just not sure my foot can hold out with that pace.)
#3 – Have fun with Megan. We haven’t seen each other in so long! But am I going to be able to communicate and catch up with her and still be able to breathe? I don’t normally run with anyone. I don’t know what it’s like to run and talk.
It’s Wednesday. And I’m already flipping out about a race on Saturday.
I can send my friend JV encouraging words for the NYC Marathon coming up on Sunday….but I can’t listen to my own words.
Gotta run... literally. I’ve got to get a 5 miler in because my schedule says so, and I’m hoping it will calm these nerves. But the treadmill here at this hotel is a death trap...which is increasing my anxiety.