Earlier this year I did something insane and signed up for a marathon- I'll be toeing the line at the Marine Corps Marathon in late October and this summer was supposed to full of training runs and pain. Well, I definitely got both, but not quite the way I pictured. I've been running quite a lot, but I've also been plagued with injuries. First my PF flared up and put me out of the game for a few weeks, then I tweaked my knee and couldn't do a long run for another few weeks- so I had the pain, but I wasn't getting any of the gain. Now I'm several weeks behind. If I was on schedule I'd be running 17 miles this week- If I'm lucky and my legs hold up, I'm going to go for 10. Even though I've been a bit of a mess on the training front, I have still had the opportunity to do some great races and have some amazing experiences.
Over the course of the summer I've done 2 really memorable races. First was the Utica Boilermaker, a race I got shut out of at registration time and then had the good fortune of winning a bib to. Better yet, I got to bus down and run with the Fleet Feet racing team. I was hurting and I didn't put up even a decent time, but I had a blast!
The second race was the one I was really looking forward to. Immediately after running the North Face Endurance Challenge 10k in NY I signed up for the one in Blue Mountain, ON. This is really the kind of race I love to do. Running around the woods, challenging yourself to really run outside the box and see if you can not just finish, but survive. I have to say this was the hardest race I have ever done. I completely underestimated the mountain. I was prepared in terms of water and fuel and I had a great attitude going in (and throughout really), but the mountain kicked my ass. In NY the 10k took me just over an our and a half. I figured this one would take me a little longer based on the elevation map. It took me longer- a lot longer- so long that I missed my daughter running the kids race. In fact it took me an hour longer. 2.5 hours to go 6.2 (a little longer per my watch). I walked WAY more then I ran, I stopped to help some fellow runners who were struggling, I stopped for pictures and a few times along the way I really wondered if I was legitimately insane to keep signing up for these races... but, the whole way through I had fun. I chatted with other runners, I learned about who they were and where they are from and heard about some other cool races out there. By the time I was done I was hot and sore and I've never been so happy to see an ice bath, but I also felt really proud that I had kept moving forward and finished even though it was hard. I can't wait for next year.
So what next? Now I keep fighting, keep moving forward and keep training. I may not finish the marathon, but it won't be because I gave up.
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