the reluctant marathoner
I recently stumbled upon the Runners' Lounge. This is for Take It and Run Thursday: Marathon Mania, and for anybody who thinks they can't run a marathon.
I was never athletic as a child. I didn't do well in sports, and I didn't particularly like running.
But for some reason, I decided to give distance running a shot a few years ago when my office was starting a team for an 8K charity race.
I joined my local running club's beginner class, then moved on to their 10K class.
I trained with a group I met through the 10K class through the winter, and successfully finished my first half marathon -- 13.1 miles -- in March of 2005. It was about a year after I started running; a couple weeks before my 30th birthday.
I remember chatting with people during that race, saying I never thought I'd run a full marathon. At the time, I had no desire to.
And around mile 10, when I was exceeding my longest training run, my knees were aching. Actually, I think everything was aching! I managed to finish with a smile on my face, but I could barely walk.
Yet, I thought it was a good idea to run another one six months later. And at the finish I remember exclaiming to my running buddy how I couldn't imagine having another 13.1 miles to go. It still hurt.
I kept going with the half marathons, though. By the fall of 2006 I had completed four of them, when some of my friends started talking about running a full marathon.
Yikes! That's 26.2 miles!
But they were talking about running a very conservative marathon, using the run/walk Galloway method. That made it a bit more palatable.
I was in.
We trained throughout the winter and into the spring. We took short road trips for our long runs to get a chance in scenery. We were all first-time marathoners, and were a bit nervous about the distance. We had three 20+ mile runs, which most people don't do. Some training groups go to 22, but many stop at 20. We went up to 24!
Some of the training runs were rough. I had some knee trouble but it didn't stop me. (I did go to a doctor to make sure it wasn't anything serious!) And actually, the pain didn't come back for the 24-mile training run or on race day.
I ran with my friends, and we kept a steady pace for the entire race. I teared up a little when I saw the finish line. I did it!
It's been just over a year now since I crossed that finish line. Since then, I've run two more half marathons, a ten-miler and a handful of shorter races.
Will I run another marathon?
Sometimes I want to. Other times I remember the pain and all of the weekends we lost to long training runs.
Was it worth it?
Labels: running amuck