I’ve wanted to run a marathon for a while now. It was a goal of mine for 2014 that didn’t pan out. Which is okay, injuries are not something you can plan for, or blame yourself for. But I’m still determined. I’ve also realized that it’s a little crazy that I wanted to run a marathon without ever having run a race before… I’ve run 15+ miles on my own before, but never in a race setting.
“Thirty minute syndrome”
In early January, when I set my goal to run 26.2 miles in one go before the year is out, I was in the middle of a running slump. I would do a couple of 3 milers in the week but couldn’t push myself further. I call this the “thirty minute syndrome.” I find the first 30 minutes of swimming, or three miles of running, really hard (especially in the cold!), but once I cross that line my workout becomes so much more enjoyable. Sometimes, though, I get in a slump where I forget that it gets better and I get in a cycle of 30 minute workouts.
Train & Pain
So I signed up for a half marathon! I wanted a reason to push myself to do those miles, in the cold, through the winter. But I was nervous that my knees or back would protest, so I didn’t tell anyone… in case I decided to back out. So for the last month and a half I’ve been training, but easily, so as not to push my knees or back too hard. I was doing really, really well – incorporating yoga, stretching, and strength workouts into my routine – until last weekend. I headed out for an eleven-miler and my patella tendons decided to go on strike. So, I didn’t run for a whole week – not the ideal training set-up. I thought several times about quitting, but I really wanted to try. Hey, no one knew about it, so if I backed out halfway through, who would care?
Squirrelly Tail Twail Wun
The race was at Gifford Pinchot State Park. It was a windy, crazy trail setup – true to it’s name. Luckily, we had 40 degree weather with no rain. And I finished! I blew my goal out of the water and ran through the pain (with no lasting affects, promise!).
Sometimes, even if you know it won’t feel great, it’s worth it to push yourself to the finish line. Even more importantly, it’s crucial that you push yourself through your version of “thirty minute syndrome” – whether in sports, arts, or anything else that gives you a wall. I encourage you all to remember these facts that are so applicable to every area of life. I’m really glad I did this and I feel much more comfortable about doing races in the future… although I still much prefer running on my own. Half a goal accomplished!