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.
Marathon Training: 1 Social Life: 0
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