Supposedly, if you want something bad enough, you'll do anything to get it. In running, this could not be more true. Runners will do almost anything to get their training and/or racing in. It could be something as major as flying to Georgia for a marathon because the original marathon destination was getting pummeled by a blizzard or as minor as going to bed before your 8 year old. I happen to be guilty of both of those things. I've been running competitively for many years, but I really started to ramp up my level of intensity, excluding high school and college, around 2010. I got my first taste of the 'Kool Aid' in the fall of that year after running the Bay State Half Marathon, where I ran a 1:37 and was the 28th woman across the finish line. I'd felt really good throughout the entire race and finished strong, which was new for me. Not surprisingly, I was fired up and ready to try again. After that, I started to shift gears a bit; seeking out new training plans (Runner's World, McMillan, Jack Daniels) for various race distances and trying out new fuel and gear every chance I got. Last October, five years, about 50 races (some good, many bad) and hundreds of miles later, along with the help of a coach, I ran my marathon PR of 3:11:05. In that race, I ran the first 13.1 miles in 1:37 and the second half in 1:34; the former time one that I was beyond thrilled to run 5 years before for a half alone and the later one that I never dreamed I could pull off at that point in my life. Once again, I was over the moon. I felt like I could tackle anything I put my mind to and about 3 minutes after that race I was already thinking about my next move. So, here I am today in May of 2015. I'm 40 years old and I'm getting ready to run my 11th marathon. What do I want now, you ask? I want to prove to myself that there is still something left in these legs, regardless of the fact that I'm in a new age bracket. I want to get to the starting line again and know that I have done everything I can to run a successful race. And I want to feel that pure joy of running for yet another 26.2 miles. It's a tall order. Real tall.
As I always do when I train for a marathon, I have put in the time and the miles in for this one. I have done the 20 milers - 4 to be exact with one more to go, and yes, I'm counting. I have done the tempo runs, the track work, and the recovery runs. Some of them have gone well. Others have been a disaster. But, for the past 4 months or so, I have done whatever it takes to get my training in. This past week, I logged 65 miles with a 22 miler on Monday. On top of that I had to coach 3 high school track meets which were a minimum of 3 hours long along with regular practices in between. Oh, then there were my mom duties. I had to fulfill those, too. By the end of the week, I could barely keep my eyes open. I honestly don't remember the last time I've felt that tired. (Kirsten, I can feel your eyes rolling from afar). But, seriously. I was in rough shape. On Saturday, my husband and I had our annual spring BBQ, a big party that we've held for the past 6 years that tends to go on into the wee hours of the night. I don't usually train for marathons this far into the spring (stupid winter), so I typically manage to stay up and hang with my friends for this shindig. But this year, not so much. I was doing all right until I had to take my kids up and tuck them in. It was around 10:30. I said good night, shut their door, and then I made the mistake of looking at my own bed. Oh, man, did I want to get in. I could hear everyone downstairs, still chatting and hanging out by the fire pit. I wanted to go back down. I did. But, my legs were not budging and my mind was already willing me to get in bed. It just wasn't happening.
Is it weird to hit the hay while your friends are still partying downstairs at your house? Yea, kind of. Am I taking this marathon thing a little too far? Maybe. Do I care? No, I do not. I am committed. And, I will do whatever it takes. Here's to good things.
Listen to this:
Places You Will Go - Patrick Watson